Friday, April 4, 2014
The Hollow World by Michael J. Sullivan (review)
Hollow World by Michael Sullivan is a fascinating futuristic tale depicting the adventures of Ellis Rogers, an unhappy man who searches for a way to escape his life. A leap of faith using calculations that will allow him to travel to the future results in a remarkable journey into an amazing environment. The question becomes, when a group of apparently identical genderless and hairless individuals hail him as a ‘Darwin’, yet his appearance coincides with the reintroduction of homicide into a previously peaceful society, can he become enlightened enough to survive in his new environment? The machinations of yet another ‘Darwin’ complicate his assimilation and force him to evaluate what his true values and standards are and what he is willing to do to remain true to them.
It is always difficult to imagine what the future holds but this author has invented a wonderfully creative concept and explored the boundaries of what is considered desirable. The collision between idealism and pragmatism is highlighted by the struggle to choose between a lifestyle with everything provided and one that depends on the results of one’s intense manual efforts. The revelations that gradually unfold are startling as they have repercussions in both Ellis’ present and past. There are thought-provoking images evoked by sentences such as “Hollow World is like one big house where everyone has a private study or office separated by a single doorway.” and, ”Humanity’s ability to adapt is proven, but our true talent is in our ability to make our environment adapt to us, and to be able to jump highest when the ground falls out from under our feet.” It was fascinating to watch the way the author was able to postulate a virtually identical group of beings who are nonetheless individuals who approach life in different ways. I thought that the tale started a bit slow and ponderous but it gained momentum and captured my attention until I was rushing to see what other quirk or twist would be revealed. This was a very enjoyable time travel tale and I hope that the author finds a way to explore more permutations of life in this intriguing version of the world.
© Night Owl Reviews
I received a copy of this title in return for an honest review.