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Hollow Kingdom (2019)

by Kira Jane Buxton

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4152944,953 (4.08)51
One pet crow fights to save humanity from an apocalypse in this uniquely hilarious debut from a genre-bending literary author. S.T., a domesticated crow, is a bird of simple pleasures: hanging out with his owner Big Jim, trading insults with Seattle's wild crows (those idiots), and enjoying the finest food humankind has to offer: Cheetos ®. Then Big Jim's eyeball falls out of his head, and S.T. starts to feel like something isn't quite right. His most tried-and-true remedies--from beak-delivered beer to the slobbering affection of Big Jim's loyal but dim-witted dog, Dennis--fail to cure Big Jim's debilitating malady. S.T. is left with no choice but to abandon his old life and venture out into a wild and frightening new world with his trusty steed Dennis, where he discovers that the neighbors are devouring each other and the local wildlife is abuzz with rumors of dangerous new predators roaming Seattle. Humanity's extinction has seemingly arrived, and the only one determined to save it is a foul-mouthed crow whose knowledge of the world around him comes from his TV-watching education. Hollow Kingdom is a humorous, big-hearted, and boundlessly beautiful romp through the apocalypse and the world that comes after, where even a cowardly crow can become a hero.… (more)

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» See also 51 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
I first learned of Hollow Kingdom, authored by Kira Jane Buxton, by the author herself in a Twitter thread created just for that purpose, to let authors elevate their works. I borrowed my copy from my local library, but as most of those go for me, I intend to purchase a copy. What follows below is my honest review, freely given.

I rated this novel 5 stars. The premise sounded so unique, an end of humanity event told from the viewpoint of animals, how was I to resist. I was thrilled to learn that a sequel will be coming out Aug. 24th 2021, titled Feral Creatures, so I wanted to mention it here to help spread the word, I know I can’t wait.

I had to pause reading this several times due to making sure reviews for books with release dates coming up were completed on time, not because the book was in any way dis-interesting. Luckily, falling back into the narrative was as easy as opening to my bookmarked page.

It sounds wrong to say this was a feel-good read, but there were whole chapters that I felt quite chuffed. The author made a brilliant (and successful) effort to give each creature a wholly recognizable species traits and separate personality; I would sit there thinking, spot on – seagulls really be vibing that way- how astute. In typical animal lover fashion, humanity dying off was on the back burner for me most of the novel; sad face but tell me more about Aura, why do some animals get cool titles, and did I just stan two fictional crows from one interaction (I really really did). Until the author reminded me this is a post-apocalyptic novel, with humans being a little slow getting the message about dying off quickly, which sounds like something we would do, selfish pricks. She brought the dread, I had moments where I would say she dipped her toes into horror, dark fiction at the very least. I did cry, I’m an emotional reader. My husband came into the room where I was reading at the moment I was crying, his first reaction is never to check if I am holding a book, bless him.

This novel was a perfect read for me, and I think for people who enjoy fantasy, and a little bit of comedy in their reading, this may be perfect for you too. I eagerly look forward to the sequel Feral Creatures out this summer. ( )
  quackzombie | Jan 21, 2021 |
Painfully funny at time, true heroes, daring rescues, unnecessary swearing, all the things. ( )
  tatere | Dec 30, 2020 |
What an incredibly creative and bizarre take on the zombie apocalypse! I'm not going to beat around the bush -- I love this book!

S.T. (short for shit turd) is a happy domesticated crow. The world has his human, Big Jim, all the cheetos he can eat, and a great dog named Dennis for him to annoy. His life is perfect. Until.....

Big Jim's eyeball falls out. And he starts acting strange. Then ALL the people start acting strange. Even a quick fly to CVS for things to help isn't enough to fix the problem at home.....so good ol' S.T. hits the road with his pal, Dennis, to find out what's going on. What's left for a crow who really liked being a pet and for his hound dog sidekick once human beings are gone? What comes after? And....are there still cheetos?

