Saturday, December 18, 2021

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland


HOUSE OF HOLLOW is one of the best horror stories I've ever read. I don't even normally like horror because I am a soft and jellied wimp, but I do like fairytales, and this is like the darkest of the lot: a story of three girls who went missing at the stroke of midnight while their parents fretted and worried, only for them to return, not quite the same, with matching scars on their throats and discolored hair and eyes. Ten years later, Vivi, Grey, and Iris Hollow are beautiful and exceptional girls, but beneath all of the gloss is the dark shadow of their shared pasts and the truth of why they really went missing.

Part of what made this such a win for me is the beautiful prose. It's like biting into a truffle, only to find it filled with rot. The exquisite writing masks the horrors until it's too late to run and by that point, you're so invested, you probably won't even want to. And don't be fooled by the dreamy teen narrator and the flowers on the cover: this book has triggers of all kinds, with many scenes of body horror, and some pretty emotionally devastating blows. There's one scene towards the end that really wrecked me and nearly made me cry.

I would recommend this to people who like really dark stories that explore deep topics and horror that goes beyond splatterpunk and gore. The whole time I was reading this book, I kept picturing it as a movie, with the same visuals as movies like Velvet Buzzsaw, Paradise Hills, and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. I think if you enjoy those things, you'll probably like this book, too.

4.5 to 5 out of 5 stars

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