Tag Archives: young adult fantasy

Book Review: The Monster In The Hollows

21 Sep

Janner Wingfeather’s father was the High King of Anniera. But his father is gone. The kingdom has fallen. The royal family is on the run, and the Fang armies of Gnag the Nameless are close behind.

Janner and his family hope to find refuge in the last safe place in the world: the Green Hollows—a land of warriors feared even by Fangs of Dang. But there’s a big problem. Janner’s little brother-heir to the throne of Anniera-has grown a tail. And gray fur. Not to mention two pointed ears and long, dangerous fangs. To the suspicious folk of the Green Hollows he looks like a monster.

But Janner knows better. His brother isn’t as scary as he looks. He’s perfectly harmless.

My Impressions:

The Monster in The Hollows by Andrew Peterson is the third book of the four book Wingfeather Saga.  The novel for young adult readers (really middle readers) is full of adventure, quirky characters, odd places and sights — perfect for its target audience.  I didn’t read the first 2 books and that was a mistake. Although I could follow the story without problem, there was a lot of back story that I didn’t know — and wanted to!  So, I guess I would recommend starting at the beginning to avoid any confusion or disappointment for not being in on the story from the start.  The books would make excellent family reading time choices.

The Wingfeather family find themselves in the land of Green Hollows after their escape from numerous foes.  Mom, Nia, is queen mother of the Shining Isle of Anniera that is now burning from the attacks of Gnag the Nameless and his minions. Her three children, Janner, Kalmar and Leeli are strangely gifted and hence are being hunted by Gnag.  Unfortunately Kalmar, now the King of Anniera following his father’s death, has fallen under the spell of the Fangs of Dang and now sports the fur, ears, snout and tail of a wolf.  As can be expected the people of the Hollows are either fearful, suspicious or determined to be rid of Kalmar.

One of the characteristics of Green Hollows is the abundance of fruit. Fruit-bearing trees and vines grow everywhere, including through the homes and other buildings in the nation.  The Hollish people love their fruit — they nibble on it all day as well as include it in their meals and in their bibes or drinks.  And while the people are generous and big-hearted, who play and fight big, there seems to be an absence of spiritual fruit.  Hollish men, women and children can be described as burly, fun-loving, brave and willing to stand up for their country, but gentleness, kindness, self-control, patience, etc. seem to be in short supply.  So, it seems, is grace and mercy.  And the lessons learned are costly.  While not really an allegory, The Monster in The Hollows can and will spark discussions about loyalty, perseverance and tolerance and the triumph of love.  I look forward to the next installment to discover the final chapter in the fight for the Shining Isle.

Recommended for middle readers, young teens and their parents.

To see what others on the CSSF Blog Tour are saying about The Monster In The Hollows, follow the links below:

Gillian Adams
Red Bissell
Jennifer Bogart 
Thomas Clayton Booher
Beckie Burnham
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Cynthia Dyer
Amber French
Nikole Hahn
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Shannon McDermott
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirriam Neal
Eve Nielsen  (post will be later this month)
Joan Nienhuis
Donita K. Paul
Sarah Sawyer
Chawna Schroeder
Tammy Shelnut
Kathleen Smith
Donna Swanson
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Nicole White

(I received The Monster in The Hollows from Bozeman Media.  Any opinion expressed are mine alone.)