Hollowmen (The Hollows, #2) - Amanda Hocking You can read my review of the first book hereWARNING: THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR BOTH THIS BOOK AND THE FIRST ONE. Hollowmen starts out about six months after the events of Hollowland ended. Remy has taken her brother Max's place as guinea pig for a group of evil scientists who want to dissect her and try to find the secret behind her immunity to zombie bites. Unfortunately, the facility is invaded by zombies (of course), and Remy must journey off into the desert again with a group of random military people, one of the evil doctors who dissected her, and Max. It turns out Lazlo and Harlow and Blue left without her, so ... apparently, they just don't matter anymore. Anyway, Remy and her new group of people start heading North, because apparently zombies hate the cold and they'll all be safer there. Along the way they encounter a lot of creeps and weirdoes and of course ZOMBIES. (Oh yeah, and Ripley the freakin' lion comes with them.)Well anyway ...From the other reviews I've looked at, the general consensus seems to be that people did not like this book as much as the first one. I guess I'm the odd one out, because I actually thought this was better than the first. I gave Hollowland 2.5 stars (which was kind of generous of me), but I give this one a solid 3. But I understand why people had mixed feelings about Hollowmen. (And trust me, I did too.) It seems to be that what people dislike about this one is that it's so disconnected from the first book. Basically, Hocking kind of throws the original cast of characters out the window. Blue shows up as a zombie at the very beginning of this book, and Remy kills him. Lazlo is hardly in the book at all; Remy has one conversation with him over some car radio or something, which lasts about one page. Oh, and in that one conversation Lazlo informs her that Harlow is dead. So ... fuck the characters from the first book, I guess. They don't matter. I feel like this should have angered me more. And if I'd been absolutely in love with the first book, it probably would have. Maybe it's because the first book was kinda "meh" for me, but I just honestly didn't care so much that Hocking got rid of most of the first book's major characters. It was an unusual thing to do, I admit. And it's not what I expected to happen.But actually, I kind of ... liked that she did that. I mean really, it was more realistic. In most books, Remy probably would have journeyed out into the wilderness and would have just happened to stumble upon Lazlo, Harlow, and Blue, and they would have all miraculously been alive. But, it makes more sense that two of them would die and that Remy wouldn't be able to catch up with Lazlo.I did think it was weird, though, that Remy hardly even thought about the characters from the first book. I understand Hocking's decision to kill them off like that, but I had the same problem with Remy in this book that I had with her in the first book ... she just didn't seem to give a fuck about anyone. Blue died, Harlow died, Lazlo abandoned her ... and she would just have one thought about each of them like, "Oh, I'll never see them again. Oh well." And it was just like she didn't seem to care. So ... weird. But, whatever.But anyway, despite that aspect of the book feeling realistic to me, I still had a lot of believability issues with this book. Maybe quite not as much as I had with the first book, but ... yeah. Such as:- I don't understand why the doctors had to cut her open in order to figure out why she was immune to zombies. Daniels (one of the doctors) tells her at one point that what they need to do is study her blood. Then uh ... why the hell can't they just take some blood samples from her and study those? There seemed to be no logical scientific explanation as to why the doctors would want to dissect Remy; obviously, Hocking just thought it would be creepy. Not to mention, they do this without using any painkillers or anesthetics or anything ... Ummm. I understand that they're running low on medicine and stuff, but I'd think they'd use what they have on Remy since––besides her brother––she's the only immune person they know of, and they probably wouldn't want to kill her. And if she's writhing around in agony, that would make killing her quite possible.- If the North is apparently so zombie-free then WHY ISN'T EVERYONE THERE ALREADY?- Max does not act like an 8-year-old. Trust me. I have an 8-year-old brother. No 8-year-old boy would ever say anything like, "Remy, go on without me." Or, "I know you wish things were different, but they aren't. This is the way things are, Remy. And they're not going back to the way they used to be, no matter how much you want them to." ... Yet, these are things that actually come out of Max's mouth. Hocking's excuse seems to be that Max is "wise beyond his years" or something. But I've seen authors try to pull off this trick time and time again. It's basically a way of being like, "Shit it's really hard to make a little kid sound realistic so ... I'll just say this kid is smarter than other kids and therefore he has an excuse to talk like an adult! Yes, brilliant!" ... Just, no. - Ripley the lion is still in the book, and is still following Remy around ... Errm okay. But more than that, she only seems to show up when it's convenient. There would be huge chunks of the book where she wouldn't show up at all, and Remy wouldn't even mention her. And then suddenly it would be like, "AND THEN RIPLEY JUMPED OUT FROM BEHIND A TREE AND ATE ALL THE ZOMBIES, THANK GOODNESS." So ... yeah. There's really no point to Ripley being there at all. There never has been.- I'm not sure about Remy's relationship with Boden. I didn't even really get that they were supposed to be interested in each other until, well, they were randomly making out and having sex. Before that, I hadn't sensed much chemistry between them. It was kind of like, Hocking just couldn't get through a single book without having a sex scene so she just was like, "Oh yeah and I'm totes in love with Boden." So, um. Okay. Not to mention, Remy keeps having unprotected sex which is a really shitty idea. I mean, it's a shitty idea in general, but especially when you're wandering around in a zombie-infested world ... That would be a very bad time to get pregnant, young lady. Or get an STD. Soooo good luck with that.Okay, but there were still things I liked about this book. For one, I thought it presented some more interesting and more complicated characters than were present in the first book. I found Remy's relationship with Daniels very interesting. Of course things were super awkward at first, what with him having tried to cut her apart a bunch of times, but it was intriguing to see how guilty he felt and that he tried to redeem himself throughout the book. By the end of the book I actually really liked him. But ... then he died. So that sucks.Clark was also interesting. I thought his whole attitude was (unfortunately) a realistic one that a lot of people would probably have after the apocalypse. Like, "Hahaha the world is over, so I can just do whatever I want, drink everything, rape all the women, aw yeah." I mean, it's god-awful and sickening, but it seemed believable. Over all, with characters such as these, Hocking got into some more thought-provoking material than was in book one. I felt that this one compelled the reader to think more about what it would really be like if the world was ending, about how humans could become just as monstrous as the zombies, etc. So, over all, I enjoyed this one. It had its flaws, but I thought it was better than Hollowland, and if there's ever a third book, I'd read it.