Desper Hollow -a Review

A zombie’s only purpose is to kill and eat. They don’t have feelings. They don’t think. In Desper Hollow,  Elizabeth Massie has taken the ever-evolving zombie to a new level of existence.

Desper HollowSomething evil is going on in Desper Hollow, Virginia. This is a place to be avoided, a place people shy away from visiting. Granny Mustard lives deep in the hills of Desper Hollow, making and selling moonshine to those who want it. But unknown to her customers, she makes a special kind of shine that isn’t for sale.

Granny Mustard longs for immortality and will do whatever is necessary to attain it. A man in Desper Hollow who has in his possession a book of spells she wants. This book holds a secret that will help her attain what she desires most.

But now Granny Mustard is dead, and the small town of Beaver Dam has burned. Has she succeeded in attaining the eternal life she so longed for?

Anywhere deep in the Appalachians can be dangerous, but especially around Desper Hollow. The experiment that Granny Mustard began before her death makes these hills even more deadly, especially now that Jenkie Mustard feels it is her duty to carry on with it.

Jenkie uses the things that Granny Mustard has left behind in her trailer to start experiments of her own. She has some of Granny’s special shine as well as the Hollows that were left behind. One of these Hollows has a mission he is determined to carry out.

Jenkie is so pleased with what she has done that she invites a couple of reality show guys to come and see her accomplishments. From what she has told them, they are sure their ratings will go through the roof, but they are not prepared for the Mustard clan. They are prepared even less for the Hollows. Then again, no one who meets a Hollow is prepared.

As strange as it may sound, Desper Hollow is a story of a messenger sent to bring forgiveness. Something happens to this messenger and slows down his delivery of the message. This is the story of what happened.

I live in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. This story takes place in a different part of these hills, far away from where I am, but I loved reading a story where zombies were roaming through these mountains. I felt that the author’s depiction of the ones who live deep in the hills to be true. Her ways of describing the people and the surroundings are done so skillfully that they are easily pictured in your mind.

This was my second time reading this book. Since I read it much slower this time, I caught so much that I missed the first time through. Instead of just a tale of zombies roaming through the mountainside, I saw a story of love and forgiveness.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. If you would like your own copy, please click on the Amazon link below.

Amazon Link: Desper Hollow

Recommended Articles: 
Elizabeth Massie Interview – Inspiration, Characters, and Zombies
Chai, Zombies, and Some Wonderings – Guest Post by Elizabeth Massie
A Vexation of Zombies

Favorite Sentences:
There are so many awesome sentences in this book that fought for a spot in this review that it was difficult for me to narrow it down to just three.  Following are the three that won the privilege:

This opening line is a fantastic start to the tale:  There is a thick, putrid stench surrounding her, a rancid mixture of decay, charred pinewood, soaked dirt, and alcohol.

She was a startlingly shriveled figure, arms like sticks wrapped in tissue paper, face like that of an apple head doll with eyes so far back in the skull you could hardly see them except when she blinked.

Jack awakens with a start, having dreamed of hillbillies cooking him in a pot like the cartoon cannibals from the 1930s.

New Words Learned
damson – the small tart fruit of a widely cultivated Asian plum tree

chifferobe – a piece of furniture that has drawers and space for hanging clothes

sointenlyOkay, so it’s been a long time since I watched The Three Stooges, and I obviously don’t remember their lingo very well. This is the way they said “certainly.”

About the Author:
During her lifetime, Elizabeth Massie has worked as a lifeguard, a receptionist, a house parent at a children’s home, and a school teacher, but writing has always been a huge part of her life.  And she is known for her writing.  She writes horror novels, media tie-ins, mainstream fiction, and historical novels for teens.  And she has won the Bram Stoker award twice.

The Shenandoah Valley just outside Waynesboro, Virginia is where she makes her home with illustrator Courtney Skinner.  You can keep up with what she is doing on her page, http://www.elizabethmassie.com.

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