Review: The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher

This book is getting every one of my stingy stars!

The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher

Published October 2020

Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon |  Bookshop

Source: Gifted from a lovely friend
A young woman discovers a strange portal in her uncle’s house, leading to madness and terror in this gripping new novel.

Pray they are hungry.

Kara finds these words in the mysterious bunker that she’s discovered behind a hole in the wall of her uncle’s house. Freshly divorced and living back at home, Kara now becomes obsessed with these cryptic words and starts exploring the peculiar bunker—only to discover that it holds portals to countless alternate realities. But these places are haunted by creatures that seem to hear thoughts…and the more you fear them, the stronger they become.  

My 2 Cents For Free!

I loved The Twisted Ones by this author. It was such a pleasure to read so I had high expectations for this one and I was not disappointed! My friend Jen told me The Hollow Places was based on The Willows by Algernon Blackwood and this was exciting because I have actually read and reviewed that short story! Please note: YOU CAN FULLY ENJOY THIS BOOK WITHOUT HAVING READ THE WILLOWS and it’s perfectly okay if you haven’t. Kingfisher takes some of the elements from The Willows and runs wild with them. Here’s my review of The Willows if you haven’t read it and want to learn a little about it:

Kara is newly divorced and better off for it if you ask me and I’m sure you just did. Her husband was quite a toad.

“He hasn’t given a shit about my interests for years. He doesn’t even know the name I write fanfic under. Not that I want him to.”

Hahahaha, I love the way Kingfisher writes.

Kara is pondering moving back in with her mother with great dread. She and mom do not get along so when her Uncle Earl kindly offers her a room if she catalogs his Wonder Museum, a store of oddities, she jumps at the chance. I mean, who wouldn’t want to spend their days cataloging old taxidermy pieces and bizarre finds from all over the world? I want that job. I might even do that job for free. She settles in and feels right at home in the store, where she actually grew up and named a stuffed beast or two that still hangs on the wall, and gets to work. It isn’t long before she discovers a strange hole in the drywall. But what she finds upon closer inspection isn’t drywall and studs but a walled up hallway. 😳 That can’t be good! She enlists the help of Simon, the guy who runs the coffee shop next door, and who dresses better than most anyone I’ll ever know. Together they get down to investigating and adventuring and running for their lives! There is no funny business going on between them and I loved to see it. They both have a quirky sense of humor and their dynamic is a joy and really makes the book something special.The dialogue is light-hearted and a dream to read:

“We’re not in a horror movie Simon.

How do you know?

Because one of us would have to be spunky and virginal.”

I love these two weirdos so much.

Anyhow, what they find has to be read to be believed. It’s wild, weird, and exceptionally creepy and I’m not going to spoil you but you will likely be giving willows the side-eye for the rest of your days. The imagery is vividly disturbing and the premise pretty darn creepy.

I knew I was going to adore this book the moment Kara started talking about her strained relationship with her mother in such a comical and realistic way and I was not let down or left disappointed at any point. I loved every moment of this often horrifying wild ride and I highly recommend it if you enjoy a little humor with your horror. If you’re a snob who doesn’t like these things, you’ve been warned and I can’t help ya. I’ll be over here loving what I love and this is one of the things I will love and cherish always.



  1. I love when an author makes me laugh! Even when the rest of the book creeps me out. :D

    1. Right?! I wish more characters had a sense of humor.

  2. Oh this sounds so good. I love the way you explained it. Thanks for the great review.

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Mary! I hope you get a chance to read it. It's a lot of creepy fun.

  3. "Because one of us would have to be spunky and virginial." Haha, I love it when a dark book has a sense of humor among all the scary stuff.

    1. Those little breaks of humor are needed so much sometimes!

  4. I loved this too! Kingfisher writes the best dialog😁

  5. Portals to other worlds- i always love those. Love that dialogue too. :)

  6. I love the cover of this one so much! I need to snag this one asap!!


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