This review is spoiler free.
“My sisters. My blood. My skin. What a gruesome bond we shared.”
Published: 2021, by Hot Key Books.
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Fiction, Magical Realism
Contains: Strong Language, Violence, Anger, Blood/Gore, Death, Suicide, Torture, Hospitals, Murder
‘House of Hollow’ follows seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow, who has always been strange. Something happened to her and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats. Iris has spent most of her teenage years trying to avoid the weirdness that sticks to her like tar. But when her eldest sister, Grey, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, Iris learns just how weird her life can get.
This book was quite a spur of the moment purchase, needing another for my ‘Buy One Get One Half Price’ deal in Waterstones. I admittedly didn’t have high expectations about it at first but it didn’t take me long to be convinces. Needless to say, however, I’m so glad I chose this one based off of the gorgeous cover alone.
Iris Hollow is an incredibly strong protagonist, who makes mistakes but we know she had her family’s best interests at heart. She’s determined, desperate to know what her future holds and what cards she was dealt with in the past. She makes for an incredible character, one who simply wants a normal life but has been given the strangest one imaginable. I was fascinated by her.
The other two sisters were incredibly interesting also, Sutherland giving us droplets of information about their history and leaving us to discover the reality of their gruesome lives along with the siblings. It was incredible, Vivi being brash and bold, whilst Grey was confident and elegant, and Iris in between. They covered all areas of the spectrum and it was fascinating to read.
Tyler was another character who was fascinating to read about, being off-handish at first, but gradually softens to the point where he truly cares for the sisters.
Sutherland’s writing style is all confidence with the horror genre, proving what a writer is capable of when they play to their strengths. The characters were strong and three-dimensional, the descriptions were vivid and raw, and the dialogue moved the story forward at a fast, gripping pace. It was truly an incredible read and one I will turn to time and time again.
Overall, I adored this novel, it’s small but concise and I cannot wait to read more of Krystal Sutherland’s work in the future. This was incredible.