Title/Author: Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
In a nutshell (Publisher):
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.
Verdict: A whole lot of Shit Turd! And I want more!
My thoughts: Shit-Turd (S.T), a domesticated crow, armed with his TV-educated mind (including survival tips from Jackie Chan and Steve Jobs), an unquenchable love for Cheetos and MoFos (humans also known as Hollows by the fauna) and Dennis, an adorable bloodhound, set out to save the world and humanity, and what’s left of it.
Driven by determination and help from friends and birds of all feathers, there was no stopping to this dynamic duo who faced the zombie apocalypse claws-and-paws on; not tigers, not bears, not rabies-infected African painted dogs, not even slithering Leopard snakes can stand in their way!
Albeit the slow middle, S.T’s plucky personality and hilarious but wise observations of the human world, paired with Dennis the bloodhound, a loyal, slobbering sweetheart, propelled the book. Not forgetting Genghis Cat (My oh my, what cattitude! LOL) and Winnie the Poodle too, whose brief appearances and account on the apocalypse were like that salt and pepper you never thought you’d need until you had it.
If you’re in need of a laugh, read this. A little warning though: Just be prepared to get your heart broken. I won’t say more.
Title/Author: The Haunting of Tram Car 015
Publisher: Tor Publishing
In a nutshell (Publisher): Cairo, 1912: The case started as a simple one for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities — handling a possessed tram car.
Soon, however, Agent Hamed Nasr and his new partner Agent Onsi Youssef are exposed to a new side of Cairo stirring with suffragettes, secret societies, and sentient automatons in a race against time to protect the city from an encroaching danger that crosses the line between the magical and the mundane.
Verdict: If you’ve been curious about sci-fi, pick this one up. If you’re already a sci-fi lover, pick this one up too.
My thoughts: We’re in a re-imagined alternate Cairo in the early 1900s; Cairo without colonization, with djinn-powered aerial trams, airships, women suffrages, djinns living and working in the same world, robots working for djinns, and people of all faiths living peacefully. (What a fascinating world, isn’t it!)
Here, we meet two investigators, a jaded senior inspector, Agent Hamed Nasr and his eager, enthusiastic, fresh-from-training partner, Agent Onsi Youssef, who’s determined to prove his worth to his boss. Their yin and yang chemistry makes them such a great team and a funny one at that! Had me laughing quite a bit!
They have just been given a haunted tram car case which may or may not involve a very different kind of entity that requires special attention and ‘treatment’ from a very experienced exorcist. The search for one leads them to a gender-fluid djinn and her live automaton.
The Haunting of Tram Car 015 is an alternate-history fantasy novella that packs a punch with great world building, magic and steampunk, unforgettable characters (I really loved sassy Abla!), brilliant pacing that wastes no time, words that waste no space, and strong, intelligent, fearless women, yes to that!
This book also briefly touches on issues like female empowerment and slavery (the discussion is brief but leaves enough room for thought)
Mr Clark is a stellar writer! I’m going to read more of his works! You won’t regret picking this one up!
Have you read any of these books? If yes, what did you think? If you haven’t, do you intend to? Please share with me your thoughts!
Last but not least, thank you for stopping by and may the power of good books be with you always! Happy Reading!