Monday 20 February 2012

Review - Hollow Pike By James Dawson

"Something wicked this way comes... She thought she'd be safe in the country, but you can't escape your own nightmares, and Lis London dreams repeatedly that someone is trying to kill her. Lis thinks she's being paranoid - after all who would want to murder her? She doesn't believe in the local legends of witchcraft. She doesn't believe that anything bad will really happen to her. You never do, do you? Not until you're alone in the woods, after dark - and a twig snaps... Hollow Pike - where witchcraft never sleeps." Taken from

I've been excited for this book for ages now.  The contemporary setting in Yorkshire was an enticing thought, together with witches - I'm already sold.

What an incredible cover to start with.  The colouring is haunting.  The side view of the girl is great.  Giving you just a slight feature of her face but not too much.  I particularly love her dark wild hair that merges into other things like roots, trees and birds.  Great work there alone!!

The book starts with a dedication that absolutely won my heart - Its for anyone that hated school - THAT IS ME!!!  School and I never matched, nothing ever seemed to go right and that little touch was just wonderful.  I didn't realise at this time how much I would relate to the main Lis, it was like reading my history.  More on that later.

This is set in Yorkshire.  Anyone that has visited there or read any of the Brontes stories, you know how grey and eerie it can be there.  This couldn't be a more perfect setting, even for mirroring the moods of the characters and events that take place.

Early into the story Lis starts at a new school.  This for her means finding her clique - the group she is going to hang out with and then potentially the group she will alienate.  I could relate to this so much.  I have been in Lis's shoes and know exactly how it feels to try and find the people you fit with.  Also the longing to be with the 'cool' gang, but actually knowing you probably don't fit with them.  I have been there and done that and also suffered the bullying as a result.
I knew I still had a lot of hang ups from my past but reading this really highlighted how much I am still affected by my past and that longing for acceptance.  Its definitely made me want to tackle this part of myself, so huge thanks to James for his very affordable therapy!!!

So the first hundred or so pages were rather biographical for me, then the book takes a more sinister turn.  Thankfully I couldn't relate to any of this - I think if I could I would be even more messed up that I already am.
There are so many scary / creepy goings on, that makes you question what is really going on, who should we be trusting, why would this be happening?

Essentially though this story for me was about finding acceptance of yourself and being where you belong.  Then hopefully the fun times and epic adventures will follow.

There were so many epic times for the characters of this book and not so fun, but equally as thrilling.  I never imagined it would be a book about witchcraft that I would connect with so closely, but I am so grateful I did!!!  An AMAZING debut, I can't wait to see what James comes up with next!!

Rating 4 1/2 Out Of 5

This Is Published In The UK By Indigo / Orion

This Can Be Purchased HERE and at good book retailers


  1. I completely agree - I can't wait for more by James Dawson :D

  2. Couldn't agree more! I loved this book :) The combination of the contemporary and the kind of creepy worked really well. Great review!