Time for another book review, and what a review I have for you today.
Late last year, I was sent an advance copy of House of Hollow, one of the upcoming books being published by Hot Key this year. Author Krystal Sutherland has created a novel that takes you through a whole range of emotions in mere seconds, and the book is as beautiful as it is terrifying.
Here’s the synopsis, before I get too far into reviewing;
Seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow has always been strange. Something happened to her and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats.
Iris has spent most of her teenage years trying to avoid the weirdness that sticks to her like tar. But when her eldest sister, Grey, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, Iris learns just how weird her life can get: horned men start shadowing her, a corpse falls out of her sister’s ceiling, and ugly, impossible memories start to twist their way to the forefront of her mind.
As Iris retraces Grey’s last known footsteps and follows the increasingly bizarre trail of breadcrumbs she left behind, it becomes apparent that the only way to save her sister is to decipher the mystery of what happened to them as children.
The closer Iris gets to the truth, the closer she comes to understanding that the answer is dark and dangerous – and that Grey has been keeping a terrible secret from her for years.
This book just kept surprising me as I turned each and every page. You don’t expect any of what is coming at you from these pages, and I loved that. It was a genuinely scary book; anyone who thinks that young adult books are easy reads needs to check this one out because I did not sleep well for a good week afterwards!
Iris is crafted as a character you have a lot of sympathy for. Between not fitting in, and the bits and pieces you gather as the story comes together, she’s had a really hard time of things, and you want to just wrap her in a fluffy blanket and give her a hug. Or at least I did – there was something about her that made me feel somewhere between sisterly and maternal. The middle sister, Vivi, sparks a different kind of reaction, and I wanted to just have a coffee with her because she seems like tremendous fun – which is all a cover for the pain she’s feeling underneath. The relationship between her and Iris is really lovely, and watching their interactions is great for sisterly love.
When it comes to Grey, things are different, and that only becomes more true as the story progresses. I was quite stunned by some of the revelations of the book, but equally I just couldn’t put it down; it really was a thriller that grabbed you and would not let go.
I’m so glad I got to read this book when I did as it broke the reading block I was suffering with; I read it so quickly. It was one of those ‘stay up until 3am’ books.
If you want something that will freak you out but also manage to reaffirm your belief in people and their love for one another, this is a great book to be picking up. Due out early April, put this on your wishlist now!
Thank you to Hot Key for my Ambassador’s early copy.