Sarah's Stars

Brian Keaney. The Hollow People (The Promises of Dr Sigmundus, Book 1)
Knopf $21.99  ISBN 978-0-375-84332-7  225 pg.
Reviewed by Melissa, Age 16

Dante nodded. “That’s what it’s like on Tarnagar,” he said. “Nothing’s ever going to change.”

“Unless we make it change,” Bea told him.

Dante looked skeptical. “How could we possibly do that?”

In a world where creativity is repressed, Beatrice (Bea, as her friends call her…if she had any) and Dante are struggling to survive. Two teenagers that still have dreams are not considered normal. They could end up in a mental asylum like the one Dante works in…or worse. The reason the boy works there instead of going to school was because he grew up there. Seeing as they told him his mother had been a patient at the Asylum, and she had crazily thrown herself off of the highest tower, he was stuck there. He did as he was told and kept everything as normal as possible…dealing with his life as it was. That was until he met Bea. That is when Ezekiel Semiramis came into the picture; the insane patient newly transferred to the Asylum. When the crazy man grabbed Dante by the arm and slapped a hand over his mouth and whispered in his ear secrets that would change his life…Dante could not look back.

This book is interesting once it sucks you in with its spellbinding magical appeal. The beginning was a little boring…I had a bit of trouble making myself get through it. Although the book would be an absolutely perfect book for someone around the ages of ten or eleven, it wasn’t as appealing for someone my age. I enjoyed its originality and the way the fantasy was invented. It was very vivid in my mind; pictures were all there. I found that this was an interesting book for the most part. Again, I loved the otherworldly feel to the novel. That is what kept me going and it followed through in the end with a killer cliffhanger. Believe me when I say that anyone that reads this book will be royally pained when they realize the book ends at such a good part. Heads will roll if no sequel is available!

I recommend this book for people from ten years to fourteen years old. The only reason I put a limit on the age is because it loses some significance for me as an older reader.

I give The Hollow People four dreamy stars. A fictional novel not to be missed in a middle school classroom! Silent reading will be a little more interesting with this one.  

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