The Hollow: The Haunted by Jessica Verday
|The Hollow: The Haunted by Jessica Verday|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: Superb paranormal romance with a fantastic central pairing. Beautifully written - an absolute must read for fans of the genre. One warning though - here be cliffhangers, you'll be biting your nails until book three arrives!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 480||Date: September 2010|
|Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books|
In The Hollow, Abbey tried to cope with the disappearance of her best friend and her feelings for new boyfriend Caspian - only to find herself losing her grip on sanity when she discovered Caspian was dead, a Shade, rather than another real person. After a summer away from Sleepy Hollow, she returns, trying to concentrate on making perfumes and getting science tuition from nice cute Ben - but then Caspian reappears. Will the two find true love? Why are there so many other weird strangers around Sleepy Hollow who Abbey keeps meeting? What exactly DID happen to Kristen? Where do Katrina Van Tassel and Nikolas, the famous Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow, fit into all this? And does anyone who missed the first book have any hope of following what's going on?
While I'll leave you to discover the answers to the first four questions yourself, the fifth is a resounding Yes! I was so intrigued by the plot summary to this one that I broke one of my own rules and knowingly jumped into the middle of a series, and didn't regret it for a minute. Verday sketches in the background well enough for new readers to be able to keep up, but leaves enough blanks for me to be desperate to grab book one for a fuller understanding.
While there are lots of teen supernatural romances around at the moment - and I tend to grab whichever ones I can - this really does stand out as one of the very best in a crowded field. It's not just that Abbey and Caspian are extremely likeable as a main pair, although they certainly are. The major positive about the book, though, is the atmosphere, which is brilliant - Verday is a stunningly good descriptive writer particularly when talking about the tomb where Caspian lives and the perfumes which Abbey creates, which were described so well I could almost smell them as I read. She's also created a really steamy romance - no mean feat considering the characters can't even touch each other! One scene in particular was incredibly highly charged, without being remotely explicit - a fantastic achievement.
A major warning, however - the ending is incredibly abrupt. It's exciting and is going really well - but it stops at a point which had me wondering if the 450 or so pages in my copy weren't actually the full novel! Still, it does a great job in building anticipation for the third book; my only issue is whether I'll have any fingernails left by the time that one arrives.
Massive, massive recommendation from me as being one of the most unputdownable books I've read for a long long time - I started Saturday evening and had finished by Sunday lunchtime, pretty much just taking a break for sleep!
Further reading recommendation: For another intense supernatural romance, you really can't go wrong with Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.
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