Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton

As if I didn't have enough to read this month, I had to add this tale, mostly because my hold came up at the library. I finished it just in the nick of time, as it's due back tomorrow, and I know there are plenty of folks waiting to read it--and hopefully love it just as I do. It's a novel that grows and grows on you after you've finished it and have spent some time ruminating on the big themes, and the lovable animals that populate the pages. 

At first, I chuckled as I was introduced to S.T. (short for Shit Turd), the domesticated crow who lives with Big Jim and his bloodhound, Dennis. Something odd is happening to Big Jim--his eyeball just falls out one day, and then it all rapidly goes downhill from there. Trapped at home with Big Jim as he descends into a ravening, decaying mess, S.T. realizes really quickly that it's time to leave and venture out into the great unknown--also known as Seattle. Taking Dennis, they set off to discover that what's happening at home is actually a small part of a really big apocalyptic crisis. Humanity is attacked by a virus (I won't tell you what causes it, but you betcha Mother Nature is pissed) and people are turning into ravening zombies that slowly decay into blobs of...ugh...stuff. Nature is taking over, and animals are roaming around. S.T. and Dennis realize there are many domesticated animals that are trapped in their homes, unable to get out, and doomed to die of starvation, so their mission is to rescue as many as possible. 

S.T., domesticated to the point that he feels almost human (or Mofo, as he refers to humans), almost forgets his bird-ness when he needs it the most. His relationship with Dennis was one of my favorite highlights of the novel. There's so much more to this tale than a misfit duo trying to survive in an apocalyptic world. S.T. discovers a much bigger connection to his fellow crows, nature, and the ebb and flow of Mother Earth as he slowly starts to let go of his 'Mofo-ness' and isolation. It's a cautionary tale of losing our connection to nature, and our place in the great chain of life. I know you'll come to love S.T. and Dennis as much as I did, along with the supporting characters: dogs and cats of every kind, elephants, murders of crows, and one bad-ass bald eagle. 

Rating: 5/6 for a surprisingly wonderful novel that will have you laughing, weeping, on the edge of your seat, and cheering on a rag-tag bunch of animals battling to survive a crazy, crazy world. This one will stay with me for quite some time. 

Available in hardcover, ebook, and audio. 

1 comment :

  1. This is the first review I've read of this and it is now a must read for me. Animals and their thoughts, an apocalyptic world, S.T. and Dennis, it sounds my cup of tea.