Rarity from the Hollow- Robert Eggleton (Revised)

Standard

Plot: 4/5      Characters:  4/5      Writing: 5/5      Entertainment: 5/5      World Building: 5/5

Rarity

“Rarity from the Hollow” is a daring, unique, and fascinating read that attempts to focus on serious real-world issues through a zany sci-fi adventure. It’s written well enough to be called literary fiction and creative enough to grab the intention of seasoned and new speculative fiction fans alike.

Lacy Dawn lives in a small town called The Hollow in West Virginia where life is bleak. Abused at home and alone after her best friend is killed by her father, Lacy Dawn’s one comfort comes from Dotcom, an ancient android sent to earth thousands of years ago. With Dotcom’s help, Lacy Dawn forms a plan to heal her family and give them a brighter future. In exchange, Dotcom wants her to save the world.   

I can’t praise Robert Eggleton enough. I read an earlier edition of “Rarity” about a year ago. While it had it’s problems, I thought it was still great. Eggleton took all that great stuff, added some more, tweaked the weak areas, and created something truly fantastic.   

The writing is still brilliant. It feels timeless, classic and mature in a way that would ensure its longevity if more people knew about it. I would even say it could be read in a college setting both for the craft itself and its unique brand of storytelling. The premise is brilliant and brought a distinctive approach to the adult-fairytale/modern-retelling sub-genre, and the story balances.

“Rarity” reminds me of Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,” mixed with Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” and Eggleton has convinced me that such radically different story-telling styles can not only co-exist in a single book, but can actually play off each other brilliantly if balanced correctly. The believable struggle and darkness of the Hollow breaks your heart while the outlandish solutions to Lacy Dawn’s problems feel not only believable (by some stroke of genius on Eggleton’s part), but deserved and bright. In addition to being an expertly crafted story, “Rarity” did something that most pop fiction doesn’t usually do:

It made me ask questions, both as a a writer and a reader.

I’ve never forgotten the questions I pondered when first reading “Rarity” and I greatly appreciated seeing them still present in this updated version. If anything, the updates made me explore the questions more. What literary and plot elements work when discussing difficult topics in science-fiction? What elements don’t? Why is that? What do we expect from protagonists in bad situations, especially children? Are those expectations fair? Are there limits on who gets redemption arcs? What does that mean for how we view unkind, even abusive, people in real life? What really makes a fairy tale “adult?” Is it merely facing darker, grittier events, or is it the themes behind them? The fact that I was constantly questioning myself as both a consumer and producer of fiction as I read is what really makes me want to suggest this book.

If you like challenging books, questions, and a lot of zaniness, “Rarity from the Hollow” is definitely worth a read. Also, the author dedicates his proceeds to the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia, so even you end up not liking the book itself, it would still be a worthwhile purchase.

TRIGGER WARNING: As much as I encourage others to read this book, the depictions of spousal and child abuse could potentially bring up potentially harmful memories and feelings for some people. Reader’s discretion is advised.

 

 

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2 responses »

  1. Hi Tay,

    Happy Holidays! I hope that you’re doing okay. After Christmas sales are tallied, the publisher is going to make the next deposit of author proceeds from the Rarity from the Hollow project into the nonprofit agency’s account for the prevention of child maltreatment. Millions of American children will spend this holiday in temporary shelters. A lot more world-wide are likely to spend their respective “holidays” in worse conditions. Having once been the director of emergency children’s shelters in West Virginia, it is still heartbreaking to think about children not having a “real” family during Christmas. I remember the faces, the smiles and thank yous for the presents from staff, but….

    I also wanted you to know that the novel received a very cool review by Amazing Stories Magazine. This is my tweet: “Amusing at times, shocking at others, a touching and somehow wonderful SFF read.” Full review by Amazing Stories Magazine: http://bit.ly/2kbsAlV On Sale for Christmas: http://amzn.to/2lF5BPS Proceeds help maltreated children: http://www.childhswv.org

    Thanks again for the review. I just shared the link to it again on social media.

    Take care,

    Robert

    P.S. Just FYI, here’s the link to a review that nailed the political parody in my story, connected the tragedy with the comedy, and its overall child welfare interests within this climate of adversity in America. https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R2RAXNLSHTUDUF/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=190713395X I thought that you might appreciate reading this review.

    Like

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