... powerful ... In answering these questions over the ensuing 400 pages, Davidson creates an eerie and vivid portrait of a land that promised much, but 'demanded unspeakable things' in return ... The clues Davidson offers are less pirate’s treasure than fool’s gold — or, perhaps, blood diamonds. With each revelation Nellie and Max become more convinced this place is unfit to make their refuge; but where the son has the good sense to beg his mother to leave, the adults in this novel are trapped on this land by their desire for money ... Whether Nellie will solve this mystery before she becomes its next victim is the question that keeps the pages turning ... In addition to a horror novel and a work of historical fiction about the 20th-century American South, The Hollow Kind is also an environmental allegory, a creepy variation on Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. As with that children’s book, for Nellie, the only path toward survival is to accept that there are certain boundaries humankind wasn’t meant to cross.
... delivers some deliciously delightful Southern gothic horror ... Set across two timelines, Davidson tells two stories that serve one another well ... Combined, the two timelines in The Hollow Kind work to create a cohesive and well-plotted novel. They also help in giving the (rather) lengthy book a brisk pace. We never really outstay our welcome in any one space before we are in another ... For less patient readers, Davidson’s novel can take some time to unpack. There are a lot of characters, and a few of them take a while to get to know. There are also a couple of moments that shift out of our two main timelines. While they are important and are about the characters we grow to care about, it can be tempting to want be back in their main stories. Still, though, these are only minor qualms ... For this reader, Davidson unequivocally delivers in The Hollow Kind. Those looking for a horror novel for the season will find a lot to love inside these haunting, often-terrifying pages.
With his third novel, Davidson plants his roots in horror’s soil as one its most talented voices ... Told mostly through two perfectly balanced time lines—Nellie and Max over ten days in 1989 and August Redfern from 1917 to 1932—this is a character-driven story of the evil that has always lived in a place and its ever-tightening grip on one family. The steadily increasing dread bursts open at the one-third mark as terror takes over, past and present merge, and the Redfern family comes together across generations in an epic battle ... this is a Southern gothic epic that masterfully weaves elements of body, folk, and cosmic horror into something wholly new, terrifying, and utterly breathtaking.
Greed, trespass, revenge, and obsession provide the emotional palette for this breathless, wide-eyed horror fable that chronicles the unforgivable trespasses that cost multiple generations their souls ... This version of the hot, wet South isn’t a far stretch from Daniel Woodrell’s twig-snap rustic dread but is a closer cousin to the wetwork terror of John Hornor Jacobs or Joe Hill. The way Davidson deftly pirouettes his way between bated-breath anticipation and a denouement that owes as much to John Carpenter as H.P. Lovecraft is impressive, especially given a staccato storytelling style that, much like a good horror movie, conceals as much as it reveals ... A folksy novel about bad country people, tentacles and all.
... haunting, atmospheric ... Davidson impresses with his chilling and immersive worldbuilding, effortlessly blending generational trauma with supernatural danger. The result is a harrowing novel that’s sure to please fans of gothic horror.
... blends southern gothic, folk, and Lovecraftian horror seamlessly ... While Davidson doesn’t shy away from violence and body horror — there is ample grim and gory content to be had — he steers clear of gratuitous acts. Everything is mindfully executed, resulting in an unflinching yet honest exploration of violence, sacrifice, and healing. The emotional palette is varied, exploring trauma and violence, the infectious nature of greed and power, and the grief and devastation left in their wake ... has its fair share of tropes...but Davidson puts in the work to flesh each trope into fully realized characters and plot points. His keen eye for human interaction and the ability to inject specificity into day-to-day disputes ensures most characters are dynamic human beings. However, with such a large cast of characters, some dimensionality inevitably slips through the cracks ... Davidson’s descriptive yet staccato writing style helps balance The Hollow Kind‘s pace, so it never gets too far ahead of itself — somewhat of a rarity in the horror genre. The beginning crawls along because of the necessary backstory, but once it’s past, the dread builds slowly but steadily. The pacing remains nearly perfect until the end of The Hollow Kind, which ends abruptly. Compared to the time we spend with the rest of the story, the ending feels too quickly cut off ... A visceral story that weaves past and present together, The Hollow Kind is a well-crafted tale about secrets that refuse to stay hidden, the weight of past sins, and redemption. With atmospheric imagery, compelling characters, and a gripping premise, Davidson proves why horror is one of the most effective genres for exploring interpersonal conflict and the complicated nature of familial relationships.
... by turns starkly beautiful and starkly terrifying, brought goose bumps to my skin more than once ... Despite his masterful writing, Davidson injects confusing elements here and there that seem unnecessary ... Similarly, although the novel’s spectral woodland presence is appropriately menacing, it’s sometimes too vague — a panacea brought in wherever and whenever needed ... Nevertheless, The Hollow Kind is a riveting novel that will satisfy any horror fan (and many soon-to-be fans). Andy Davidson has done a sublime job with this portrait of a family plagued by supernatural terror and very human trauma.