Cover Image: Hollow Kingdom

Hollow Kingdom

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Absolutely loved this book. It's weird and wonderful, and full of surprises. Who knew a post-apocalyptic novel narrated by a crow could be so good?
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book. It was so readable, laugh out loud funny at times, and yet had depth and pathos. The author got inside of the way we live today - the compromises  we have made from the limited choices we are given, and how unaware we are of our own sheeplike tendencies to just follow along. It is hard to make animals become philosophers yet in this book they are!
Was this review helpful?
"I cannot recommend this to you enough: find something that you believe in, right down deep in the depths of your silvery plumage, and then throw your heart at it, blood and valves and veins and all. Because I did this, the world, though brambled and frothing at the mouth, looked more vibrant; blues were bluer, and even the fetid puddles that collected under rusting cars tasted as sweet as summer wine."

This book surprised me. I knew within the first page that it was going to be hilarious, but I didn't expect the tenderness of it. Basically, as others have pointed out, Hollow Kingdom is a mix between The Secret Life of Pets, The Walking Dead, and The Road. It starts off with the protagonist of the story, a domesticated crow named Shit Turd, or S.T. for short, playing in the yard with his owner Big Jim and another fellow pet, a bloodhound named Dennis when the unexpected happens:

"Big Jim’s eyeball fell out. Like, fell the fuck out of his head. It rolled onto the grass, and to be honest, Big Jim and I were both taken aback."

(Just saying, I literally laughed out loud at that paragraph). Thus begins the zombie plague on humanity. Animals are left behind by their turned owners. And so, a quest begins wherein S.T. and Dennis save fellow domestic pets from being trapped in their homes without their humans. Along the way, they face off against predators looking to take over the land.

A lot more happens and it's worth experiencing, especially if you like zombie apocalypse stuff with humor and heart also thrown in. It's a unique perspective and the author, Kira Jane Buxton, is SO good at writing it. It's moving and complex and brings up some important points about appreciating what we have, what we give to the world, and also what humans can take away from the natural earth. It also made me hug my corgis extra hard. Dogs are just so pure!!!! Overall, this whacky book kept me hooked from beginning to end. I really enjoyed it.

Highly recommend this book! 4.25 stars.


TW: animal violence, death
Was this review helpful?
This book was SO WEIRD. Like, I didn't know what was going on half the time. But it was enjoyable and one hell of a ride. The main character is A CROW! WHO EATS CHEETOS! How fun is that! It was definitely a unique read and it was unlike anything that I've read before. I heard about this book at Book Expo and was excited to get my hands on it!
Was this review helpful?
This is one of the strangest books I have ever read, and I'm not going to sugar coat this review--it's probably not every reader's cup of tea, but it is absolutely brilliant, and it's definitely a literary breakthrough on many levels.

Fair warning, There are  many harsh scenes described in vulgar detail. It is after all about an apocalypse. But it's told through the POV of a crow, ST, who had been a domestic pet and learned many human words. Essentially, ST sets out with Dennis, the dog he lived with, after a terrible illness turns most all people into animalistic zombies, and the two of them go on a journey that becomes a mission to save domestic pets and to help them learn to negotiate a new world where people are horribly infected, dangerous zombie-monsters. These sound like spoilers, but I assure you that these plot points are not what makes this book exciting.

