ARC Review: The Mystery of Hollow Places-Rebecca Podos

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Release Date: Jan 26, 2016

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All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It’s the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist, she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed by a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as troubled waters.

When Imogene is seventeen, her father, now a famous author of medical mysteries, strikes out in the middle of the night and doesn’t come back. Neither Imogene’s stepmother nor the police know where he could’ve gone, but Imogene is convinced he’s looking for her mother. She decides to put to use the skills she’s gleaned from a lifetime of her father’s books to track down a woman she’s never known, in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she’s carried with her for her entire life.

Rebecca Podos’ debut is a powerful, affecting story of the pieces of ourselves that remain mysteries even to us – the desperate search through empty spaces for something to hold on to.

review

3.5/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review through Goodreads

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You’re looking for a book about self discovery and the search for meaning
  • You’re into coming of age contemporaries mixed with a little mystery
  • You want a book that is not romance-centric

The Mystery of Hollow Places is a story of lost and found, of the secret places in ourselves that we need to uncover to feel whole, and the hard truths and disappointments that we’re afraid to feel about our parents. 

PROS:

  • The sleuthing is very Nancy Drew. The literary references to Rebecca and Sherlock Holmes were wonderful. The leaps and jumps to new leads and connecting the dots was spot on and invirgorating, kept the plot rolling forward.
  • Imogene (Immy) is introverted and philosophical; her internal dialogue is thoughtful and like a pep talk. The aching emptiness where her mother should be in her life is like a living, breathing thing supplanted by the half-stone heart (geode). For the most part, she’s level headed and quick witted, she adores her father and worships his story-weaving ability. She’s brave, she won’t let things like money or fear stop her from saving her father. 
  • Jessa is a true friend despite Imogene’s insistence that she’s more like a biological example of mutualism. They work with each other and fully accept each other’s quirks. Jessa knows who she is and embraces it, without the superficial, snobby popular and cliched attitude that is in a lot of YA. 
  • The bedtime story is brilliant. Those first few pages are captivating and whimsical, everything you could want in an opening. 
  • One of the best portrayals in the story is of parents. There are all kinds of parents and often, YA books will put them into one of two categories, the amazing, there for you parents that are more like friends or the failed parent. Imogene’s parents are not either, not fully. Parents can disappoint and hurt, they’re human and they don’t have all the answers. I liked and appreciated that Rebecca Podos showed parents as REAL people with their own issues. 

CONS:

  • Deals with bipolar disorder but doesn’t really go into it. Imogene’s dad’s behavior would have been easier to understand had there even been a brief sentence or two to summarize the symptoms and side effects of going without medication. 
  • The meeting with Sidonie was a big letdown. After all this time and desperation, the gaping hole in herself where her mother should have been, Imogene kind of just…shrugs. The entire story is a build up to this moment and when it actually happens it was like it didn’t matter one way or another. The internal dialogue sort of explains the reaction a teensy bit but not enough to balance out the story. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

Release Day Blitz: Wings of Vengeance-Cameo Renae

 
Wings of Vengeance (Hidden Wings Series, Book Five)-Cameo Renae
Publisher: CHBB
syn No one knows of Lucian’s long-held secret—a recently transformed Nephilim daughter. Unfortunately for the Gray house, Lilith believes Emma is the one responsible for killing her father, and her deep-rooted hatred has turned into an envious obsession.
Powerful, with wings as dark as night, revenge consumes Lilith’s every thought, only to be fueled by Lucifer’s lies. Her newly transformed gifts have raised the danger level. Her aim is to strip Emma from everyone she loves, and has Lucifer’s Fallen warriors to aid in her task.
 
Receiving help from Midway, Emma reconnects with friends of old and new, and hopes it will be enough to keep them all alive.
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  • My family is what keeps my heart beating, and my world a happy place to be.
  • I was born in San Francisco, raised in Maui, Hawaii, and recently moved with my husband and children to Alaska.
  • I’m a daydreamer, a caffeine and peppermint addict. I love to laugh, love to read, and love to escape reality. One of my greatest joys is creating fantasy worlds filled with adventure and romance, and sharing it with others.
  • One day I hope to find my own magic wardrobe, and ride away on a magical unicorn. Until then…I’ll keep writing! 
  • Favorite quote: “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.” Albert Einstein

 

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ExcerptChapter 1
“Emma, wake up.” I blinked several times, trying to focus in the darkness, only to find Kade’s distraught eyes hovering close by. “Another nightmare?” he asked.
I nodded, wiping the beads of sweat from my brow and then cuddled close to him, resting my head on his chest. The beating of his heart had a way of calming my anxiety, soothing my every fear.
“Maybe you should talk to Alaine,” he whispered, pressing his lips to the top of my head.
“I’ll talk to her in the morning,” I exhaled.
“You’re shaking.” His hands rubbed down my arms. “Was it about me?”
I could sense a hint of concern in his voice.
“No,” I breathed. “It was about Alaine this time.”
I tried to erase the visions of her scorched and blistered body from my mind, but it was still there. In full color. Terrorizing me. The smell of smoke was still lingering in my nose, and the heat of the flames still felt warm on my skin.
I didn’t want to worry anyone with my troubles, but it was the third time this week I’d woken Kade with these horrifying nightmares. Every night it was a different loved one, and they were getting stronger as they progressed.
What was most unnerving was the shadowy figure with onyx wings present in every one. I could never make out the face but could sense its twisted pleasure as it watched me suffer.
I’d had enough of watching my loved ones endure horrible and painful deaths. Although they were nightmares, the pain was real and lingered for days after. It was something I couldn’t just erase. These dreams ate at my soul, keeping me tight in its cold, indifferent arms, holding on through my waking hours.
I prayed they weren’t premonitions, and I prayed Kade wouldn’t be in any future nightmares. I’d watched him suffer in real life, and it’d shattered my entire being. Now that we were bonded, watching it happen again would kill me.
I glanced over at the clock. It was four in the morning, but I didn’t want to go back to sleep.
“Where are you going?” Kade asked as I slipped from the warmth of his arms.
“To make some coffee and read the book Lia sent me.”
“You sure you don’t want to stay here with me?”
“You know I do, I just don’t want to go back to sleep.”
His hazel eyes swirled with desire. “I didn’t say we had to sleep.”
“Are you seducing me, Mr. Anders?”
A grin played on his lips as he pulled the covers down. “Maybe.”
“Well then,” I exhaled, jumping in next to him. “Coffee can wait.”

Happy reading,
Jordan







Promo: Crossroads-Mary Ting

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Protecting her from the fallen was his duty.
Falling in love was never part of his plan.
Loving her was forbidden.
Being with her was all that mattered, even if it meant he would be exiled for all eternity.

Claudia Emerson’s life is about to change when her good friend, who coincidentally shares the same first and last name, dies in a tragic accident. Distraught at the loss of her friend, Claudia’s dreams become tumultuous, and through them she mysteriously travels to another world called Crossroads. There, she unexpectedly meets Michael, a nephilim–half angel, half human. Now that she’s been there, fallen and demons are after her, suspecting she must be special, and it is up to Michael and the other nephilim to protect her. Her dream becomes a nightmare as more secrets are revealed about who she really is, and the true identities of the people she loves most.

Other Books in the Series 

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authInternational Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

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Happy reading, 

Jordan