Emilie & the Hollow World

Emilie & the Hollow World is a story of exploration, imaginative fantasy and adventure. While it is geared as a young adult novel, it’s still entertaining and enjoyable. Starring a sixteen year old runaway named Emilie, the story plunges into the depths of the planet. There she finds a world within a world aptly called the Hollow World. It’s a place filled with strange people and numerous dangers. Against these odds, Emilie joins a group of adventurers as they tried to rescue the stranded Dr. Marlende.

The story has a pretty solid cast of characters. At the center of the story is Emilie, who has followed in her mother’s footsteps and run away from home, only to find out it’s a lot harder than the stories portray it to be. Still, Emilie isn’t a helpless girl. Through the story, she’s developed as a likeable, competent character. One thing I liked about Emilie is that she’s very normal. She’s not special in any magical way, she’s not the daughter of famous wizards or nobility. On her own merits, Emilie is able to make something of herself. While she doesn’t become the Queen of the Hollow World, she does manage to help out her friends. It’s a nice personal journey that avoids the traps of Mary Sue characters and trite plotlines of saving the world.

The world itself is different from our own. There is a bit of magic, but it’s more along the lines of steampunk than sword and sorcery. In this case, the sorcerers can use magic for illusions and for protective bubbles. There are steam ships, pistols, rifles, telegraphs and gaslights. It has a late 1800s vibe to it. The Hollow World adds another layer of fantasy with the inclusion of strange races of creatures. There’s the fury, lizard like Cirathi, the iridescent merpeople of the Sealands, and some hostile plant people. The descriptions of the Hollow World and the people therein reminded me of Martha Wells’ Books of the Raksura series. She has a knack for creating strange races that seem completely foreign but also intriguing. It keeps the story interesting and provides plenty of fuel for your imagination.

That said, it is a young adult novel, and the story doesn’t quite break the magical bar set by Harry Potter. However, it’s still a good book and very enjoyable. There is action, plenty of adventure and some nice character development throughout. The book also ends with some good resolution and no annoying cliff hangers. If you’re looking for some entertaining escapism that ventures off to exotic locales, I recommend checking out Emilie & the Hollow World. It earns a four out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.
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