Review - Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton

Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: August 6, 2019
Date Read: September 20, 2019
Length: 320 pages
Source: Publisher
One pet crow fights to save humanity from an apocalypse in this uniquely hilarious debut from a genre-bending literary author.

S.T., a domesticated crow, is a bird of simple pleasures: hanging out with his owner Big Jim, trading insults with Seattle's wild crows (those idiots), and enjoying the finest food humankind has to offer: Cheetos ®.

Then Big Jim's eyeball falls out of his head, and S.T. starts to feel like something isn't quite right. His most tried-and-true remedies--from beak-delivered beer to the slobbering affection of Big Jim's loyal but dim-witted dog, Dennis--fail to cure Big Jim's debilitating malady. S.T. is left with no choice but to abandon his old life and venture out into a wild and frightening new world with his trusty steed Dennis, where he discovers that the neighbors are devouring each other and the local wildlife is abuzz with rumors of dangerous new predators roaming Seattle. Humanity's extinction has seemingly arrived, and the only one determined to save it is a foul-mouthed crow whose knowledge of the world around him comes from his TV-watching education.

Hollow Kingdom is a humorous, big-hearted, and boundlessly beautiful romp through the apocalypse and the world that comes after, where even a cowardly crow can become a hero.
My Review

I really liked this book.  I am always on the lookout for something different,  something original, something I haven't read one hundred times before.  I have also been reading a lot of zombie books lately so I kind of think that this book was written for me.  This was a different kind of zombie story and one that I won't forget any time soon.  I am so glad that I took a chance and decided to give Hollow Kingdom a try.

This story is told almost entirely from S.T.'s point of view.  There are a few other characters that get a quick point of view, but this is really S.T.'s story.  S.T. is a bird.  A pet crow to be precise.  He has been dependant on his human, Big Jim,  and likes his life.  He knows that it is time to venture out on his own when Big Jim loses an eye and goes a little crazy.  S.T. and Dennis, Big Jim's hound, leave the house and begin an adventure more intense than they could have ever imagined.

I loved S.T. from the start of this story.  I thought that the author did a fabulous job of bringing this bird to life.  I felt his uncertainty, his loyalty, and his desire to make things as right in the world as he could.  S.T. is a smart little bird with a very large heart.  He takes his quest seriously and puts himself at risk in order to save the lives of others.  S.T. isn't the only great character in this book.  We get to know Dennis through S.T.'s eyes and I couldn't help but fall in love with that dog.  There really is a nice cast of characters that help to bring this story together.

I loved the way that this story was told.  I was surprised by the level of humor throughout the story.  S.T. knew how humans operated based solely on his experiences with Big Jim so his knowledge was a bit skewed.  This story was also an emotional one.  There were times that I got choked up but the turn the story took.  I also appreciated the underlying message of the story.  The reason behind the demise of humans is something that I would have to say has had a negative impact on our world in a lot of ways.  I also liked the fact that we got to see how the animals fared without our interference and it was quite clear how much better the world can work when we work together.

I would definitely recommend this book to others.  This funny, touching, and insightful story was unlike anything that I have read before.  I will definitely be reading more from this talented author in the future.

I received a review copy of this book from Grand Central Publishing.
About the Author

Kira Jane Buxton's writing has appeared in the New York Times,, McSweeney's, The Rumpus, Huffington Post, and more. She calls the tropical utopia of Seattle, Washington, home and spends her time with three cats, a dog, two crows, a charm of hummingbirds, and a husband.


  1. YAY! Another Hollow Kingdom lover. I adored S.T. and Dennis too. I've heard rumblings that there may be a sequel. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I want to see how S.T. handles future mofo's.

  2. Okay, this one sounds so out there. LOL Just reading the synopsis made me laugh. I’m not sure this one be my cup of tea but I have to give kudos for the originality! :)

  3. I put this on reserve at the library after seeing Barb's review. I'm glad you enjoyed it also. Fantastic review!

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  4. Definitely a unique concept! I'm glad to hear that you really liked it. And yay for some nice humor too.


  5. Well, that is definitely different. I'd read it. :) Fun review, Carole!

  6. Huh, well that is certainly different and I would like it

  7. You have me really wanting read this one! Gotta to add it to my list.

  8. This definitely sounds different. Added the audio version to my wishlist. Great review and thanks for sharing it.

  9. I can't wait to get my hands on a paperback copy of this one! It's been on my wishlist all year!

  10. What an amazing way to tell a zombie story! I've only seen crows as dark messengers in stories before, never the hero!

  11. Yes! I won this book on Instagram and I cannot wait to have time to read it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 👍✨

  12. It is definitely unique for the majority of the story to be told from the crow's kind of perspective! I am glad this could be the refresher you needed. And I always enjoy reading humorous books as well :D

  13. This does sound different and fun. I am definitely going to have to give this one a try. Thanks for the recommendation, Carole.


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