A young woman discovers a strange portal in her  uncle’s house, leading to madness  and terror in this gripping new novel from the author of...

Review || The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher

A young woman discovers a strange portal in her 
uncle’s house, leading to madness and terror in this gripping new novel from the author of the “innovative, unexpected, and absolutely chilling” (Mira Grant, Nebula Awardwinning author) The Twisted Ones.

Pray they are hungry.

Kara finds these words in the mysterious bunker that she’s discovered behind a hole in the wall of her uncle’s house. Freshly divorced and living back at home, Kara now becomes obsessed with these cryptic words and starts exploring the peculiar bunker—only to discover that it holds portals to countless alternate realities. But these places are haunted by creatures that seem to hear thoughts…and the more you fear them, the stronger they become.

With her distinctive “delightfully fresh and subversive” (SF Bluestocking) prose and the strange, sinister wonder found in Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, The Hollow Places is another compelling and white-knuckled horror novel that you won’t be able to put down.


Review first featured in Unnerving Magazine  #14 - Get your copy here!

With inspiration drawn from the 1907 novella "The Willows" by Algernon Blackwood, T. Kingfisher's disquieting novel could be regarded as portal fiction. However, this newfound doorway isn't an opening to Wonderland and instead beckons the reader into a cruel and indifferent world. With endearing narrator Kara and barista turned wise-cracking cohort Simon, the blend of quirky characters and the highly unconventional setting of the Glory to God Museum of Natural Wonders, Curiosities and Taxidermy might make this story more accessible to readers who don't typically favor cosmic horror.

Some might find the momentum sluggish to start as the author crafts three-dimensional foundations of the two characters. That quickly changes with the discovery of an impossible hallway behind a wall of the museum—transforming the story into something insidious and consuming. There is a slow build of terror, a feeling throughout of wrongness that creeps and worms itself around. The novel manages eeriness in both the landscape and what resides there without resorting to undue gore. The imagery is hauntingly beautiful, yet decidedly uneasy as the characters explore this foreign world. Finding their way back is fraught with seen and unseen danger and this is only the beginning. The Hollow Places is a clever read, harrowing and still darkly entertaining.