Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton

Kinda like Homeward Bound but with zombies? A pet crow named Shit Turd and his interspecies brother, a dog named Dennis, travel around the greater Seattle area trying to search for a cure for the plague.

After a couple weeks trying to help their owner Big Jim through his rotting, eye-ball-popping-out phase, they strike out on their own. S.T. and Dennis travel around avoiding the hordes and look for clues that might lead them to any surviving humans who can help them. They are able to tune in to the Aura, a communication wave that all animals connect through. News as well as gossip travels across the city between the various herds, murders, and flocks that survive around the city. Post-apocalypse Seattle is delightfully described, all the landmarks are in there, but just decorated with the gore of the dead!

The one thing I want to highlight in my review in S.T.’s voice. He’s an arrogant, witty, man-child in a crow’s body. A bit crude at times, yet full of insightful allusions and comments. Buxton has a great way of doling out his upbringing and also details of his relationship with Big Jim, a wiseacre hick who trained ST to speak when he was just a chick.

The survivors/ the animals have a very interesting hierarchy. ST is described as a hybrid, basically their name for the domesticated, who are at the bottom of the respect ladder. But ST is able to show his smarts and help out the cause in more ways than the average crow.

Hollow Kingdom is by far the most unique book I’ve read in 2019. Some good zombie fare, but told through a POV that is hugely entertaining. The plot is fun and through ST’s eyes it’s comical, engaging, and quite a riot!

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