“Hollow Kingdom,” by Kira Jane Buxton, is a humbling read. While this book is fiction, audiences will begin to see their surroundings transform, especially if they live in the Seattle area. The author is local to me; I was transported to a post-apocalyptic Pacific Northwest landscape where all of the grass and other plant life is overgrown — the ivy that once crawled up buildings in an artistic way now engulfing them.
Though there is also beauty in this dystopian terrain.
“. . . I was surrounded by devastatingly beautiful things. None of it called attention to itself, no preening and crowing here. Everything just was what it was, intricately complex and simply stunning,” said by our main character — a very clever domesticated crow. Yes, a crow.
All of our main and supporting characters are animals, and no, they don’t speak English — except our crow friend, of course. Due to a cause that becomes clear later in the book, humans are no longer what they once were. It is now up to the freed fauna to save domestic animals from the confines of their homes — closed doors and windows are a problem when you have no opposable thumbs.
During one of the most suspenseful scenes in the book, my stomach was tied in anticipatory knots and I became nauseated with uncertainty. Luckily, relief washed over me a time or two, enabling me to let out breaths I hadn’t realized I was holding. Make sure you have a box of tissues next to you once you’ve reached the halfway mark. I’m not saying the water works will begin then; I just want you to be ready when the time comes . . . and it will.
Kira Jane Buxton blew me away with the use and consistency of the vernacular throughout her book. So much so that I would love to see the style guide for her manuscript!
She is a first-time author whose style is that of someone who has been writing masterpieces for years.
I follow Kira Jane Buxton on Instagram and recently found out that she is releasing a sequel to “Hollow Kingdom” in August 2021 called "Feral Creatures." I am thrilled! I need to know what happens next.
As I said in the beginning of this review, “Hollow Kingdom” is humbling. It enlightened me. Though technology makes our lives easier, it also shifts our focus and sometimes becomes our focus. There is beauty in this world, if we’d only step outside the confines of our homes to thoroughly appreciate it.