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Review: Hollowland by Amanda Hocking

HollowlandTitle: Hollowland
Author: Amanda Hocking
Series: Hollows # 1
Genre:  Zombies, Apocalypse
Source:  Smashwords
Format: E-book
Pub. Year: Dec. 7, 2010
Purchase: Amazon/ B&N/Smashwords
I receive this book free of charge of Smashwords. in exchange for an honest review. It is still available free of charge. Just click on any of the purchase links.

Blurb from Amazon:
“This is the way the world ends – not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door.”

Nineteen-year-old Remy King is on a mission to get across the wasteland left of America, and nothing will stand in her way – not violent marauders, a spoiled rock star, or an army of flesh-eating zombies.

Thoughts to ponder on: The effective use of combat boots

I love zombies movies, I don’t find zombies sexy like I do vampires but I love watching zombies movies on TV. This is my first reading of zombies in literature and I have to say as good as it was, it definitely reminded me of a SyFy movie with its campiness and predictable nature except for that twist of an ending.

Remy, the main character, is a kick-ass heroine and doesn’t shy away from the goriness of killing zombies. She’s a very hard person because she does leave the infected behind but she’s also willing to come back for them if they are in a danger so that makes a her a great leader. Hocking created a heroine that sticks to who she is all the way through the book, not even a love interest keeps her from completing her goal of finding her brother.

I liked the majority of the cast. Blue as the group’s doctor, Lazlo’s as Remy’s love interest, and Harlow as the friend of Remy. They all seemed one-dimensional at first but eventually (some) become three-dimensional. For example,  Harlow as a 13 year old was immature and wanted the comforts of life in this zombie-infected world. Throughout the book, she gradually realizes that life is not going to be what it was before the infection and gradually adapts to it. I feel that Harlow and Lazlo’s character are the one who grew up the most in one book.

Maybe I watched way too many zombies movies that lead me to predict most of the book. Let me tell you what I did not predict. The Lion (oh, I love that zombie-killing lion)  and the ending (ohh, twisty and I already bought the second book). The lion and  her fascination with eating zombies is something I don’t understand but I can live it. I’m totally not ruining the ending for you but it is good.

What did I predict? The casino in Las Vegas; the cult in Las Vegas, a mercenary band, the military, Remy’s infection and her brother’s immunity (this is not spoiler, it is pretty much given away in the first couple of pages and if it is, I’m so sorry I ruined it for you).  After Remy and her crew are rescued by the military police in Idaho, that’s where  I sort of  lost my mojo in predicting where this book was heading.

This book is getting 4.5 stars because it was a fun read and it was very entertaining. Like a good zombie movie, it has very creative ways of killing zombies and there is always someone with immunity. Remy is a great heroine who is really admirable and I hope to be when zombie apocalypse happens.


4.5 BB-Ready for capture, Total keeper

3rd  book in the 150+ Challenge
Also qualifies for: Self Published, Dystopia, Science Fiction, 1st in A Series, E-Book, Zombie, Cupcake War, Why Buy The Cow? and Where are you reading?- Las Vegas

Review: Cameron’s Law by Mia Darien

Cameron's LawTitle: Cameron’s Law
Author: Mia Darien
Series: Adelheid # 1
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy, Vampire
Source: Smashwords
Format: E-book
Pub. Year: Dec.26, 2011
Purchase: Smashwords, Amazon
I receive this book free of charge from Smashwords in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb from Smashwords:
Vampires are people, too. Cameron’s Law says so. Vampire and public face Sadie Stanton called Adelheid, CT home and it attracts a lot of attention. It attracts a lot more when vampires start attacking werewolves without provocation. Can Sadie keep the community from descending into chaos and war before it brings all of to harm? And can she do it when she herself gets thrust into the spotlight?

What I will remember: Definitely not a Sookie Stackhouse book

I’m going to label this book as an oddity for now. It reads like a slice of life for Sadie Stanton running a preternatural agency with some paranormal elements thrown in for good measure. The book has vampires and werewolves (and shifters) but they are really reserved and conservative. This could be in part because Darien doesn’t show a more basic animalistic version of any of the characters except three times and they don’t feel right. So much of the action and suspense is happening off the pages and in locations where Sadie is not there that the book feels really tame.

