Saturday, 23 August 2014

The Craziness Of Being Sane

It's been a long time since I've read anything that made me question the thing I know as sanity. It's been an even longer since I've read something that made me enjoy questioning it. Enter The Hollow City by Dan Wells, a gripping story where nothing is what it seems, no one can be trusted, and the truth is more terrifying than the delusion...

Gotta love the simple covers once in a while.
Our main character is Michael Shipman, a paranoid schizophrenic suffering from horrifying hallucinations and delusions. But as Michael struggles to cope with his diseases and anxieties, he begins to realize that the monsters he's seeing may not be as imaginary as he hoped they would be...

The thing I loved most about this story was that it confused me in the best way. As I was reading more about Michael's time in the psychiatric hospital, I found myself wondering if he really was being followed by the ominous Faceless Men, or if he was truly insane. Wells made it tricky by writing a very intelligent, observant character whose reasons are just as justifiable as those of the people trying to cure him of his illnesses. The depth of Michael's hallucinations was astonishing, and I really couldn't tell what was going to happen next.

That made the twist at the end all the more shocking and exciting. I wasn't expecting the angles it was taking, and remained hooked until the very last page.

Michael is a great character, easy to relate to and very smart, someone you would never label as insane until he started talking about the Faceless Men. I loved the relationship he had with his girlfriend Lucy, their romance tender, heart-warming, and truly uplifting. In contrast, I found Michael's relationship (or lack of) with his father to be just as intense and engaging. All the characters were well built and strong, adding to an already extremely well written story.

The Hollow City was a great read, something I hadn't known I'd missed until I read it again. I love reading books that make me ask questions, because it means I want to know more. I want to keep going through the book until all its secrets are revealed, to make sure they live up to my own crazy theories. The Hollow City surpassed them, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read a good psychological thriller, and who isn't afraid to question their own sanity in the process.


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