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The Hollows Review

Writing: Chris Ryall

Art: Sam Kieth

Review by Melissa Megan

In the wake of a radioactive disaster, scientists engineered genetically enhanced super trees to rise above the poisonous, decaying Japan. Cities were built in the branches of these super sized trees and citizens deemed important to society were settled there. Below, in the wasteland left behind, some still survive but show the scars of their difficult existence. Also living “down below” are the Hollows, empty husks of humans who now feed voraciously on the souls of anyone they find.

One particular engineer with an intimate connection to the disaster that destroyed Japan puts on his mechanical ‘wings’ to fly over the lower world  in search of supplies for his family. When he has an accident and ends up down below, the people he meets who save his life change him forever. Once he returns to the trees high above, he can’t stop thinking about those he left behind and he sets out to find a way to help the people who fight for their lives daily against the insatiable Hollows. He struggles with his responsibilities to his wife and children and his moral opposition to abandoning the survivors.

This book collects issues #1-4 of the miniseries published last year from Chris Ryall and Sam Kieth. It is really heartbreaking and intelligent. The story moves with a strange, slightly fractured rhythm, but it’s surprisingly powerful. As I read through The Hollows, I found myself quickly becoming more invested in the characters and the plight of the morally tortured engineer. The art of Sam Kieth is wonderful, both soft and effective. It’s really a beautiful story with gorgeous landscapes of a post apocalyptic world that I’ve never imagined.

Verdict: Read this. If you like your sci-fi with a softer side, something that pokes at your feelings while creeping you out, The Hollows is for you. It looks at the possibility of radioactive apocalypse in a wholly unique way and presents a very real possibility of the resulting social divide that comes with survival.


One Response

  1. Lauren Kolligs

    I enjoyed this series, but have to agree on the fractured rhythm. At first I felt like it was lost in translation, from a Japanese folk tale, and then realized it’s an original piece by Ryall.

    It’s was heartbreaking and lovely. I felt that, regardless of the impending danger and the epic ness of the plot of the tree people and the underground people, I was always engaged and invested in the characters and what is going to happen to them.

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