- House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland
Trade ed. ISBN 9780593110348 $18.99
E-book ed. ISBN 9780593110355 $10.99
Reviewed from digital galleys R* Gr. 8–12
The Hollow sisters captured global attention ten years ago when they vanished from a small road in Scotland only to reappear in the same place a month later, mostly uninjured but with no memory of what happened to them. Enigmatic and gorgeous, the two older sisters now thrive on attention and chaos—Grey’s a fashion icon and Vivi is in a punk band—but seventeen-year-old Iris craves normalcy. Unfortunately, any façade of a simple life goes out the window when Grey goes missing again, and Vivi and Iris find themselves hunted by a menacing man while they follow the bizarre and dangerous clues Grey seems to have left them, leading them right back to that Scottish road. This is slow-burn horror with imagery steeped in the senses: the sour smell of rot and decaying bodies, the hot iron taste of a bloody mouth, the sight of an ant crawling out of a wound and rank flowers being pulled from bone-deep cuts. Readers familiar with changeling lore might have an idea of where this is going, but the tale takes several unpredictable and disturbing turns, and Sutherland maximizes tension by playing into familiar tropes and then tearing away from them with a disorienting but intriguing suddenness. Shadowed by her two larger than life siblings, Iris is authentic in her reluctance to play the rescuer to her older sister, especially when the story Grey told them of their past becomes more and more suspicious. The ending manages to be both horrific and heartbreaking, and fans of Stewart’s The Sacrifice Box (BCCB 9/18) or Barraclough’s Long Lankin (BCCB 9/12) will appreciate the book’s lingering chill.