The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

The Hollow Ones by Chuck Hogan, Guillermo del Toro
Narrator: Brittany Pressley
Series: Blackwood Tapes #1
Published by Grand Central Publishing on August 4, 2020
Genres: Horror, Paranormal
Length: 9 hours 16 minutes
Pages: 326
Format: ARC, Audiobook
Source: NetGalley
Purchase on: Amazon// Barnes & Noble// BookBub
Add to: Goodreads // StoryGraph

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A horrific crime that defies ordinary explanation. A rookie FBI agent in dangerous, uncharted territory. An extraordinary hero for the ages.
Odessa Hardwicke's life is derailed when she's forced to turn her gun on her partner, Walt Leppo, a decorated FBI agent who turns suddenly, inexplicably violent while apprehending a rampaging murderer. The shooting, justified by self-defense, shakes the young FBI agent to her core. Devastated, Odessa is placed on desk leave pending a full investigation. But what most troubles Odessa isn't the tragedy itself-it's the shadowy presence she thought she saw fleeing the deceased agent's body after his death. Questioning her future with the FBI and her sanity, Hardwicke accepts a low-level assignment to clear out the belongings of a retired agent in the New York office. What she finds there will put her on the trail of a mysterious figure named John Silence, a man of enormous means who claims to have been alive for centuries, and who is either an unhinged lunatic, or humanity's best and only defense against unspeakable evil.


This is one of the first audiobooks I ever picked up and decided to try listening to. Three years later, once I finally got into audiobooks and was able to take time to listen and comprehend what was going on, I picked The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan up again. Absolutely loved it!

First, I really enjoyed the narrator. The voices for each character were clearly able to be differentiated and honestly? Loved the the voice she did for John Blackwood, aka the love of my life. I think if I were to read this instead of listen, I would not have cared as much for the characters.

Second, the story was really interesting. Pacing was fast, which was good because it kept me from digging too deep into everything or from getting bored. Some might complain that it is too shallow, that it hasn’t been developed enough. I would argue that this is (or was meant to be) a book one. If it had stuffed in all of the explanation and world building in, the pacing would have suffered and there’d be less to look forward to in following books.

I think there was a good balance between procedural legal things and supernatural creepy things. It wasn’t scary, but eerie. There were hints of love angle but it didn’t burden the story and was kept mainly to the background. Likely foreshadowing things to come, hopefully.

I say hopefully and meant to be because this book was published in 2020 and, three years later, a sequel has never been released. I’m afraid that it will become an abandoned series. It wouldn’t be terrible. If it ended with book 1, the ending wouldn’t drive me crazy. It feels pretty wrapped up, but very obviously begging for a second.

If you like crime stories and paranormal stories, The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan might be for you. Just don’t go into this book expecting it to lean heavy into either genre.


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