The Hollow Gods

The Hollow Gods

3.94 (439 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Rich with folklore and paranormal intrugue, The Hollow Gods is an atmospheric supernatural thriller that will satisfy lovers of Maggie Stiefvater's THE RAVEN BOYS, especially those craving a fable with a darker touch.

Black Hollow is a town with a dark secret.

For centuries, residents have foretold the return of the Dreamwalker-an ominous figure from local folklore said to lure young women into the woods and possess them. Yet the boundary between fact and fable is blurred by a troubling statistic: occasionally, women do go missing. And after they return, they almost always end up dead.

When Kai wakes up next to the lifeless body of a recently missing girl, his memory blank, he struggles to clear his already threadbare conscience.

Miya, a floundering university student, experiences signs that she may be the Dreamwalker's next victim. Can she trust Kai as their paths collide, or does he herald her demise?

And after losing a young patient, crestfallen oncologist, Mason, embarks on a quest to debunk the town's superstitions, only to find his sanity tested.

A maelstrom of ancient grudges, forgotten traumas, and deadly secrets loom in the foggy forests of Black Hollow. Can three unlikely heroes put aside their fears and unite to confront a centuries-old evil? Will they uncover the truth behind the fable, or will the cycle repeat?

"The writing sizzles with menace, and the dark mythology A.J. Vrana weaves from dreams and nightmares is unlike any I've ever encountered, in and out of books."

- Katya de Becerra, author of OASIS and WHAT THE WOODS KEEP

"Utterly consuming with palpable emotion, an engaging mystery, and absolutely delicious tension, this is one that lingers after you've turned the final page, an itch that needs to be scratched."

- Verified Reviewer

"I would highly recommend this book for anyone with interest in folklore, magical realism, and a dark touch of horror. An absolutely stunning debut from this author. I have pre-ordered my own copy of the book, and I am very much looking forward to the second book in The Chaos Cycle."

- Verified Reviewer

"The Hollow Gods is a striking debut about guilt, grief, and how the past sometimes finds a way to come back to haunt us. The roots of this story will be familiar to those who enjoy reading about fairytales and folklore, but Vrana has added her own touch to the genre that allows this novel to hold its own against the greats."

- Verified Reviewer

"A gem of a book. Can't wait for the next one."

- Verified Reviewer

"Vrana crafts a unique local mythology and draws from existing lore to create a sense of creeping dread."

- Publisher's Weekly

The Chaos Cycle Duology

is best enjoyed in this order:

Book 1: The Hollow Gods

Book 2: The Echoed Realm
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 23mm | 503g
  • English
  • 1733386807
  • 9781733386807
  • 1,922,787

Review quote

Vrana's dark, folklore-infused debut, thefirst of a duology, introduces readers to the residents of Black Hollow, who hold their daughters close and their twisted secrets closer...Vrana crafts a unique local mythology and draws from existing lore to create a sense of creeping dread. Vrana is off to a strong start with thissolid, suspenseful tale.


This dazzling debut pulls you in with its compelling characters andhorrifying mystery and keeps you in its thrall until the final page. The writing sizzles with menace, and the dark mythology A. J. Vrana weavesfrom dreams and nightmares is unlike any I've ever encountered, in andout of books. A perfect story for contemporary fantasy readers who love their narratives razor-sharp and their secrets dark and deadly.

-- Katya de Becerra, author of OASIS and WHAT THE WOODS KEEP

A. J. Vrana's debut "The Hollow Gods" is an excitingcontemporaryhorror-fantasy that shines when it declines to play frights, which areeasy, and instead explores dread, collective and generationalgrief, trauma, and historical responsibility. [...] the fragmented, surgically precise narrative builds from the utterly, painfully ordinary to the absurd and fantastic.


Grounded in secrets, myth, fantasy, and alternate reality, Vrana's debutinstallment in The Chaos Cycle series is a fast-paced, deeply intriguing urban fantasy. Prepped with intriguing details, the narrative is bothengrossing and vivid, the writing assured, and the pacing perfect.Exploring varied themes of grief, depression, trauma, and collectiveguilt, Vrana hooks the reader from the very start, leaving them anxiousfor the next installment.

--The Prairies Book Review
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Rating details

439 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
5 38% (168)
4 31% (134)
3 20% (89)
2 9% (38)
1 2% (10)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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