Masterful storytelling takes hold in Hollow World by Michael J. Sullivan. In Hollow World, we learn that Sullivan can weave a story no matter the time period as he effortlessly brings us into modern-day suburban Detroit and two thousand years into the future. With intrigue and suspense, Sullivan shows a story that is both foreign and familiar as any good science fiction novel does. Hands down, this is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.
THE FUTURE IS COMING…FOR SOME SOONER THAN OTHERS
Ellis Rogers is an ordinary man who is about to embark on an extraordinary journey. All his life he has played it safe and done the right thing, but faced with a terminal illness he’s willing to take an insane gamble. He’s built a time machine in his garage, and if it works, he’ll face a world that challenges his understanding of what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and the cost of paradise. Ellis could find more than a cure for his illness; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time began…but only if he can survive Hollow World.
The most beautiful thing about Hollow World to me was the subtle theme which carried throughout the story. We meet Ellis Rogers, a middle aged man who is by no definition progressive. He is a self proclaiming Christian who frequents his local bar and has certain views on a woman’s place. The one thing about him that is different is that he builds a time machine and succeeds. Over the course of the story, we see how time travel changes Ellis, opening his mind and lets him relate not only to the new-found friends but the past, which haunts him. Without spoiling too much of the story, the evolution of Ellis is so well done that one forgets it is even happening. It makes the reader wonder how they would evolve.
The downside to what I thought was a beautiful example of human progression is that it can be construed as having an agenda. There are definite villains and one could say that the biggest villain is the concept of not being open to change. That being said, I would challenge anyone, no matter where they stand on evolution or progression to let the story unfold and be thought provoking.
One of the highlights of Sullivan’s writing is his ability to create a fully realized world. This was especially true in Hollow World, the strange version of Earth in two thousand years. People have become androgynous beings which have illness removed from their DNA. The world is divided between above and below ground. These themes were eloquently shown and there were so many beautiful details it was hard to choose just a few. I especially liked how Hollow World revered the professions of Meteorologist and Artist highly. Each was for a different reason but it showed how science and art can live in harmony.
Hollow World was truly a great read. There was an overarching theme, a beautiful backdrop, and even a mystery. Each character was relatable and unique while Sullivan’s description of the world made me want to visit. Without a doubt, Hollow World has quickly become one of my suggestions of a book which will satisfy and entertain.