This book is missing a heartbeat. It flows like one straight line with very few interruptions to that line. Sadie Stanton is the protagonist of this book; she is a strong female character because she can kick ass and defend herself….and I have no idea what she looks like except that she is 5’4. Her style of clothing, her hair color, her eyes, body build are completely not mention. Darien knows what her character looks like but I sure don’t. It bothers me that I don’t know but at the same time, it’s not like it stopped me from reading. Her actions scenes (plus the one romantic scene) are tame as well; they don’t spike my heart. I do have to applaud Darien for not having Sadie have sex with Vance in one book. There was something tragically broken about Sadie holding a torch for Cameron, an old flame.

Cameron was an interesting “concept.” I thought it was really tragic and nice that the he had a law named after him. He was the lover of Sadie who was killed during what I would called the civil rights movement for the preternatural. He’s an idea but also a person.

I personally like the secondary characters and minor characters better than the main characters. They had interesting “titles.” There was an  animator Summoner  who can summon demons, a lawyer that specializes in demon law, Dakota the bounty hunter, and a few others that I thought were interesting because of their abilities and uniqueness to the story. I especially like the medical examiner, Carl Wright with his lack of humor. I love how the medical examiner always tend to be a quirky character. Even  Gabriel, the pack master, was interesting and he wasn’t involved much in the book. Sad thing is that besides Dakota, they only showed up once and are forgotten…mostly.

The ending was unsatisfying in that its too neatly wrapped up. We conveniently find out why vampires are attacking werewolves and it has a scientific explanation which is great but the information is relayed through a third source; not through Sadie or the mad scientist himself. Sadie’s prison breakout is forgotten; Dakota conveniently calls the cops and rescues Madison and Sadie.  It’s too neat and easy. Endings for series are meant to be like a horror movie ending. The protagonists think the murderer is dead only to discover his body is missing and we have to see sequel to find out what happens next. Cameron’s Law doesn’t have that feeling. It can stand as a standalone which is a good thing but it is part of a brand new series and I feel there should have been plot bunnies drops in the book in order to build anticipation for the next book.

It’s an oddity for me, this book. I read it through one sitting and never thought “I have to stop reading” so it was entertaining. At the same time, there are things that are heavily lacking such as physical descriptions of the character, more bite to the supernatural creatures, and more intensity. I would prefer a messy ending but that it is just me. I like Cameron’s Law, I do but I’m not sure if it’s memorable enough for me to remember. With that being said, I’m giving this book a 3.5 because it is above a 3 but it doesn’t quite reach a 4. It would have garner a rating of 4 if there was more character description.


3.5-Pretty to look at, maybe capture

1st book in the 150+Challenge
Other challenges it qualifies for: Self-Published, Why Buy The Cow, 1st in A series, E-book, Where are you reading? (Colorado)

2012 Self-Published Reading Challenge

I love Indie books. I have so many in my Kindle that I haven’t gotten around to reading and that I’m going to wait to read so they count for this challenge. I constantly check on Amazon and Smashwords new and free e-books section (Barnes and Nobles not so much even though that is where I get paper copies of the books). This challenge is right up my alley.

Details: From January 1, 2o12 to December 31, 2012
Hosted by WorkADay Reads


  1. Sentence – 5 books
  2. Paragraph- 10 books
  3. Page – 25 books
  4. Chapter – 50 books
  5. Short Story – 75 books
  6. Novel – 100 books
  7. Series – 150 books

I’m going for Chapter so 5o books in total.

  1. Cameron’s Law by Mia Darien
  2. Trouble Brewing by Edward Winslow
  3. Killing Faith by Eric Meyer
  4. Finding Alice by Andrea DiGiglio
  5. All’s Fair in Vanities War by Elizabeth Marx
  6. Destined by Jessie Harrell
  7. Farsighted by Emily Chand
  8. Dark Visions by Jonas Saul
  9. The Emerald City by J.A Beard
  10. Intangible by J. Meyers
  11. Thoughtless by Jacqueline Gardner
  12. Killer Bytes by Alan Williams
  13. Dead Man Walking by Marty Shaw
  14. Kiss Me, I’m Irish by Bella Street
  15. The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle
  16. The Annihilation of Foreverland by Tony Bertauski
  17. The Secret of the Scarlet Stone by T.L Clarke
  18. Awakening by Karice Bolton
  19. The Faustian Host by Dave Becker
  20. Hym and Hur by Philip Frey
  21. The Flower Bowl Spell by Olivia Boler
  22. Spirits in Trees by Morgan Hannah MacDonald
  23. Guardian of Fate by L.J Kentowski
  24. Zan by Dalya Moon
  25. Waiting for Daybreak– Amanda McNeil
  26. Dust– Devon Ashley
  27. The Z Word-Bella Street
  28. Flight– Alyssa Rose Ivy