Lush with putrid undertones of otherness

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“Dark, dangerous things happened around the Hollow sisters.”

This line might be the epitome of an understatement. I might describe this story as a dark fairy tale only it is interlaced with modern horror, lush with putrid undertones of otherness and unsettling strangers that draws one in for a closer look then seeps beneath ones bones and settles in…to a feeling one cannot shake.

“I had once thought she was beautiful—and she probably still was, if you couldn’t see past the veneer of her skin to the pool of venom stagnating beneath…”

The Hollow Sisters are the perfect characters to epitomize ‘a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.’ Although I’m sure Churchill would not think to apply his observation to ethereal young adults steeped in secrecy. The moment I started to read this book the Hollow sisters had their hold on me. Not unlike the people they encounter as they wend their ways through the world. All strikingly unique I wanted to know more and hoped at least even a small portion of their mystery would be revealed. Iris, Vivi and Grey are indelibly intertwined by a traumatic past…where did they disappear in their childhood? Why can’t they remember? Why does tragedy, melancholy and unexplainable events continue to follow them?

“He was a grim testament to a truth I knew but refused to acknowledge: that it was possible to suffer devastating, incomprehensible loss and continue to live, to breathe, to pump blood around your body and supply oxygen to your brain.”

We delve deeper into this mystery as it slowly, strangely and sinisterly unfurls. I enjoyed how the story addressed grief and the different ways people cope. I also enjoyed meandering through London, exploring the variety of Hollow Haunts. Along the way we are treated to some delectable prose, saturated with lush imagery.

“…the room was fat with lazy sunlight, the kind that lingers for hours in the summer months, sticking to the tops of trees in golden halos.”

Overall, this story did not disappoint. It was blood curdling and it held my interest throughout. I thought the pacing was solid and as the mystery unraveled I guessed some parts of the Big Reveal but was stunned by another. Also, although a satisfying answer to most of the questions asked…I still felt like I walked away with some mysteries remaining and the slight promise of a story beyond the conclusion of this grim and eerie tale. I enjoyed this book immensely and am thoroughly creeped out. But…almost in the best way. *shivers in delight*

*currently hovering between a 4 and a 5. This book is unlike anything I have read and I truly enjoyed it. I can tell it will haunt me for awhile. But I need to reflect…I felt like Vivi became a bit pushed aside. But I loved Tyler. I did love the ebbs and flows of the story…but some parts of the plot were unclear how we arrived at that conclusion. But maybe like the magic of this book…we accept the unexplainable. I’m ok with that.*