Lacy Dawn is a true daughter of Appalachia, and then some. She lives in a hollow with her worn-out mom, her Iraq War disabled dad, and her mutt Brownie, a dog who’s becoming very skilled at laying fiber optic cable. Lacy Dawn’s android boyfriend has come to the hollow with a mission. His equipment includes infomercial videos of Earth’s earliest proto-humans from millennia ago. He was sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp (Shop ’till You Drop): he must recruit Lacy Dawn to save the Universe in exchange for the designation of Earth as a planet which is eligible for continued existence within a universal economic structure that exploits underdeveloped planets for their mineral content. Lacy Dawn’s magic enables her to save the universe, Earth, and, most importantly, her own family.
Lacy Dawn is an interesting and complex character. She is both the youngest and the oldest human all in a single body. Despite my reservations about the first part of this book, I liked Lacy Dawn more in the beginning of the book then the end. She was the only character who I like less at the end of the book. I am not sure how that happened, as Jenny (her mother), Dwayne (her father), and DotCom/Bucky all seemed to have their ups and downs and I liked all of them more by the end.
All of the supporting characters were vividly portrayed just like their main counterparts. The author has a natural talent for adding oddities and randomness to personalities to make them feel real. You get every sense that you could look up Lacy Dawn’s family in the yellow pages and ask them how Shptiludrp is doing.
The plot is well developed but holds back too often. It was a bit long at some junctures that felt unnecessary to the characters or the overall plot. It felt like an overload of information for the sake of information. Which was fine the first or second time but by the third I had to stop myself from scanning instead of actually reading. Then important pieces of information would have no lead up and would just be dropped in your lap.
If there is one thing going for the novel it is sometimes it felt like a mystery. It felt like a mystery sci-fi more then a couple of time. Which was intriguing to me. Not to mention it was utterly thought provoking at every turn. It hit on major issues from socioeconomic status to the complexities of human existence, and even our place in a universe that may be infinitely more complex then we can imagine. Once I stumbled through the first part of the book, the second half of this novel is when it came into its own. This is where the author’s abilities really shone through for me.
You will be absolutely lost in the beginning of this book – or at least I was! I believe it is on purpose. It is utterly bizarre beginning to boot. Little is directly stated and if it is – it is in such a way that you have to go back and read it again. This book is uncompromisingly harsh to the point of near vulgarity and possesses a dark realism that is almost jarring. Those who are faint of heart – stay away. This book makes no apologize for what it is – it simply marches forward with a vague air of promise without too many details.
I actually didn’t like the beginning of this book. I didn’t see the point of it, but as you read you’ll see. Unlike most books where the first part of the book sets the stage for the rest of the book, that is not the case with Rarity from the Hollow. Do not assume anything. The author expertly reveals only as much as you need to keep you interested and slowly drops bits of information relevant to the plot. It is cleverly done.
Most surprisingly it is funny. At first you miss it. It seems almost harsh humor that slowly develops into every type of humor from satire to fart jokes. Let’s just say that its humor is as unforgiving as its plot.
I liked this book. I loved the last half, hated the first half and came out liking it. It was funny, full of satire, and you could almost feel the author grinning cunningly as another piece of information was revealed. This book is not for someone who offends easily. In addition to that I felt like Freud would have had a field day with this novel because this book seems to swing back around to every type of sexual devise (panties to erections to a multitude of bathroom trips for some “alone time”). There were many time it felt excessive, sort of like – I get the point.
That being said if you like dark realism, satire, sci-fi, and don’t offend easily this could be the perfect book for you!
Where did I get it?
The author sent me a copy in exchange of an honest review.