The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan is a reteaming of the two authors of The Strain trilogy that became the tv show The Strain on F/X. The Hollow Ones is a rapid paced novel that is really similar to a 1997 movie the Fallen starting Denzel Washington and John Goodman, about demons that go into bodies causing people to kill. In this story the background gets a little biblical, but nothing new gets added. The story reads like if James Patterson did a horror novel, it’s a tad formulaic with no real challenge to the reader. Where the Strain added to the vampire lore, this story lost its imagination. There’s good moments, the first hundred pages are pretty action packed, but the story is not epic and fresh and that is what I was excepting with this writing team.
The Plot: Two FBI agents take a break from a big case that is finally wrapping up involving a deputy Chief of staff to the New Jersey and corruption charges. The news starts blowing up about a stolen fighter jet that has been shooting at people in New Jersey and New York, the company the jet was stolen is from their case. They get a fly by at the restaurant and head to the home of the suspect. The aftermath heads right to the home as they are blood shed along the way. The wife is dead but they now rush to protect the three children. The veteran reaches the suspect and fights him as the rookie Odessa looks on trying to get a safe shot. Something changes and it looks like the agent is the aggressor the subject is killed, but before things can get to normal the agent takes the knife and tries to stab the children as the rookie shoots him dead. She sees something she can not explain when her partner dies. She is out on desk duty as the shooting is investigated. She has a job of cleaning out an old agents desk that has recently had a stroke, she finds odd recordings, that make her want to meet the man, when she does, she finds out that he has been in her situation, and knows what she was fighting, and what she must do to stop it.
What I Liked: the main character Odessa, and could easily identify with her and her motivation. I liked the flashbacks and the back story of Solomon. I liked the fortune teller scene. The action was fast a brutal and just like with the Strain kids are not safe. I did like hearing the voice of the demon and would have liked to hear more. The pace is really fast, and made for an easy read
What I Disliked: it made a big deal out of Odessa 7th daughter of a 7th daughter, and nothing happened. She wasn’t more protected, she wasn’t extra irresistible to the demons. I did not care for a Blackwood, he’s not in it too much and I didn’t have enough to be invested in his character. It looked like it could be headed for a love story with Blackwood and Odessa, but I found no chemistry between them.
Recommendation: This story was very easy too read, the pace was non stop, I just found the story so-so and it reminded me too much of the Fallen, with no new ideas brought forth. I totally think people that haven’t seen that film will get a lot more enjoyment. I like the writing team and the main character, but for me this was a miss. I rated The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan 3 out of 5. This is could be a series since it is the Blackwood Takes Vol. 1, I’ll give this writing team another try but I hope that move to something else.