House of Hollow is a dark, twisty fairytale about three sisters from author and producer Krystal Sutherland. House of Hollow draws inspiration from old and cruel stories; it feels like the aftermath of a dark and twisted fable. It’s the story of what happens after you come home from your adventure, the spot where most books end.

Everyone knows that Iris Hollow and her two older sisters are strange. They disappeared as children, only to return a month later with no memories of where they were and identical, half-moon scars on their throats. Odd occurrences follow in their wake, and they begin changing. Their dark hair turns white, their eyes turn black, and their appetites are insatiable. People are inextricably drawn to them in a way that often becomes dangerous.

Ten years after their disappearance, Iris tries as hard as she can to fit in with society and finish high school. On the other hand, her sisters lead glamorous lives; they travel the world as a model turned clothing designer and a rock star, leaving Iris behind with their grieving mother. When her oldest sister Grey goes missing, Iris follows in the footsteps of her last days in a desperate search for answers. She encounters horned men, corpses and strange, impossible memories and comes to realize that her past may not be what she thought. The closer Iris gets to finding out the truth, the closer she comes to understanding that the world works differently than she thought – and that she may not know her sister at all.

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Sutherland definitely pulls out all the stops as far as creepy and unsettling vibes. It’s haunting and grotesque, and it’s immediately clear this isn’t a sweet fairy tale. She also does a great job differentiating the three sisters despite the strange history and abilities they share. Grey is daring and protective; she isn’t afraid to go after what she wants. Vivi just wants to have a good time, living a hedonistic lifestyle of music and alcohol. And Iris is quiet and reserved, keeping her head down and doing her best to stay out of the spotlight. She tries her best not to use her unnatural power as her sisters have. Their connection is unlike any other; at their core, they are sisters who will do anything for each other, including some very extreme actions.

This is the perfect read for fans of The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert, The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth or anything that puts a dark twist on fairytale tropes.

House of Hollow is out now from G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers. You can purchase it from your local independent bookstore or online at Bookshop.org.

TW: blood/gore, death, kidnapping, murder, self-harm, sexual assault, suicide

 

 

Alex Faccibene