All right -- before I get much further -- this book has cussing. Be aware and pass it by if this bothers you. This is not a book for kids....it's for adults who want a fun romp through the zombified end of humanity and the aftermath. If you are ok with humans being referred to as MoFos, a crow named Shit Turd, and some F-bombs and other various colorful metaphors....then pick up this book and enjoy zombies from a bird's eye view.

My favorite character in the entire book (despite only being in a couple pages) is Genghis Cat. I laughed so hard I snorted. :)

So funny, creative and totally entertaining. Any book that makes me snort....and laugh....and read passages to my husband....gets full stars from me. I will definitely read more by this author! :)

**I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.** ( )
1 vote JuliW | Nov 22, 2020 |
Buxton's first novel is the funniest and most unique title I read this year. Set against the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse, Hollow Kingdom celebrates the creativity and wonder of the natural world while poking reverent fun at the human world as seen from the perspective of a TV-watching, CHEETOS®-loving pet crow (S.T., which stands for a name I can't put in print) who realizes something is very, very wrong with his owner and best friend, Big Jim. S.T. sets out with Dennis, Big Jim's lovable (but mostly useless, as far as S.T. Is concerned) bloodhound, to see if he can set things right. Buxton's sense of humor is clever and never becomes tiresome (though it is rife with profanity!) but this story also touches on deeper themes about the environment, the natural world, courage, and friendship. ( )
  bookappeal | Oct 31, 2020 |
Reading Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton felt especially apropos in our current world melting pot of a pandemic and its attending unprecedented fatalities, added to government ineptitude, climate change, drought, fires, hurricanes, political battlegrounds, etc., all mixed with our increasing dependence on technology in the form of beeping, ringing, shiny rectangles we can’t seem to look away from. The story’s mix of humor (and there is a lot of it), touching scenes, and triumphant moments blend together in a poignant and beautifully written apocalyptic fairytale in which the sentience of the animal kingdom takes center stage. One reviewer aptly called it a “mashup of Dawn of the Dead and The Incredible Journey.” I concur.

S.T. the crow, a brainy, cursing, sarcastic expert on humans, emerges as an apocalyptic hero with his keen intelligence and his obsession for Cheetos. A celebration of interspecies communication and cooperation, Hollow Kingdom is a tale one won’t soon forget.

Along with comical moments as seen through the eyes of S.T. are phrases so perfectly reflective that they take our breath away and leave us with a deeper sense of connection to nature and the world and the beings around us: “we fall in love with each moment, singing to a moon that has loved us since we were stars.”

It is this knowledge of our shared and splintered past that S.T. offers as a promise of shared hope on the journey forward toward a new tomorrow. ( )
  LoriFox | Oct 24, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Buxton takes a joyfully original approach to apocalyptic fiction. See, instead of us humans being the focal point in the story of our own extinction, it's the plethora of life that we leave behind that takes center stage.
 
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One pet crow fights to save humanity from an apocalypse in this uniquely hilarious debut from a genre-bending literary author. S.T., a domesticated crow, is a bird of simple pleasures: hanging out with his owner Big Jim, trading insults with Seattle's wild crows (those idiots), and enjoying the finest food humankind has to offer: Cheetos ®. Then Big Jim's eyeball falls out of his head, and S.T. starts to feel like something isn't quite right. His most tried-and-true remedies--from beak-delivered beer to the slobbering affection of Big Jim's loyal but dim-witted dog, Dennis--fail to cure Big Jim's debilitating malady. S.T. is left with no choice but to abandon his old life and venture out into a wild and frightening new world with his trusty steed Dennis, where he discovers that the neighbors are devouring each other and the local wildlife is abuzz with rumors of dangerous new predators roaming Seattle. Humanity's extinction has seemingly arrived, and the only one determined to save it is a foul-mouthed crow whose knowledge of the world around him comes from his TV-watching education. Hollow Kingdom is a humorous, big-hearted, and boundlessly beautiful romp through the apocalypse and the world that comes after, where even a cowardly crow can become a hero.

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