Today I am a part of the book tour for The Hollow Gods by A.J Vrana provided by Storytellers on Tour. This book was like nothing I have read before and if you love a dark tale mixed with ancient folklore you are sure to love this story! Please check out everyone else's posts for this incredible book.
The Hollow Gods by A. J. Vrana
Published: July 28, 2020 by The Parliament House
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Horror, Magical Realism
Age Group: New Adult / Adult
Black Hollow is a town with a dark secret.
For centuries, residents have foretold the return of the Dreamwalker—an ominous figure from local folklore said to lure young women into the woods and possess them. Yet the boundary between fact and fable is blurred by a troubling statistic: occasionally, women do go missing. And after they return, they almost always end up dead.
When Kai wakes up next to the lifeless body of a recently missing girl, his memory blank, he struggles to clear his already threadbare conscience.
Miya, a floundering university student, experiences signs that she may be the Dreamwalker’s next victim. Can she trust Kai as their paths collide, or does he herald her demise?
And after losing a young patient, crestfallen oncologist, Mason, embarks on a quest to debunk the town’s superstitions, only to find his sanity tested.
A maelstrom of ancient grudges, forgotten traumas, and deadly secrets loom in the foggy forests of Black Hollow. Can three unlikely heroes put aside their fears and unite to confront a centuries-old evil? Will they uncover the truth behind the fable, or will the cycle repeat?
My Rating: 4*
The Hollow Gods is a dark tale that blurs the line between reality and myth and makes the reader question what is reality. A small town named Black Hollow has been plagued by a dark fable for hundreds of years that haunt all of the residents; the forest is home to the Dream Walker who along with her wolves kidnaps young girls. The girls always come back but the families claim they are different and have been possessed by the Dream Walker and so they are killed.
The book focuses on 3 people with each chapter from one of their point of views:
Miya is a young woman who struggles with anxiety, depression and insomnia, she never believed in the old folklore that runs through the town but when she starts to have weird dreams she begins to think she is going crazy and that the Dream Walker is coming for her next.
Kai is a young man who has secrets of his own, never letting anyone get too close to him until he meets Miya one night in the park and everything changes for him.
Mason is an oncologist at the hospital in the city but ends up running from his own problems to Black Hollow thinking that this quiet town is the perfect place to grieve and take a break but little does he know that his adventure is only just getting started.
Each character’s chapter may be labelled but they all have such a distinctive voice and characterisation that you know exactly who’s who and getting into each ones head really shows you what they’re thinking.
Of course, one way or another, these very different people do cross each other’s path and although they are all completely different they come together during a troubling time for the town to try and figure out what is happening to stop the town’s people from falling into the madness that the folklore of the Dream Walker brings. Not all is as dark as it seems, there is a slight romantic subplot full of flirty banter and sexual tension but this doesn’t take anything away from the main plot and actually fits quite nicely.
Beneath all of the folklore, the reader discovers that it is not just a journey to find the history and change the future for the town but is also a story about finding one’s true self and the belief that not everything is just black and white but has a hidden depth.
The setting of the story is really thoughtfully written, fully immersing the reader into the world of the sinister forest and yet still providing a magical aspect that is hidden underneath all of the madness.
The ending has a nice little twist to it that has been building up slowly throughout the book with hints here and there and leaves it open for the readers to think about. I think there is going to be a second book and the ending sets it up nicely so I can’t wait to read the next one and find out what else is in store for Miya, Kai and Mason.
If you enjoy dark tales with aspects of magical realism and books that really make you think then The Hollow Gods is the perfect read for you!
About the Author:
A. J. Vrana is a Serbian-Canadian academic and writer from Toronto, Canada. She lives with her two rescue cats, Moonstone and Peanut Butter, who nest in her window-side bookshelf and cast judgmental stares at nearby pigeons. Her doctoral research examines the supernatural in modern Japanese and former-Yugoslavian literature and its relationship to violence. When not toiling away at caffeine-fueled, scholarly pursuits, she enjoys jewelry-making, cupcakes, and concocting dark tales to unleash upon the world.
Enter the giveaway here to be in with a chance of winning a poster of your new favourite wolf, Kai in The Hollow Gods!
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!