Book review · novel

Book review: Hollow World

Hollow World, by Michael J. Sullivan

Description: (from TachyonPublications )

The future is coming…for some, sooner than others.

Ellis Rogers is an ordinary man, who is about to embark on an extraordinary journey. All his life he has played it safe and done the right thing, but faced with a terminal illness he’s willing to take an insane gamble. He’s built a time machine in his garage, and if it works, he’ll face a world that challenges his understanding of what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and the cost of paradise. He could find more than a cure for his illness; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time began…but only if he can survive Hollow World.

At first I didn’t know if I was going to like this book, because of its slow start and “Ellis Roger is an ordinary man”… But a few friends online couldn’t stop talking about it and swooning over a certain Pax. As we usually love the same books I decided to try it. AND I CAN’T THANK THEM ENOUGH!! The actual thing that made me read it was when they compared this Pax person to The Fool from the Realms of the Elderlings(x) series by Robin Hobb. And I totally agree! So, maybe this single piece of information will make you want to read Hollow World like it did to me! I actually got into this book knowing nothing else so it’s hard to know how much is too much information for you to appreciate this book or how much is not enough for you to want to read it.

img_9997The starting point is pretty simple, Ellis learn that he’s seriously sick, and decides that it’s time to finish building his time machine so that he can travel to the future and find a cure. No hard scifi here, he just build it and that’s it *if only things where so simple!* We learn that things are not that good anymore with his wife and there’s a rampant feeling that something bad happened in their past.

The struggle Ellis has to go through is really interesting, intriguing and deep. Obviously his time machine works and he’s sent in a distant future, way more distant than he expected. He’ll meet the new society that inhabits the earth and will have to adapt to them. His good heart and amiability really struck me in a good way. He obviously is perplexed but he will do what he can to respect this new people he isn’t used to. His relationship with Pax was really cute and refreshing. I liked how they connected despite their differences and thanks to their similarities.

“The two of them just sort of clicked, like old friends who’d just met. Friends-at-first-sight, if there was such a thing.”

Hollow World is a thriller/mystery inside a story that begins thanks to time travel which led the main character into an apparent utopia which feels like a fantasy world. True SFF (science-fiction and fantasy)!

“no one would ever demand compensation to keep people alive. You make us sound like monsters, as if people wouldn’t help others unless they got something out of it.”

The best quotes would spoil the book so UGH sorry it hurts me physically to not be able to share more, but you’ll want to hug this book so hard sometimes!

If a person were to travel forward in time and see the future, what would matter more: what the future really was, or how the person from the past perceived it? Could someone find paradise and think it a hellish future and vice versa?

Background and context for Hollow World, by Michael J.Sullivan, posted on Goodreads.

Hollow Word was really heart-warming, beautiful and made me care deeply for the characters. This is a book about love, acceptance and happiness.

That’s the first book I read by Michael J. Sullivan but he is mostly known for his epic fantasy series The Riyria Revelations and The Riyria Chronicles, I actually bought Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations #1-2) right after I finished Hollow World. I haven’t started it yet because I intend on reading them all without stopping, I’m pretty sure I’ll love them and that I’ll read anything Michael J. Sullivan write after that!


trigger warning: (highlight to see) talk about suicide


(originally posted: 25th February 2016)

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