The Hollow People

by Brian Keaney

Review by KM

Working in a library is fantastic fun, but there is one part that absolutely tears me to pieces: weeding our collection. I’m not put in charge of this job because it hurts me too much to see a cart and a half of novels head over to our sale section. A book getting weeded doesn’t mean it’s not good; it just means it hasn’t been checked out for a few years. I was shocked to see almost the entire Vampire Diaries series on the cart last week, as well as some of my favorite books from junior high.

The Hollow People was one of the books I grabbed off the cart this time. The cover is hauntingly compelling and I couldn’t take seeing it sitting on a shelf alone any longer.


ON THE SINISTER ISLAND where strict obedience to the laws of the mysterious Dr. Sigmundus holds sway, dreaming will get you locked up and branded a lunatic, a danger to society and to all who know you. In this doomed and repressive place, two teens that were never meant to meet or share their dreams, cross paths and set in motion that which rips them from the lives they were meant to lead. Together they join forces with a ragtag group of rebel forces bent on breaking the grip of lies and illusions their countrymen have accepted without question.

For fans of thoughtful science fiction and fantasy, The Hollow People opens a window on the unseen worlds that surround us.


It feels strange to say that this book felt like it both had a slow start, yet was a fast read. The first half of the book was all about gathering information as it came to Dante and Bea, but soon enough, you’re half way through the book and the action is really coming together. I wouldn’t say it’s a stand alone, though. When I got to the end, I knew without looking it up that there was a sequel — there just wasn’t a possible way that this was the absolute ending.

To me, it felt like a diet version of a lot of other books I’ve read. It had the typical dystopian trends of books like Divergent and Hunger Games, mixing it with science versus magic. A book perfect for a middle schooler transitioning from shorter books to the ones famous in our pop culture.

Suggested reading on Amazon puts the age group at seventh grade, but I’ve been seeing a lot of sixth graders taking out books from the Young Adult section. If you’re looking for something to interest a fifth grader during these last few weeks of Summer, this could be the book. Just make sure to grab it from your library, so it remains in the collection.

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