RARITY FROM THE HOLLOW
by Robert Eggleton
GENRE: Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction
PAGES: (Paperback, 284 pages)
PUBLISHED: 16 March 2012, Dog Horn Publishing
SOURCE: ecopy provided by the author
Lacy Dawn’s father relives the Gulf War, her mother’s teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in The Hollow isn’t great. But Lacy has one advantage — she’s been befriended by a semi-organic, semi-robot who works with her to cure her parents. He wants something in exchange, though. It’s up to her to save the Universe.
Will Lacy Dawn’s predisposition, education, and magic be enough for her to save the Universe, Earth, and, most importantly, protect her own family?
Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. It is a children’s story for adults, not for the prudish, faint of heart, or easily offended.
Author proceeds from Eggleton’s Lacy Dawn Adventures project have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. (http://www.childhswv.org/) Robert continues to write adult literary science fiction with new adventures based on a protagonist that is a composite character of children that he met when delivering group therapy services. The overall theme of his stories remains victimization to empowerment.
Robert Eggleton has served as a children’s advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. He is best known locally for his nonfiction: investigative reports about children’s programs, most of which were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from 1982 through 1997; nationally distributed models of serving disadvantaged and homeless children in the community instead of in large institutions; research into foster care drift involving children bouncing from one home to the next — never finding a permanent loving family; and statistical reports on the occurrence and correlates of child abuse and delinquency in West Virginia. Dozens of his works have been archived by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.
Today, he is a recently retired children’s psychotherapist from a mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome physical and sexual abuse, and other mental health concerns. Two of Eggleton’s poems were published in the 1970s and another won first place in 2015 international poetry competition managed by the WSC Science Fiction & Fantasy Club/WillyCon. His debut novel, Rarity from the Hollow, was named one of five best reads in 2015 by a Codices, has been awarded Gold Medals by Awesome Indies and Readers’ Favorite, and has been so well received by prominent book critics and reviewers that it is scheduled for republication by Dog Horn Publishing, a traditional small press, in 2016. Three of Eggleton’s short stories have appeared in magazines: Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction.
Warning: This review is quite blunt, because this draft has been sitting here for two months now, and I still have no idea how to say what I’m about to say in a gentle manner but still being me. I tried, so…
One word: Weird.
Five words: Weird, in no good way.
I’m not even going to go explain the plot or give you a summary because this book is just straightup weird.
This is a children’s story for adults. And I can see why. But at the same time, I can’t see why.
Just to say it, this book has received a lot of five-stars or four star reviews so this book IS not as bad as it may sound in this review.
Okay, first, once you finish it, you’ll sit there wondering if this was the most mind-blowing thing you’ve ever read or the most horrible thing ever published. I get it, it’s a children’s story: it has a ghost for a best friend, an alien boyfriend, saving the universe through shopping, saving the universe through some ordeal with the cockroaches. See, all things you can expect on a children’s story. Second, for adults: lots of swearing, lots of sexual innuendos/puns, lots of violence.
When you combine that, however, is, uhm, insane and unnecessary.
I get it: The Hollow was the worst of the worst. And Lacy is a traumatised child as a result of grave domestic violence. Her family is effed-up. I get it. I do.
But DotCom (and that hella weird name) doesn’t make sense. The universe saving thing was cool and all until they went shopping for various hideous things. And I was kinda getting okay with it until the cockroaches appeared.
I don’t even know what to do with this book, anymore.
It feels like everything you thought of writing back when you were in second grade that you decided to write three decades later, with additional things from those three decades. It’s insane. I feel like there’s too many elements here that the author forced in. There’s too many things that could’ve been left out (like most of the sexual innuendos, I swear, there was a light obsession right there.)
Lacy is a worrisome child, I shall say. Her internal dialogue, obsession with sex, psychotic tendencies – all things to worry about.
And also, I should warn you: the POV keeps on switching. From Lainey to literally anybody. At random times. With no indication whatsoever. I don’t remember if I got told about it or not which means it may just be my copy (I do think that it is just my copy, though, I just want to say that in case it is not).
Overall, the writing was great. The Rarity From The Hollow, mainly promotes against domestic violence – as seen in this book are the most common effects of it on children. If you know me, you’d know that I am not a fan of highly graphic violent books because I don’t like the fact that those are still happening out there but I salute everyone who are writing and raising awareness against them – which includes this book. It’s not a bad book. There was just too many things in it for me and it was just not working out for me. It took me so long to read this because there were a lot of dead air and a huge lacking in excitement. The book IS not bad, it was just not my thing so I think you all should just judge it for yourselves.
Peace out, xx