Original Title: 2016
Year Published: Dog Horn
Published by: (an arc was kindly provided via the author in exchange for an honest review)
Number of Pages: 284
First Sentence: “Inside her first clubhouse, Lacy Dawn glanced over fifth grade spelling words for tomorrow’s quiz at school.”
Goodreads Rating: 1/5
Lacy Dawn’s father relives the Gulf War, her mother’s teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in The Hollow isn’t great. But Lacy has one advantage — she’s been befriended by a semi-organic, semi-robot who works with her to cure her parents. He wants something in exchange, though. It’s up to her to save the Universe.
Will Lacy Dawn’s predisposition, education, and magic be enough for her to save the Universe, Earth, and, most importantly, protect her own family?
Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. It is a children’s story for adults, not for the prudish, faint of heart, or easily offended.
I did not enjoy this book. I powered through the whole thing but cannot say that it was an enjoyable read. Was it badly written? No, absolutely not. In fact, it was pretty well written. It was content I had issues with.
Some of the themes were a little too on the nose and just didn’t sit right with me. You have discussions of domestic abuse, sexual assault of young children and issues with alcohol/drug addictions. I suppose this is the way Eggleton wanted to depict the small backwater town he chose as the backdrop for this story, but it was handled quite nonchalantly. I don’t think those are topics you can ever gloss over, instead they should always be handled with certain care. Does this mean that the author doesn’t care about those topics? No, it’s actually the complete opposite.
In fact, accordig to his Goodreads profile: Robert Eggleton has served as a children’s advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. He is best known locally for his nonfiction: investigative reports about children’s programs, most of which were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from 1982 through 1997; nationally distributed models of serving disadvantaged and homeless children in the community instead of in large institutions; research into foster care drift involving children bouncing from one home to the next — never finding a permanent loving family; and statistical reports on the occurrence and correlates of child abuse and delinquency in West Virginia. Dozens of his works have been archived by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Today, he is a recently retired children’s psychotherapist from a mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome physical and sexual abuse, and other mental health concerns. Author proceeds from Eggleton’s Lacy Dawn Adventures project have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. http://www.childhswv.org/ Robert continues to write adult literary science fiction with new adventures based on a protagonist that is a composite character of children that he met when delivering group therapy services. The overall theme of his stories remains victimization to empowerment.
And yes, Lacy Dawn takes power over her situation. Fair enough. I still could not enjoy this book, it was just too far out of my comfort zone that I spent most of the read cringing.
I will say that it is clearly stated in the blurb on Goodreads that this book is not for the easily offended or the faint of heart. However, I’m not easily offended and still struggled immensely with this book. It might have been an attempt at satire, but in that case it completely missed the mark. Sci-fi? Yes, but weird sci-fi. At least weird from the way I look at the sci-fi genre (and yes, I’m well aware that sci-fi can be extremely weird).
Do I recommend it?
No, not really. However, just because it wasn’t my cup of tea it doesn’t mean it’s not for you.