The actual plot is secondary to the brilliant, witty, hilarious thought process of ST, the crow, and the other domestics he encounters. The commentary provided from their POVs is just outrageous and clever, and if you can stomach plots that include disgusting zombies, I strongly encourage you to read this book. I read it in one sitting, and it's really something completely unique and quite genius. I would not be surprised if this book won many awards, and certainly it deserves to do so. So many fantasy plots, even very good ones, seem so familiar these days. This however is utterly fresh, and the humor and wit alone makes it a fantastic read!
Was this review helpful?
This is one of the most unusual books I've read. It reminded me of The Walking Dead with the domesticated animals as the survivors. The main protagonist is ST, a snarky, darkly comic domesticated crow who longs to be human. We follow ST and his sidekick, the dimwitted bloodhound, Dennis, as they set off on a quest to save the world from apocolypse. This book is a bit graphic and the dark humor involving eyeballs popping out and rotting flesh won't be up everyone's alley. But if you're in the mood for something clever, smart and completely unique, this is definitely one to try.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you for the opportunity to read this. I will be posting a full review to Goodreads, Amazon, and Instagram.
Was this review helpful?
This was a really lovely story told from the prospective of an intelligent crow who is the witness to the apocalypse. I loved the Crow's narrative voice and the story arc. There is some amazing humor and a strong emotional bond is easily formed with the characters.
Was this review helpful?
I didn't make it very far into this book because there seemed to be a lot of casual violence. Really not for me. The humor (and I did recognize it as such) was just a bit too crude for my taste. I have too many other things to read to keep going with something I'm not enjoying.
Was this review helpful?
Really enjoyed this one! I don't often read outside of romance and mystery, but the humor in this crow-narrated novel really worked for me. It made me enjoy dystopian and I don't like dystopian settings!
Was this review helpful?
The premise of the book is so wild and fun that after reading less than a quarter I'd already recommended it to three friends and coworkers.  So of the environmental and technological moralizing can be a little heavy handed, but I loved the voice of S.T. and his take on the human and animal worlds.  Really enjoyed this one.
Was this review helpful?
My book club read Hollow Kingdom over the summer of 2019 and everyone absolutely loved this fun, unique dystopian novel told from the perspective of pets as humans slowly lose their minds. The conversation was fantastic. S.T. the crow, who is the narrator, is hilarious. 

This is a light read but also a book that will make you think about all the technologies humans are so attached to these days. This book manages to be thought provoking while not taking itself too seriously.  You will laugh out loud, but you may also cringe a little. 

In addition, this beautiful cover is one of the best of 2019.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this review copy of The Hollow Kingdom. 
I loved this book and plan on recommending it to everyone!
It is such a unique approach to have a POV of the zombie apocalypse from the flora and fauna left behind. My favorite was from the crow S.T. who narrates most of the book and has the longest back story. But the cat Ghengis and the poodle are also hilarious. 
In addition to the humor, there is a lot of good food for thought about technology, respecting the planet and all the inhabitants and caring for each other. Animals really live in the moment and you see how our disconnected screen addicted lifestyle keeps us from doing the same. 
I highly recommend this book and the author is one to watch!
Was this review helpful?
I am TERRIFIED of birds. The only bird that doesn’t scare me is a hummingbird and that’s because they’re tiny little fluttery sky fairies and give kisses dusted in gold. ⁣
⁣
I grew up on a farm and we had HUNDREDS of chickens. My chore was to feed said chickens. I would go out with my bucket full of grain, open the door and they would CHARGE. Feeling like Tippi Hedron in The Birds I’d dump and run! Chickens can be vicious!

Fast forward to going to my husband’s house for the first time… he thought it was so funny to command his HUGE parrot to fly right at my face with a beak thirsting to snip off my appendages one by one… so, yep – pretty scared of birds!⁣

BUT. This book.

One of my most favorite reads EVER! Hollow Kingdom is SO unique. Such an unlikely hero and so insanely refreshing. I want 4 sequels and I now would like a crow as a pet, and Kira Jane Buxton to be my BFF. ⁣
⁣
In a nutshell, S.T. is going to save the world. S.T. is short for “Shit Turd” and he is a domesticated crow who loves Cheetos. Along with his dumb-as-rocks sidekick, a Bloodhound named Dennis, the pair sets off to save the world when all of humankind becomes zombies. It’s The Walking Dead, meets The Incredible Journey – and it is WILD! ⁣
⁣
That’s all I’m giving you. Go read it! Animal lovers will relish in this incredible story. I really hope you’ll read this because it is the MOST FUN thing I’ve ever read. I adore this book, and because of Kira Jane Buxton – I now adore crows too!⁣
Was this review helpful?
Shit Turd, or ST as he's better known, is a foul mouthed MoFo loving crow who is devoted to his owner Big Jim and hates other birds. When Big Jim turns into a zombie, ST decides he and Dennis, the dumb bloodhound Big Jim also loved, must leave their home and set out into the unknown. Along the way they journey across Seattle, face down danger (or run away), and learn that murders are what you makes them and you never leave your murder behind.

