book review, fantasy, romance

The Hollow Gods by A J Vrana

The small Canadian town of Black Hollow has a horrible secret. For hundreds of years, young women have been lured into the woods by wolves and possessed by the spirit of the Dreamwalker. They return to their families forever changed.

The cycle appears to be repeating, but what parts to play have college dropout Miya, oncologist Mason, and shape shifter Kai, in this centuries old dance?

A dark fantasy novel with folklore, magic, dreams and shape shifters? Yes please! I love all of those things, yet somehow I didn’t love The Hollow Gods.

It took me a while to figure out why I was struggling to make my way through this book. It is competently written and has subject matter that interests me, yet it took me months to finish.

I concluded that it was the unusual approach to third person limited narration that kept me distant from the characters and drumming my fingers at the pacing.

The book is divided between Miya, whose chapters have a descriptive quality that focuses on the magical; Kai, who swears a lot and whose chapters are littered with crass metaphors; and Mason, whose chapters focus on the facts.

Written in third person, the narration seems bogged down in repetition and introspection, and lacks the broader view of the world that I love about third person, where the author leaves a lot of plot and character development for the reader to infer.

When I turned the chapters into first person in my head, the changes in the voice to suit the characters made sense, and I found the writing much more engaging.

As far as the plot goes, it’s an intriguing examination of repeating cycles involving the same souls looking for completion to their story. I don’t think there is quite enough plot to stretch it out to the duology as planned, but perhaps if I was more interested in romance I would have enjoyed the stretching out of the story.

I award The Hollow Gods

The Hollow Gods is available for $5.92 ebook and $14.99 print book on Amazon.


I received a free copy from Netgalley and I’m voluntarily leaving an honest review.

3 thoughts on “The Hollow Gods by A J Vrana”

  1. This sounds SO familiar. I definitely haven’t read the book, but I wonder if it was a DNF for me: great story but just didn’t click with the writing style. Sorry to hear it was only a 2 star for you. Well, on to the next book!

    Liked by 1 person

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