She thought she’d be safe in the country, but you can’t escape your own nightmares, and Lis London dreams repeatedly that someone is trying to kill her.
Lis thinks she’s being paranoid – after all who would want to murder her? She doesn’t believe in the local legends of witchcraft. She doesn’t believe that anything bad will really happen to her. You never do, do you?
Not until you’re alone in the woods, after dark – and a twig snaps…
Hollow Pike – where witchcraft never sleeps
I was very excited when a copy of this dropped through my letter box, I’ve been aware of it for a while from reading other book blogs and it sounded like my kind of book. Witchcraft and legends and countryside woods are all things that together suggest a good, scary read. It’s been a while since I was properly scared by a book, I wondered if Hollow Pike would be the one to manage it.
I was gripped by this book within the first few pages, I started reading it at work and it was so hard to stop reading when it was time for me to go home. Lis has moved from Bangor to Hollow Pike to live with her sister after bullies at school made her life hell. I found that I straight away felt a connection to Lis, my own high school experience was absolutely horrendous and so I felt like I completely understood where she was coming from. The book follows Lis as she starts a new life at a new school, and the difficulties that come from joining a new well established social structure complete with its own awful bullies. At the same time that she’s working out where she fits into her new school there are strange things going on too, and she keeps having the same scary dream that feels so real.
I really liked Lis, as I’ve already mentioned I found I could identify strongly with her, and I loved her strength and determination. Whilst Laura, the ringleader of the bullies, was an entirely dislikeable character I think she was really well created and at times worryingly believable. Danny was one of my favourite characters in the book, as soon as he appeared as a potential romantic interest for Lis I started to fall for him, I was really pleased with the way we got to know him throughout the book.
This book most definitely managed to scare me. I read the majority of it through the day and was really glad I did, I think if I’d read it at bedtime I wouldn’t have got much sleep – as it was I found myself thinking about it as I went to bed and could hear the wind whipping through the trees that surround my house. I found that the last few chapters in particular made for tense reading.
I’m pretty sure that over the next couple of weeks book blogs across the UK are going to be featuring lots of glowing reviews for this book, and it absolutely deserves them. It’s a gripping read that scares and thrills in equal measures. The fact that this is a debut novel makes the book an even more exciting prospect, James Dawson is definitely going to be an author to watch in the years to come.
Hollow Pike is published in trade paperback and hardback by Orion in the UK from 2nd February 2012. Whilst I was provided with a review copy of the book all of the opinions expressed are my own.