After a lot of deliberation, weighing how frequently I felt exasperated while reading this book, and how long it took me to push myself to finish it, I have to rate this 3 stars. 

Hollow Kingdom is by no means a terrible book. It has some pacing issues and makes some puzzling choices, but what it comes down to is that it didn't work for me. The style of the writing never quite gelled for me, some of the internal inconsistencies in the universe bugged me, and the experience of reading it was more frustrating than anything else. Some people will be enchanted by the unusual point of view, the focus on nature and the animal kingdom, and find the writing style charming. I'm not that person.
Was this review helpful?
I really thought I would love this novel, as I adore books narrated by animals and also love apocalyptic reads. However, this was just not my cup of tea. By 50% through, I was having a very hard time staying motivated to read this. And I can’t quite pin point why that is. I liked the characters, the tone, the writing style... I liked most of what was going on. I think part of it is that many of the same plot points keep happening over and over in just slightly different ways. I’m sure lots of people will love this one, but it was not for me.
Was this review helpful?
Hollow Kingdom is so good! And hilarious.

Hollow Kingdom is a science fiction, fantasy, post-apocalyptic, comedy, zombie book all rolled up into one told through the POV of a crow. What more could you possibly need to know? (Bonus: his companion is a dog.)
Was this review helpful?
Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton is a science fiction, post apocalyptic fantasy that has a new twist with the surviving characters. Instead of the story being told from the point of view of the last remaining humans in the world we get a narrative from S.T., a domesticated crow.

S.T.’s owner, Big Jim, had gotten really sick until the point one day Big Jim’s eyeball falls right out. Well, what is one domesticated crow to do without an owner taking care of him? S.T. manages to team up with Big Jim’s dumb dog, Dennis, and take off out on their own to find out what was happening to their world.

Now, I’m sort of a hit or miss type of person when it comes to the entire dystopian or post apocalyptic type of books. Some of these pull me right in and I become completely engrossed in the what if we had this happen to us type of world. Others on the flip side tend to bore me with the lack of characters or engaging plot. Hollow Kingdom starts off s a cute new twist following this wise cracking crow but eventually it all fell flat for me. I’m sure some will love this one, I however just got a  bit bored with only the animals.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?
I’m sure that in amongst all the gruesome animal deaths and 12-year-old boy humor, this book had a point. 

In fact, it is very clearly trying to stress—constantly—that it does. Why it needed several hundred pages of circular plot and grossness for the sake of grossness to get there is another question entirely.

Buxton writes snappily and the basic plot is both ambitious and unique. Occasionally, she even manages to be funny in a way that is neither based on grotesque shock value or seemingly aimed at adolescent boys. It’s unfortunate that most of the “humor” is of the latter type. 

I probably could have accepted some of the gross-out components of the book had the plot been tighter and had there not been so many more failed jokes and faux-horror ick moments than could possibly be necessary. Or if other components had been funnier. Or the message was clearer and more successfully delivered. Or, or, or...you get the idea. 

Top all that off with many, MANY dogs and other animals dead or dying in horrific ways, and...yeah. This was a disappointment.
Was this review helpful?
Hollow Kingdom was not what I expected. At all. It is a story about a zombie apocalypse told from the point of view of a crow named Shit Turd, or S.T. for short. Ha, wish I was kidding. If this name isn’t hilarious enough, then the dialogue will be for sure. It is witty, innocent, imaginative, and straight up hilarious. Of course, the subject matter is rather serious - after all, humanity has turned into zombies and animals are left to survive on their own, but the story itself is engaging and filled with hilarious anecdotes from all animal species. Definitely not aimed for younger audience because of language and some violence and gore. Highly recommend this book (I even bought the audio version of this book, and it was even more hilarious!). Thank you NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for thiseARC. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Was this review helpful?