Brian Keene's 'Dark Hollow': A Review

Dark Hollow
Dark Hollow

Click here to find a copy of this chilling story.

 

Pages: 305

Rating: ****

When I finished 'Ghost Walk' I was so awestruck that I had to read 'Dark Hollow' just to get the full spectrum of the story in it's entirety. I know that I should have read 'Dark hollow' first as 'Ghost Walk' came later, but at the time, I didn't realize it was a sequel. Regardless, what I found was that both stories, set around the same time with a few similar characters, are two entirely different tales surround LeHorn's Hollow, and for that, I'm grateful to Mr. Keene.

The locals have passed down the gruesome tale of how Nelson LeHorn went crazy, murdered his wife and disappeared. While no one knows for sure exactly what happened on that fateful night, most have their speculations. People have such a way of fabricating the truth that the lines between reality and fallacy are blurred. Although, when local author Adam Senft and his wife Tara start noticing that many of the town's women have gone missing, they start to wonder if the heart of the mystery revolves around the shadow clad Hollow. When Tara is the next to vanish, Adam quickly suspects that the cause is supernatural. The local authorities dismiss Adam's conclusion, thinking it's just his over active writers imagination. Determined to rescue his wife, Adam and a few of the local men head into the center of LeHorn's Hollow in search of answers. The inside of the Hollow defies all human comprehension. The trees seem to move on their own, and the boys find themselves stalked by a truly menacing creature. What secrets will be uncovered inside the Hollow? More importantly, will Adam and his crew be powerful enough to stop it?

I won't dwell on a comparison with 'Ghost Walk', but I must say that I'm glad they seem like two totally different stories. While it's a good idea to read 'Dark Hollow' first, it isn't necessary as each story can stand on it's own. With that said, Keene has done well with his tale of man vs. demonic creature. Right from the beginning, you are drawn into feeling sympathetic toward Adam and Tara. While they seem to enjoy the moderate successes of Adam's writing career, their marriage has had it's share of heartbreak. Keene's skills for writing excellent characters, expertly draw the reader into sharing in Adam's various heartaches. The story itself is a tad on the weaker side. It's a lot of guys on the front porch discussing the situation for the first part of the book. Think King of the Hill where all the males congregate in the back alley. For me, the story didn't pick up until Adam and the boys decide to head into the heart of the Hollow. Once all Hell breaks loose, then all the real fun begins. The characters on the other hand are great. I found myself siding with Adam since many of the decisions he made, and the feelings he had are the same view points that I would have. Each of the neighbors seem to pop right off the pages. I'm going to grant 'Dark Hollow' four stars. While the characters are great, it seems like such a shame they aren't given a stellar plot.

Have you read any stories by Brian Keene? What do you think of him as a writer?

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