HOUSE OF HOLLOW by KRYSTAL SUTHERLAND
A REVIEW by ALEXA DUNCAN
House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland is a dark fairy tale of a YA novel, constructed around the lives of three very unusual sisters and their mysterious disappearance when they were children. There’s Iris, Vivi, and Grey, each extraordinarily beautiful and each more than a little odd. Grey, the oldest, is a high fashion model and world-famous designer. Vivi, the middle sister, is in a punk b
nd and drowns her sorrows in alcohol. The youngest, Iris, is our main character and is simply trying to live some semblance of a normal life. Every sister has bone white hair
and dark eyes, and every sister seems to have the bizarre ability to make people do what they want. However, when Grey goes missing and a man with a bull’s skull starts stalking them, Iris and Vivi must work together to find Grey and defeat the bull-headed man before they disappear again–just like they did when they were children.
House of Hollow is a gorgeous little book wrapped in an equally stunni
ng cover. I mean, loo
k at it. Aside from that, the contents themselves are also beautiful–and more than a lit
tle horrifying. House of Hollow doesn’t shy away from some pretty icky things like body horror, bugs crawling out of places they shouldn’t crawl out of, and a lot of descriptions about how
gross things smell. If you’re sensitive to any of this kind of stuff, you might want to skip this book.
Aside from the gross-out aspects, I really enjoyed this novel. The writing is excellent and Sutherland’s lush prose lends itself to horror/fairy tale genre this book fits into. The descriptions of settings and clothes and general atmosphere are stunning. I especially loved reading about the mysterious Grey and her fashion line. I’d love to wear one of her dresses. While I loved the prose and the plot of this book, I found some things a little lacking. Iris was fine as a main character but I was much more interested in Grey and Vivi, Especially Grey, whose personality and backstory were more compelling than Iris’s. Despite these gripes, I really enjoyed the main thrust of the book: Grey is missing, and this creepy dude is stalking the rest of the sisters.
I loved uncovering the mystery of where the girls went when they were children and why they went there. I won’t spoil it here, but let’s just say the where is really cool and the why is still a little fuzzy for me. It’s explained at the end of the book, but not fully. It left me wanting more of what really happened, though I suppose every author is allowed their narrative secrets for the sake of the novel. Not knowing exact specifics annoyed me a little, but it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the story.
Start Spooky Season off right with House of Hollow, available at the Argenta Library!