House of Hollow: A Great Halloween Read

A Great Halloween Read – House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland
When they were children, sisters Grey, Vivi, and Iris Hollow went missing in front of their parents’ eyes. One moment they were there and the next they were gone. Exactly one month later, they returned like nothing had happened. Though they were unharmed, they were…different. Dark hair turned white, blue eyes turned black, they all gained a uniform half-moon scar at the base of their throats, and a constant uneasy feeling sat inside them. Without memory of what happened to them, but lucky to be alive, the sisters try to get on with life.
As years go on, Grey moves out and becomes a world-famous model, Vivi joins a band and tours the world, and Iris is stuck at home. She attempts to stay focused in high school, keep to herself, and be normal despite the oddness that sticks to her like tar. All seems well when horned figures start following Iris and memories of her disappearance start to reappear. When the eldest sister, Grey, goes missing, Iris and Vivi know that their past is back to haunt them. While retracing Grey’s steps and finding the bizarre clues her sister left, Iris realizes that in order to save her sister, she must first decipher what happened to her as a child. But as they get closer to uncovering the truth, Iris and Vivi unravel the lies and secrets their older sister kept from them.
“House of Hollow” by Krystal Sutherland is a gothic-paranormal fiction book and is quite possibly the weirdest book you’ll ever read. From the very first page until the very last, it is creepy, dark, disturbing, and eerie, making it perfect for autumn and Halloween time! This book could be categorized in so many different genres– it’s that strange.
The reviews on the cover include “This haunting modern fairy tale will wrap you up like a glittering fog before going for your throat” and “Wonderfully creepy and full of unnerving supernatural flourishes.” Those reviews perfectly explain why this book’s world is one of my favorites, because reading it will instantly transport you into the rainy atmosphere of London with a twist of magic.
The author fully leans into the magical aspect of the world she created, though she still makes it realistic. To the majority of the world, they live like us, with normal, boring, and mundane lives. Yet the sisters know that there’s more to life than what meets the eye, and they fear their disappearance as children has something to do with it. Sutherland writes very lyrically, yet with perfect pace, keeping the readers swept up in the fairy tale. The mystery keeps you wondering and thinking what could have possibly happened and why, following along with clues when suddenly a plot twist will throw itself at you. As each layer of the sister’s disappearance is peeled away, more and more questions will arise, making it impossible to set the book down. Much like the cover, Sutherland twists something that was once beautiful with something grotesque, making you cringe, but unable to stop reading.
Sutherland writes the relationship between her characters so well, it feels as though you are right alongside Iris and Vivi, trying to figure out their sister’s disappearance. Though the bond between the sisters will leave you envious, the question of what happened to them will never be more present. All of the characters have clear development both mentally and physically—in ways you could never begin to guess—which bring out the empowerment aspect in the book.
Sutherland makes the book realistic in the fact that all the sisters know how dangerous the world can be: don’t walk alone at night, don’t dress provocatively, etc. This only fuels the fire for the sisters, who aren’t afraid to use their voices or their strength to protect themselves. Sutherland especially drives this point home through Grey, who is no stranger to the unwelcome eyes of men, what with her being a model. This theme is talked about quite a lot, but the empowerment doesn’t stop there. Three of the main characters are queer, which further proves how authentic Sutherland’s characters are, and gives the queer community a boost of confidence and a feeling of likeness and comfortability with the characters.
Overall, “House of Hollow” by Krystal Sutherland is a must-read, especially during the spooky season. This story has an interactive and compelling plot, the characters are relatable and the bonds between them are unlike any other. The author knows what she’s doing, and there’s no question that she’s good at it.