24 Apr 2012

HOLLOW EARTH.

HOLLOW EARTH by JOHN BARROWMAN and CAROLE E BARROWMAN.

The monster's eyes scanned the darkness. Hide, Hide, Hide .........

Twins Matt and Emily Calder have imaginations so powerful that they can make art come to life. Their powers are sought by villains intent on accessing the terrors of Hollow Earth - a place where all the devils, demons and monsters ever imagined lie trapped for eternity. If Hollow Earth is breached, the world will be plunged into chaos. If hollow Earth is breached .......

....... the twins are as good as dead.
.........Outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): The book the old monk was illuminating began with these words.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 296): Zach's injured because a cursed painting attacked him. And you want to know how it's possible a monster is climbing out of our computer?

MY THOUGHTS: A debut novel by all round entertainer (and gorgeous guy) John Barrowman and his English teacher sister Carole and what a book it is.

An interesting cover, don't you think? I've heard it said on several blogs that girls are put off the book thinking that it will be too 'boyish'. Not personally to my taste I admit but hey if boys are picking it up and reading it because they like the cover then it has my vote. Not that it is in any way a boys book, this will appeal to lots of readers and not just the young adults to whom it is aimed.

Mainly the tale of not quite teenage twins Matt and Emily and their friends, including Zach, all of whom have special powers including the ability to bring art to life, to enter paintings at will, the story also dips back in time to a Monastery in the Middle Ages.

Hmm, Animares? Not a super power I had heard of before (a totally new concept as far as I'm aware) but certainly one which appealed to me. Fresh, exciting and with plenty of scope this gives a whole new outlook to a genre that is quite simply full to overflowing.

As for the characters? Well observed, as much care was taken with the secondary characters as with the main ones. I liked the twins (Emily more so than Matt) but I loved Zach. A deaf teenager I felt it was great that John and Carole chose to feature someone that little bit different, someone, it could be argued, that was not generally seen as the first choice for a main character, but felt that he had a lot more potential than we saw here.

So, so much more than a novel envisaged/penned by your average celebrity - I believe it is John's imagination and sense of fun combined with the high quality of writing (much of which I'm presuming is Carole's) that makes Hollow Earth such a good read. Fast paced and action packed from page one, this makes for an exciting read with lots of twists and turns, I eagerly await part two of what I believe is a three book deal as I believe that this first instalment only skimmed the surface and there is better to come.

KEEP IT OR NOT?: Bought with money received for my birthday, I shall most certainly be keeping this.





17 comments:

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Ooh I have a niece and two nephews who would love this! I'll ask if they've read it yet. Thanks for reviewing it as I'm out of the loop when it comes to this age level of books. Their mothers (my sisters) have asked me for recommendations.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I just checked and it looks like it won't be available in the US until October 2012. I'll try to remember ;-)

Vivienne said...

Glad to hear it is good. I always worry about these books written by celebrities.

anilkurup said...

Fast paced , I Have not come across on another fast paced writer other than the late James Hadley Chase. not yet.

Arti said...

What a wonderful review. Seems like a pretty good book with nice plot and fast paced narrative with twists and turns. Will look out for this next time I am out book hunting!!
Have a nice week ahead Tracy:)

Kelly said...

I think this might have to go on my wish list - it sounds wonderful!

Patti said...

Sounds just like a book my boys would like and probably me too.

Suko said...

This does sound like a book I'd enjoy, and that I could recommend as well to "the younger set". Excellent review!

GMR said...

Great post Tracy! Sounds like a book I'd enjoy. Agree on the cover though...not appealing to me visually, but that's why we try to avoid the "judge by it's cover" bit. Thanks for sharing! ^_^

The Golden Eagle said...

It sounds like a great book! And I have to say, I kind of like the cover; that's probably just because it has a raptor-like bird, however. :P


The Golden Eagle
The Eagle's Aerial Perspective

Short poems said...

What a beautiful review, it sounds an interesting book!

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Very nice review, and I like that cover too. :) Thank you!

naida said...

This does sound like a good read. I'm off to google John Barrowman :)

p.s. I like your new blog header

Betty Manousos said...

glad to hear that you liked the book.
yet another brilliant review as usual:)

xx

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

THis sounds like a good book. One I would enjoy. I like the cover. Doesn't seem to boyish to me! :)

Heather said...

I'm also attracted by that cover.

Nikki-ann said...

Being a John Barrowman fan myself, I've been meaning to pick this one up. I really should get around to it! :)