Hollow Pike – James Dawson – 2012 – Fantasy
Before you read, please know there’s some spoilers in this review. Thanks!
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.
The story is told from the point of view of Lis, who has just moved from Wales to Hollow Pike in Yorkshire. I really couldn’t stand Lis. I’m not sure if you were supposed to like her or not, but she was very shallow and seemed to change her friendship group based on very little reasoning. One minute she wanted to be friends with Lauren and the cool girls, the next she wanted to be friends with the unpopular kids. I could sort of understand why she’d felt the need to move from Wales because she was being bullied because she seemed like a bit of a bitch. I’d have liked to see more character development from Lis, because she just remains a little bit self-absorbed throughout the book. To be honest though I didn’t really warm to any of the characters in the book. I’m not sure you were supposed to, as I feel like the book was more about the story line than the characters but it’s a bit disappointing not to find one character I actually liked.
My favourite scene in the book is either the part of the book just before Laura is killed – sounds a bit morbid but it was one of the more action-driven parts of the book. Although you know Lis and her friends are messing around with Laura, this throws it into sharp contrast when she is killed just minutes later.
I also really enjoyed the climax of the book. There were a few surprises as to the characters true intentions, which I definitely didn’t see coming. I think the best thing about this book is when the action parts are. There is a lot of suspense building, but I’m not sure if it’s because I’m maybe a bit old for the target audience – I just didn’t care about the little ways the author was trying to make you guess and they seemed a bit forced. Although I didn’t expect the ending, I’d rather have had more witchy death scenes and suspense built that way that Lis just not trusting her friends with little evidence.
I think this book would be really interesting if it was made into a TV programme for teens. All the way through reading the book I couldn’t help thinking that it read like it would be great as a script, because there was a lot of suspense and visual imagery. I’d really like to see the book adapted by CBBC for example.
I also absolutely loved the cover of the book. I really like the colours, and the way that you don’t know where Lis’ hair ends, and the blackness of the cover begins.
I rated this book 3/5 on Goodreads. I think if you enjoy fantasy and you want an easy read you should check it out. It’s not the most memorable book I’ll read this year, but it wasn’t a bad book either.