I started to read “A Hollow in the Hills” by Ruth Frances Long with great anticipation and the powerful prologue really captured my attention but, I have to confess that I found it difficult to complete the book. However, I have great respect for the author. The reason I found it difficult is that I lost interest. I was very confused because the book is a sequel. The book does not stand alone well. I would really have needed to read the previous book in the series. It is difficult to read because the reader is trying to understand a very involved plot without the vital background information contained in the first book.
I liked the way you felt like you were in the book. It does have the mysterious prologue, the main character with a great destiny, the evil Holly and the mysterious land of Dubh Linn all of which I did like.
I also like how it mentions well known places in Dublin but gives them a mystic twist as there is a parallel universe between Dublin and Dubh Linn. I think that the author cleverly combines the modern world with Celtic mythology and spiritualism.
The book draws a lot of similarities with other stories like Harry Potter for instance the way Izzy, her dad and Jinx went through a chimney to speak to the Story Teller and the misty scene in the toilet when The Fear appears is reminiscent of the Death Eaters and the Chamber of Secrets. The book does have a good, original style but I recommend that you read the A Crack in Everything first.
Daniel, Milltown National School, Tuam, Co. Galway