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(The Hollow – Book 1)
by Helen Scott & Ellabee Andrews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Fantasy, Slow Burn RH
Available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited
Down & Dirty
A new world, new mysteries and a fantastically woven tale with a touch of heat and a heap load of danger. Free on Kindle Unlimited.
What is it about?
(Blurb from GoodReads)
What’s my secret? That’s something I intend to take to the grave.
When my best friend and the only person who knows who–and what–I really am gets selected for the Mating Games, I know the only way to save her is to try and win her for myself.
All I need to do is navigate three trials while not letting anyone know I’m a woman, or, and this might be even more important, that I have magic.
Easy, right? Easier than slaving away for all hours of the day swinging an ax in the mines. Or so I thought.
I certainly didn’t count on the one man I’ve longed for, the one man who stirs feelings of femininity and desire within me, to enter the games as well. Every minute that I’m there I’m risking everything. If I’m discovered I’ll become nothing more than a broodmare, but I can’t abandon the woman who is like family to the fate that the Divine would deem she have.
I’ll do whatever it takes to save her from the desolate future of becoming nothing more than a prize for the victor of the games. The only question is, will my secret still be intact by the time the trials are over? Or will I have condemned us both to a fate worse than death?
This is a 18+ slow burn #whychoose novel.
Thoughts on Survival
Call me crazy, but I love the ‘girl hidden as a boy’ trope – especially when it is well done. That blatant plot device opens a slew of possibilities, and this novel seems to hit on every one of them.
Cal, Calypso, is struggling to just survive day to day in a world that would revere her…. while subjugating her freedom, her body and her soul as they turned her into a broodmare meant only to produce the next generation of powerful, magic wielding Divine. No thank you. Following the path her Mother set for her, Cal conceals her gender and strives to survive the mines, harvesting coveted stones that just might pay for another meal for her hungry body and that of her best friend, Izzy.
It’s sad and painful, but it’s a life… until Izzy is thrust into the Mating Games, an archaic practice meant to reward the strongest men among them with a fertile woman, again in the hopes of spawning a child. What is a desperate girl/boy to do? Why, enter the Mating Games herself…. and win.
This was so well done, with just the right amount of ebbs and flows. I found myself cheering, cringing and hoping beyond hope that Cal could make it. I loved it, from beginning to end, and I highly recommend this slow burn, slow burn Reverse Harem Fantasy.
- Girl disguised as a boy trope – LOVE IT!
- The ‘confused about his sexuality, but open to it’ guy trope… YES!
- Flows very well.
- The Games themselves, they hurt, but they are explained pretty well.
- Learning about Cal, Fox, Ash… love it all.
- That ending was painful.
- The cover is jarring; not only is the hair WAY off, but the artwork itself makes little sense with the story. Cover shows a woman wearing jeans and a red coat, standing in front of a city in profile… it’s pretty, to be sure, but not appropriate for this novel.
- Felt very short.
First Person, Multiple POV
Upper YA to adult
This book? MMF
Character Age Range
My Final Verdict on Survival
A great start to a fresh new Fantasy World, one that grabs you and doesn’t let go. There is magic, danger, mystery and a hint of romance on the air – the perfect combination for a Fantasy RH. Free on Kindle Unlimited.
Published January 3rd, 2020
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