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Book Review: House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland is a dark, grim modern fairytale. The story is about

three sisters Iris, Vivi and Grey who went missing for a month when they were only little

children, only to return with no memory of where they went or were taken. The sisters are

strange in every way imaginable; otherworldly beautiful and elusive, the sisters are a

mystery and the novel caters to the unraveling of that mystery. The moment you begin the novel, you inhale the gothic atmosphere intricately set by the author. It's like experiencing a creeping or crawling sensation on your arm but there’s no pest in sight. Narrated by the seemingly normal Iris, the story treads slowly through the dark mysteries of the sister’s shared past. The reader will most definitely be on edge and the author does a brilliant job of introducing the horrors in a very non-jump scare way until it actually makes one jump. The narration is intricate when it comes to the description of the sisters and also the relationship they share. The plot takes a little from a myriad of genres be it mystery-thrillers, horror, fantasy or contemporary fiction. The book is almost hauntingly beautiful until it is not.

Till the middle of the book, one would gobble up the story, very much on the edge of their seat, moving along with the pace set until the story suddenly fizzles out. It almost feels like the big mystery that the author so expertly weaves and keeps building on turns out to be very mundane and not something entirely out of the box as initially expected. It is at this stage of the story one begins to realize that the world building should have been stronger and better explored and explained. It leaves one feeling left out. The narration also could do with a lot more detail about the places; at times an entire paragraph has to be read twice just to understand the setting. Also the character Tyler feels like an unnecessary addition. Even though the story fails to climax into a powerful unraveling of the mystery it certainly does its job of keeping one engaged and uncomfortable throughout. The ending is a consolation, how it isn'tt exactly a cliffhanger but has the makings of one. Whether to skip it or read it, I’d definitely recommend reading it. The story is dark, it's;s haunting, it's creepy but it's beautiful too and most importantly it is unique.

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