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Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Review: Hollow Pike by James Dawson

Title: Hollow Pike
Series: Not Confirmed
Publisher: Indigo
Publication Date: 2 Feb 2012
Challenge: DAB and BBC

Synopsis from Goodreads

Something wicked this way comes... She thought she'd be safe in the country, but you can't escape your own nightmares, and Lis London dreams repeatedly that someone is trying to kill her. Lis thinks she's being paranoid - after all who would want to murder her? She doesn't believe in the local legends of witchcraft. She doesn't believe that anything bad will really happen to her. You never do, do you? Not until you're alone in the woods, after dark - and a twig snaps... Hollow Pike - where witchcraft never sleeps.


I make no bones about this one, this is going to be a gushy 5 glorious angel loves, so you really really NEED to read this book. James's writing literally swept me away. I started reading the first chapter one evening too tired to concentrate I decided to wait until the following day. This also happened to be the last day of the Christmas holidays. I could not put it down, seriously it is that FREAKIN'AWESOME. So what if the first day back in school was rapidly approaching as I read through the small hours of the night. I could not have asked for a better back-drop either as the rain was lashing against the windows and the wind was howling around the chimney.

The third person narrative keeps tight reign over the plot, a necessary device when the plot is a twisty turny twisty thing. I was hooked. The central character, Lis, is WELSH *cheers* now that for a start gave it a big fat bonus from me. Plus James has the welsh tone depicted perfectly in Sarah, Lis's sister, believe me I know being welsh and all [ ; D ] Lis has left her home in Bangor to live with her older sister due to atrocious bullying. The emotions and behavior depicted as a victim of bullying was poignantly portrayed within the narrative and it was only after reading the book that I found out James specialized in Bullying and Behavior during his time as a teacher. His experience really shines through within the story.

I am not going into too much detail about the plot as YOU HAVE TO  READ IT. I will say that right from the very beginning it is apparent that Lis is very intuitive. This is re-enforced by the mention of past events by her sister.

The atmospheric tension envelopes the senses. Fantastic use of metaphor within the narrative adds to the drama oozing from the pages. James's humour shows through with the Twilight reference and Macbeth has certainly never been used with such fun, easing the white knuckle ride for a moment. Throw a sprinkling of Glee over the top and you have pink glitter coated chills.

All the characters are quite quirky yet portrayed so realistically. I have to say that the quirky touches to the characterisation enriched the overall impact of the plot. I especially adored Danny, through him we are able to see how shallow cliques really are and the dilemma that a lot of teens face - is it easier to join the 'in' crowd with people that you may not necessarily like or be true to yourself and risk being an outsider.

The description of Hollow Pike itself was unnervingly similar to the town I live in; with its bargain shops and disproportionate number of pubs even down to the Italian restaurant. This may just be a very sad reflection of the times that many towns now look like this.

The research that has gone into the witchcraft aspects of this book is unbelievable and very, very impressive adding to the tension and the realism especially with the history of the witch trails woven into the plot.

This book blends important teen issues, teen angst, witchcraft and murder mystery creating a delectable cocktail of a book. Best sipped slowly so you don't miss a single drop.

Huge thank you to Andrew from The Pewter Wolf for winning me a copy of this book *hugs*


  1. I am DYING for this book!! So jealous how early you got it. You've just made me want it even more.

  2. I am so excited about this book, I hadn't realised until today that Lis was Welsh - this has only increased my already very high excitement level to be even higher :D

  3. I have to have this book! I can't wait - may have to badge Nina now mercilessly.

  4. I'm so looking forward to getting my hands on this one! Only thing is, now we've seen your review, I'm going to have to hide it from my teen until I've read it...

  5. Wow, I'm just going to pop this one on the wish list - fantastic review Emma :D

  6. I wanted this one before but bloody hell Emma, your view has made me want to go and picket the indigo offices!! I NEED it! Not long to wait now though, thankfully!

  7. I want this book so much! And your glowing review just made me want it even more.. Roll on February! ;D


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