Rarity from the Hollow by Robert Eggleton

November 4, 2015
THREE STARS
Rarity from the Hollow
~Amazon~ 
Lacy Dawn's father relives the Gulf War, her mother's teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in the hollow is hard. She has one advantage -- an android was inserted into her life and is working with her to cure her parents. But, he wants something in exchange. It's up to her to save the Universe. Lacy Dawn doesn't mind saving the universe, but her family and friends come first.

Comfort Zones: Please note that there is a mention of a child having been murdered in this novel, by the meanest daddy on Earth. However, there is no scene and she plays a comical and annoying ghost most of the story. Here's a finding by Awesome Indies about the first edition to help you decide if this novel is too far outside of your comfort zone: “a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, only instead of the earth being destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass, Lacy Dawn must…The author has managed to do what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse, and written about them with tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them…Eggleton sucks you into the Hollow, dunks you in the creek, rolls you in the mud, and splays you in the sun to dry off. The early tragedy feeds and amplifies subsequent comedy and satire.

Please also note that the character mentioned above (Faith) is a victim of sexual abuse. Sexual content in the novel:

  • While the protagonist occupies the body of an eleven year old, she is the product of genetic manipulation by Universal Management for millennia;
  • Lacy Dawn began her trainings via direct download into her brain five years before the beginning of this story, so she has been fed information about every known human subject, including biology, reproduction, economics…for years before readers are introduced to her (ET involvement is an opening chapter reveal);
  • Her best friend, Faith, as a sexual abuse victim, has a sad and unhealthy awareness of sexuality;
  • The android has no private parts, "not even a little bump," and is much less mature emotionally than Lacy Dawn throughout the story;
  • There are no sex scenes in the novel and only references, including the disclosure about Faith's victimization by a reference and as a flashback with no scenes;
  • As the android pursues humanity and starts going through an accelerated human development stage, he never develops any actual sexual interests but does try to kiss Lacy Dawn on the cheek once;
  • Lacy Dawn vows not to have sex for the first time until after she is married -- a traditional and now unusual family value;
  • She is fourteen years old when the novel ends and has typical teenage interests but remains untouched, not even a first real kiss;
  • There are normalized sexual references and innuendos between Lacy Dawn parents after their romance was rekindled -- the father was cured of PTSD and the mother's self-esteem improved, in part, because she got new teeth as part of the deal to save the universe;
  • But, the above sexual references are presented as puns, nothing on screen, and are milder than most romance novels that I've read, such as by Nora Roberts.  

REVIEW:

I was disturbed and confused while reading the first chapters. But once I settled into reading, I did enjoy the exploration of many mental health issues described throughout the book. This is definitely an adult book, which has explicit sexual acts and mentions children's physical and sexual abuse. I enjoyed the Lacy Dawn's as a protagonist, and the other very flawed characters were well described. However despite a unique story line, this novel is overly ambitious and ideas get wrapped around each other, but aren't actually completed.

This is the weirdest book I ever read in my life. The weirdness, kept me powering through even though the author brushed passed themes that should have been explained better. There was also alot of sexual description, that gave insight to characters disturbed psyche, but didn't advance the plot in anyway. The magical forest described in the synopsis, along with super powers, the robot/adviser/alien/developing man, advanced technology, a ghost who can inhabit inanimate objects to follow Lacy around, play essential parts of the plot but are all glossed over. The lazy world building.was the downfall of this book.
"Knowing everything doesn't mean that a person has a true answer to an actual question."
The characters in the book deal with fantastical aliens and space travel, while juggling everyday issues like the welfare office, and obtaining a GED. The back and forth between familiar problems and saving the universe for this disturbed family was at times jarring. I liked the writing and some of the info dump paragraphs about psychological issues were interesting.  Unfortunately this author could have  benefited from limiting the themes and characters explored because the bizarre ending didn't incorporate everything introduced. The fast pace and changing point of views  kept me engaged but didn't pay off because of the many questions I still have after reading. I would recommend this to adults, who can suspend some disbelief, enjoy science fiction, and can deal with sexual abuse and exploitation.

Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children's Home Society of West Virginia.

 This ebook was provided to me from the author, in exchange for an honest review.

*****A new version of this title was released on November 3, 2016. I reviewed an older version*****

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robert Eggleton has served as a children's advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. He is best known for his investigative reports about children's programs, most of which were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from 1982 through 1997, and which also included publication of models of serving disadvantaged and homeless children in the community instead of in large institutions, research into foster care drift involving children bouncing from one home to the next -- never finding a permanent loving family, and statistical reports on the occurrence and correlates of child abuse and delinquency. Today, he is a recently retired children's psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome physical and sexual abuse, and other mental health concerns. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel and its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines: Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children's Home Society of West Virginia. http://www.childhswv.org/ Robert continues to write fiction with new adventures based on a protagonist that is a composite character of children that he met when delivering group therapy services. The overall theme of his stories remains victimization to empowerment.

2 comments:

  1. This does sound quick harsh and strange. I'm not sure it would be one I would pick up but I loved your honest review of it!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for Commenting I read and reply to all. Have a Great Day!!!

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