I read this novel without realizing that this was a sequel to The Hollower. As it turns out, reading this novel without reading the first entry in the series was not a problem. Mary SanGiovanni does a nice job of summarizing the important parts of the first novel. The two stories seem to be pretty similar to each other based on the recap of the original storyline. In this novel, the original Hollower has been killed, but there is a new, more powerful Hollower on the prowl. A couple of the survivors of the first novel figure into the action, namely Dave and Erik, but there is a new group of people that have been slated to stop the Hollower.
I like the story's villainous monster. The Hollower is not a typical monster that I have encountered in other works of horror. SanGiovanni has done a nice job of creating an intriguing villain, one that doesn't have physical form and hates the physical aspect of our world, driving a killing hatred inside of it. The group of protagonists are a bit too homogenous. They all have big flaws and some of these flaws are too similar too each other. I think the novel could have been stronger had the cast been more varied. The general plot was strong, but I thought the ending didn't quite live up to the build. The finish seemed a little too easy and a bit anti-climactic. Still, the horror elements were well developed and the prose was nicely written. This is a novel that I would recommend for all horror enthusiasts out there.
Carl Alves - author of Blood Street