Review: The Hollow City
Title: The Hollow City
Author: Dan Wells
Genre: Mystery, psychological thriller, science fiction
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary:Dan Wells won instant acclaim for his three-novel debut about the adventures of John Wayne Cleaver, a heroic young man who is a potential serial killer. All who read the trilogy were struck by the distinctive and believable voice Wells created for John.
Now he returns with another innovative thriller told in a very different, equally unique voice. A voice that comes to us from the realm of madness.
Michael Shipman is paranoid schizophrenic; he suffers from hallucinations, delusions, and complex fantasies of persecution and horror. That’s bad enough. But what can he do if some of the monsters he sees turn out to be real?
Who can you trust if you can't even trust yourself? The Hollow City is a mesmerizing journey into madness, where the greatest enemy of all is your own mind.
Before this book, I'd read and loved Dan Wells' Partials series. I really like how steeped in actual science his science-fiction is, and I could tell he did a lot of research putting together the world of that series. I was really curious about how he would deal with a more "realistic" setting and take on the mystery genre, and I wasn't disappointed!
Michael is an unreliable narrator if there ever was one. He thinks there are crazy alien creatures who track him and manipulate him with electronic objects. His doctors call it paranoia and schizophrenia, but what if Michael is telling the truth?
It's really difficult to pull apart the hallucinations and the crazy truth. The whole book is a mindgame, and I really enjoyed it. I honestly didn't know what to believe during the first half of the book, and just when I thought I had things figured out, everything would get muddled again.
I was a little disappointed with the ending. Forgive the play on the title, but the end left me feeling hollow. I felt like there weren't enough clues to justify the end, and the final scene was more bitter than sweet. Still, I definitely enjoyed the book overall and I will be reading more of Dan Wells' books.
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