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Hollow Heart by Ben Eads #BookReview

Welcome to Shady Hills, Florida, where death is the beginning and pain is the only true Art…

Harold Stoe was a proud Marine until an insurgent’s bullet relegated him to a wheelchair. Now the only things he’s proud of are quitting alcohol and raising his sixteen-year-old son, Dale.

But there is an infernal rhythm, beating like a diseased heart from the hollow behind his home. An aberration known as The Architect has finished his masterpiece: A god which slumbers beneath the hollow, hell-bent on changing the world into its own image.

As the body count rises and the neighborhood residents change into mindless, shambling horrors, Harold and his former lover, Mary, begin their harrowing journey into the world within the hollow. If they fail, the hollow will expand to infinity. Every living being will be stripped of flesh and muscle, their nerves wrapped tightly around ribcages, so The Architect can play his sick music through them loud enough to swallow what gives them life: The last vestiges of a dying star.

Title: Hollow Heart | Author: Ben Eads | Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing | Pub. Date: November 29th, 2019 | ASIN: B081HD6VKF | Cover Artist: Ben Baldwin | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: Received for review consideration

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Hollow Heart Review

First off, I want to say that this cover is amazing! The imagery is so great and goes so well with the story itself. I love the colors and the barbed wire and rusted metal. To me that’s always a very creepy aesthetic.

The descriptions match the creepy vibe set up by the cover. I loved the black and white flickery description of him. And his maw. It was pretty cool sounding. I also loved the descriptions of the Hollow Heart and its mechanisms and gears and it just made my rusty aesthetic heart give a happy flutter.

The weakest point I found was in the characters and the plot. The plot moves quickly, sometimes too quickly. There were some points that weren’t expanded on. Like one, The Architect tells our band of survivors (sacrifices, potato potahto) that there is a pedophile in their midst. It kind of gives the impression that the group will have to figure it out and perhaps do something about it. But nah. It’s thrown in later like “Oh, it was this guy” and we haven’t even seen that guy in a while so it’s just like “Oh, ok, glad that cleared itself up.”

It’s not a bad book but there were so many scenes that could have been tighter and the characters were a little uneven. I think they could have been fleshed a little more. The kid especially seemed to go back and forth.

I think this could be a great short story. If a lot of the extras were trimmed out and the characters tightened up a bit more it could be really, really great. I just found their motivations unclear at times and inconsistent.

It’s a fast-paced read with some very cool imagery. Recommended.

Hollow Heart can be found via its Goodreads page or, if you’re as into supporting literacy programs like we are, you can also look for it on Better World Books

Published inHorror Book Reviews

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