Book Review

Black Hollow – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.25 / 5 stars)

After one of his many drunken stupors, James Brown returns home to tragedy. With no where else to go, he wanders the streets, only to be mesmerized by the captivating Elene. He immediately wraps himself up in her lies and travels to her family’s estate, Black Hollow, where secrets lie around every corner. As he navigates the halls of the villa, his own past climbs out to haunt him. But who is the monster in this house? And will James’s survive to tell his story?

In a compelling story filled with suspense that keeps you at the edge of your seat, we are transported back to Boston in the late 1800s. Myria Candies paints imagery that makes you feel like you are right there with her characters. The suspense is there: you can hear a pin drop, you can feel the air turn cold, and sense the way fear ruptures through James as he tries to escape Black Hollow. I was able to picture this as a ninety-minute horror film that I would watch during Halloween. The story seems haunted, only to show us who the true monsters are: the people.

Yet, while I was drawn into the story and was basically able to read it in one sitting, I almost think it was too long. The writing is a bit too passive, which worked in some places to increase the suspense, but often times I felt like we could see the emotions but not actually feel them with the characters. This ended up impacting my perception of the main character, James: if we had really felt his emotions, I think I might have ended up with a better understanding of his own desires and interests. Perhaps this inability to understand James, seeing him more as the passive narrator, is what makes Elene so much more striking though.

Speaking of Elene, what an interesting character! I was compelled by her, but still, by the end of this, I still don’t understand her true motives. I don’t think anything needs to be wrapped up nicely, but was she actually evil? Or was she a product of her environment just like her siblings? Perhaps the uncertainty is what makes her such a mesmerizing character…she deceives even the reader.

With all that being said, Myria Candies does paint a story equal to a suspenseful horror movie. It would be bound to compel audiences and keep them at the edge of their seat.

So if you want a quick, suspenseful story, check out Black Hollow. If anything, you’ll get a decent chill from the manor as you navigate it with James.

What’s it about?

In the city of Boston, James meets the captivating Elene. Mesmerized by her beauty, in a destitute position, he accepts an invitation to join her and a mysterious man to their estate to attend to the sickly Amelia. Lies, murder, ominous occurrences and a professed love cause him to stay way past his desire. Every turn at Black Hollow, uncovers hidden secrets and dark stories from the past. All to reveal the truth behind why he was brought there in the first place.

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A Discussion of Creativity & Writing: An Interview with Myria Candies

Today we are talking with Myria Candies about her creative process. Myria Candies is the author of Black Hollow.

About Author

Myria Candies is a young American author who writes a variety of genres– such as horror, dark fantasy, mystery and thrillers. Her own projects are taken from her grueling nightmares and life experiences.

Her debut novel is, “Black Hollow”, and she has a number of other projects to be published. She resides in the state of Washington with her loving husband. Myria is sweet, down to earth person, who loves to find new authors and hidden gems.

So let’s get into the questions!

First, tell us about your book!

My book is a gothic thriller with a pinch of horror, romance, paranormal activity and mystery. It follows a man James, who is lured to the estate Black Hollow. While he is there, many horrors arise and a past he didn’t know about.

How did you come up with this idea? What inspired you?

My nightmares and childhood have inspired for this novel.

Tell us a little bit about your main character(s). Were you inspired by anyone particular when writing them?

Elene was inspired by my sister who struggles mentally and Marcus was inspired by my brother.

What about your setting? What inspired you to choose where the story took place?

I chose Boston because that was where it was set in the nightmare.

Obviously, stories change from their initial inception. How has your story changed while working on it?

It has changed drastically with each and every draft. It was actually called “Black Hollow Creek” and it was about the creek behind the house but that disappeared when I discovered I was not a fan of the ending for that one.

What is your writing process like?

I have tons of drafts and I end up rewriting the entire story to make sure it comes to life in a certain way. Then, I pass it off to my content editor and copy editor.

What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most?

I love getting the ideas. Not necessarily the nightmare part, but waking up and realizing that the dream can be converted into a book.

What was the most difficult part in writing your book? How did you overcome it?

I actually burnt my hand toward the end and I had to release it that month. I was going to wait on it, and release it next year but my pre-orders were in high demand and I had found out you cannot cancel a pre-order otherwise you will be suspended. So I had to type and edit with only one hand.

Now let’s talk personal inspiration: did anyone or anything inspire you to be a writer?

I have always written but after I heard Ellen Hopkins speak at a book signing, I realized that I could put my own experiences into books while having it still be fiction. So each piece of my stories, have something from my past that I relate to thanks to lovely Ellen.

Finally, do you have any words of inspiration or tips to new authors?

I have always written but after I heard Ellen Hopkins speak at a book signing, I realized that I could put my own experiences into books while having it still be fiction. So each piece of my stories, have something from my past that I relate to thanks to lovely Ellen.

Thank you for joining us today! If you’re interested in [author], check out the links below!

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Until next time,

E.S. Barrison