Review The Hollow Gods

Dark Fantasy, Mystery. 409 pages.

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?

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This time we enter the world of A.J. Varna a Serbian-Canadian academic and writer from Toronto, Canada.

Her published works include The Chaos Cycle Duology: The Hollow Gods (2020) and The Echoed Realm (2021) from The Parliament House Press, and a short supernatural horror story, These Silent Walls (2020), printed in Three Crows Magazine.

Let’s dive right in.

First Impressions

At first what called more my attention was the premise of this fable being so dark that this little town will make anything in their power to ensure no girl lost in the woods will come back to corrupt the town.

We do have an interesting line of thinking in this town that’s for sure, almost at the middle it seems to pick up a little but the beginning it’s very slow actually with some things here and there that catch a little attention.


Mason, he is a very nice character trying to see a little light in a lot of dark things that have happened to him, very easygoing in a way, but at the same we see a little tortured soul in him

Miya, is what we can say our second protagonist here, she is a you woman trying to figure out how to better her life after a series of events that took her on a very delicate path, we understand she is battling a lot with her emotions

Kai, is the most complex characters of them all, and in a way he is not that big at all, mostly basic in his instincts.

Final Thoughts

Overall I can’t say it’s a bad book, but it didn’t worked that great for me in a way, I waited so long for the mystery to be revealed or to know what was happening I finished it mostly because I wanted closure on it to say I did read it to the end.

By the end at last you can get a hold of something in the story, and begin to understand a little of what’s happening but for me at least, I was more relieved that I was at the end that having any real satisfaction with the plot anymore.

It did have a closure at the very end, but I don’t know, I think on some point the book lost me for good and it wasn’t bad just it wasn’t my style, but I can recommend it for anyone who like deep dark fantasy and don’t mind to have a slow pace in a while.

See if it appeals to you, read the first chapter

Let’s char, have you read yet? Do you like dark fairy tales?


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