I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Rarity from the Hollow was rereleased on December 5th 2016 after taking feedback into account. My review was written on reading the previous version. Please keep that in mind when reading this review.
Synopsis (from the author)
Lacy Dawn is a true daughter of Appalachia, and then some. She lives in a hollow with her worn-out mom, her Iraq War disabled dad, and her mutt Brownie, a dog who’s very skilled at laying fiber optic cable. Lacy Dawn’s android boyfriend has come to the hollow with a mission. His equipment includes infomercial videos of Earth’s earliest proto-humans from millennia ago. He was sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp (Shop ’till You Drop): he must recruit Lacy Dawn to save the Universe in exchange for the designation of Earth as a planet which is eligible for continued existence within a universal economic structure that exploits underdeveloped planets for their mineral content. Lacy Dawn’s magic enables her to save the universe, Earth, and, most importantly, her own family.
Rarity from the Hollow is a difficult book to review. While on the one hand I appreciate the themes it brings forward at the start of the novel, I had a hard time connecting with this book.
Initially I thought this would be a third person point of view limited with Lacey Dawn but at some point we got other people’s thoughts throughout scenes. To me it reads like a third person omniscient. Unfortunately there were some scenes that had a lot of head hopping in the middle of the book.
The book starts of rather slow with Lacey Dawn’s situation at home. Very slowly the more sci-fi elements are introduced. I had a hard time grasping what was going on at times with the trees. It does get better in the second half of the book. However the shopping/economics part of the plot didn’t really interest me. I understand it and the shopping mall is meant as a satire thing about how we live rushed lives and so, but it could not draw a smile from me. I did like the sci-fi elements though. The idea of Dot Com, the other planets and species at the shopping mall. I also liked how Lacy Dawn negotiated contracts. Her saving the world was a job that she would get paid for. There was no automatic acceptance of the hero role. That was quite nice for a change.
All the characters are very straight forward in their thoughts, and might I say rather focused on sex in some parts. Having said that, each characters does have its own problems to work through, and in that they are well developed. Some themes are abuse, ptsd, drug use. However I could not connect with the characters well. I also had a hard time with Lacey Dawn’s relationship with Dot Com, the android. I understand that he also grew up in a sense, but their relationship still felt rather creepy to me. Their interactions and talking of marriage felt awkward, and the response her parents had to it didn’t feel real. One thing I could connect with was how Lacey Dawn wanted to fix her parents. That feeling was strongly present throughout the first half of the book and was well done.
This book just wasn’t for me. It did remind me slightly of a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. If you like books like that and/or enjoy satire this could be a great book for you. Having said that, it is not a light read because of the themes. It does require some thinking on your part. Even though I have rated it 2,5 stars, it is still a book I’ll think off in the future due to the themes.