Forced to shoot her suddenly violent partner, rookie FBI agent Odessa Hardwicke witnesses the escape of a shadowy form from the deceased agent's body, and embarks on a sanity-risking investigation into a centuries-old being.
The book starts off as a traditional suspense novel and then takes a hard-left turn into del Toro territory ... The central aesthetic decision—merging the classical horrors of Algernon Blackwood with a distinctly contemporary narrative—is both surprising and ultimately successful. The Hollow Ones is a swift, thoroughly imagined entertainment that looks back at the genre’s past while hinting, in the final pages, of future installments to come. The possibilities are limitless.
... a bit complicated, but suffice it to say there’s a good bit of world building behind the strange goings-on, which all leads up to a modern-day, high-stakes pursuit by Odessa and Silence to capture the entity before it can do more harm ... has TV series written all over it. At the very least, it promises to be the first in a new series of literary adventures, and that’s a good thing, as Silence is a fascinating character you’ll want to see again.
... gripping but slight ... A dark spirit driving people to murder is the premise of countless horror mysteries, and Hollow Ones unfortunately offers little new to this well-worn subject ... Efforts to deepen Hardwicke and Blackwood's backstories are also only surface level, as each wrestle with respective personal demons involving an estranged father and lost love. Their partnership is similarly riddled with cliches – she's green and asks too many questions, he's broody and difficult to work with – although the novel's open-ended conclusion suggests more Hardwicke & Blackwood stories are possible, hopefully enlivening their relationship ... All that said, The Hollow Ones is never dull, dropping readers right into the action and deftly switching between timelines. At just over 300 pages, the book is a lean and macabre page-turner, as del Toro and Hogan spare no bloody details in describing heinous murders and occult rituals. (Passages told from the perspective of the demon, named Obediah, are among the most ferociously fun) ... But for all its entertaining chills, The Hollow Ones never really gets under your skin. Much like a malevolent spirit being exorcised, it won't linger long in readers' minds.