Book Review: Rarity From the Hollow by Robert Eggleton

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“Lacy Dawn’s father relives the Gulf War, her mother’s teeth are rotting out,and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in the hollow is hard. She has one advantage — an android was inserted into her life and is working with her to cure her parents. But, he wants something in exchange. It’s up to her to save the Universe. Lacy Dawn doesn’t mind saving the universe, but her family and friends come first.

Will Lacy’s predisposition, education, and magic be enough for her to save the Universe, Earth, and, most importantly, protect her own family?

Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy,comedy and satire. It is a children’s story for adults, not for the prudish, faint of heart, or easily offended.”

First off, I’d like to state that this book review was an author request from Robert Eggleton himself. Everything else I’ve read and reviewed so far this year, I either bought the book or solicited from the author or publisher myself, knowing full-well I was probably going to love everything they threw at me. When I don’t know whether I’ll love the book from the outset it feels like everything becomes more of a challenge. I’m not just reading it for myself. I’m reading it primarily for someone else. If this book didn’t land in my inbox, I doubt I would have gone out and read it. That’s not to be cold or cruel about it, I’m just selective with what I read. There are a lot of books out there and a lot less time for reading.

So, I read the book. It was longer than the books I usually read, and it’s not the type of book I usually read, either. But the writing was solid, easy to read, the narrative flowed well, and I enjoyed it. The story follows a young girl, Lacy Dawn, who is the only child in a broken family. Her father is an abusive veteran with PTSD, her mother often cops the brunt of the abuse, and she communicates with the ghost of her dead friend who suffered at the hands of a similarly broken family. The story starts with this broken mess and gradually transforms into a space epic where Lacy Dawn is the chosen one to save her family and save the world. Through her robot boyfriend she becomes empowered to attempt to glue her family together and put their dark past behind them.

There’s a lot to like about this book, from the heartbreak of everything the family has suffered, to the voices of the main characters, to the imagined hyper-capitalist shopping planet on which the universe hinges upon, the vibrant details which bring the fantasy of space into the lived reality of Lacy Dawn and her family in their small segment of Earth. The story is well fleshed out and the science fiction plot is eased into well, despite being at complete odds with the domestic abuse narrative.

Ultimately, however unbelievable the space travel and shopping planets are, I felt like the most unbelievable part of the story was the transformation of the family from broken to whole. Finding redemption at the end of a long history of abuse. That was the one aspect of the story which didn’t really click into place with me. The author explained it very well, and immersed in the narrative I bought the concept easily enough. But deep down I didn’t buy into it. I didn’t believe the father could redeem himself. I didn’t believe Lacy Dawn could be the catalyst for mending their broken lives. I didn’t believe that wealth and success could change the family so completely that they would never be broken again. I wanted to grab Lacy Dawn and her mother and shake them and tell them to leave the father. And I know those situations carry certain restraints which keep them from breaking free, but it’s a hard pill to swallow when they go from that situation where they seem to only be sticking together for their child to sticking together because their child saved their family and love and trust has been restored and all is once again good in the world.

The author did a fantastic job of explaining how all of that happened in this particular instance, and this book is well worth the read. I just wish that this family dynamic was less of a myth and more of a reality. That abusers could transform themselves so completely like this. I guess that’s part of the story’s charm, though. That children wander off and communicate with ghosts and imaginary friends about how they’re going to fix things, and Lacy Dawn actually went ahead and did it. She was a dreamer who put her dreams into action.

Next review: Unicorn Battle Squad by Kirsten Alene

Last review: Come Home, We Love You Still by Justin Grimbol

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: Rarity From the Hollow by Robert Eggleton

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  1. Hi Shane,

    Happy New Year! I hope that you’re doing okay. After Christmas sales are tallied in April, the publisher is going to make the next deposit of author proceeds from the Rarity from the Hollow project into the nonprofit agency’s PayPal account for the prevention of child maltreatment. Millions of American children spent this past holiday in temporary shelters. A lot more world-wide likely spent their respective “holidays” in worse conditions. Having once been the director of emergency children’s shelters in West Virginia, it is still heartbreaking to think about children not having a “real” family during Christmas. I remember the faces, the smiles and thank yous for the presents from staff, but….

    I also wanted you to know that the novel received a very cool review by Amazing Stories Magazine. This is my tweet: “Amusing at times, shocking at others, a touching and somehow wonderful SFF read.” Full review by Amazing Stories Magazine: http://bit.ly/2kbsAlV On Sale for Christmas: http://amzn.to/2lF5BPS Proceeds help maltreated children: http://www.childhswv.org

    Thanks again for the review. I just shared the link to your blog again on social media. Your support has been appreciated and anything that you can do to help promote this project will continue to be appreciated.

    Take care,

    Robert

    P.S. Just FYI, here’s the link to a review that nailed the political parody in my story, connected the tragedy with the comedy, and its overall child welfare interests within this climate of adversity in America. https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R2RAXNLSHTUDUF/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=190713395X I thought that you might appreciate reading this review. And, a very kind book blogger donated this video trailer to the project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkbusks811Q&feature=youtu.be.
    A full-screen version of the video is here: http://www.valkyrieastrology.com/Videos/Rarity%20from%20the%20Hollow.mp4
    Feel free to share anything that you think would help.

    1. Thanks Robert. I’ll do what I can to spread the word and I’ll see if I can put something else together about domestic abuse and using your work and your platform to take action. It’s great to see authors like yourself take action towards causes you strongly believe in.

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