S.T., a domesticated crow, is a bird of simple pleasures: hanging out with his owner Big Jim, trading insults with Seattle’s wild crows (those idiots), and enjoying the finest food humankind has to offer: Cheetos®.
Then Big Jim’s eyeball falls out of his head, and S.T. starts to feel like something isn’t quite right. His most tried-and-true remedies — from beak-delivered beer to the slobbering affection of Big Jim’s loyal but dim-witted dog, Dennis — fail to cure Big Jim’s debilitating malady. S.T. is left with no choice but to abandon his old life and venture out into a wild and frightening new world with his trusty steed Dennis, where he discovers that the neighbors are devouring each other and the local wildlife is abuzz with rumors of dangerous new predators roaming Seattle. Humanity’s extinction has seemingly arrived, and the only one determined to save it is a foul-mouthed crow whose knowledge of the world around him comes from his TV-watching education.
Hollow Kingdom is a humorous, big-hearted, and boundlessly beautiful romp through the apocalypse and the world that comes after, where even a cowardly crow can become a hero.
Author: Kira Jane Buxton | Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
When I heard that this was an apocalyptic comedy narrated by a sweary-mouthed crow, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Still, this wasn’t it. Sometimes the summary blurb on a book does the perfect job of summing it up — in the case of Hollow Kingdom, those words are “a humorous, big-hearted, and boundlessly beautiful romp.”
This book was HILARIOUS. It was also so, so beautiful. I found myself chortling one second and then immediately clutching my heart the next. (It will be published August 6!)
Our narrator’s name is S.T., which stands for Shit Turd. He grew up in a small craftsman house with Big Jim and a dog named Dennis. S.T. thinks that humans are called MoFos, and he also identifies as such. Then, one day, Big Jim’s eyeball falls out. “Like, fell the fuck out of his head.” Thus begins the apocalypse, and S.T. and Dennis set off to join up with their fellow animals to save the world as they know it. Along the way, they dodge predators, make friends, learn about the magic of the Animal Kingdom, and find themselves and their callings.
I cannot express to you how hilariously witty Kira Jane Buxton is. This book is snort-out-your-coffee funny. It’s laugh-out-loud-in-public funny. It’s also got vulgar language and some crude jokes (so if that’s not your thing, you’ve been warned) — which isn’t usually my cup of tea, but this was so well done that it never bothered me for even one second.
But also, I never expected to fall so much in love with our foul-mouthed feathered friend. He has a heart that’s ten times the size of his body, and he loves us MoFos and the world we’ve built. He has an uncanny ability to see beauty everywhere and a bright flame of optimism that makes it impossible not to root for him. He’s one of my new favorite characters ever, probably.
By the end, I had gone from cackling to crying — in the best way. This may end up being one of my favorite books of the year.