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Publisher's Summary

The future is coming...for some more than others.

Ellis Rogers is an ordinary man who is about to embark on an extraordinary journey. All his life he has played it safe and done the right thing. But when he is faced with a terminal illness, Ellis is willing to take an insane gamble. He's built a time machine in his garage, and if it works, he'll face a world that challenges his understanding of what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and the cost of paradise. Ellis could find more than a cure for his disease; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time has begun - but only if he can survive the Hollow World.

©2014 Michael J. Sullivan (P)2014 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Hollow World

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    429
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    190
  • 2 Stars
    60
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    397
  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
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    41

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Sensitive Reader Alert: Quite a bit of profanity

Is there anything you would change about this book?

There is quite a bit of profanity in this book, including the use of the F-word, that may dishearten sensitive readers.

Would you be willing to try another book from Michael J. Sullivan? Why or why not?

I enjoy Michael J. Sullivan's other books - the Riyria Chronicles, Riyria Revalations, and Legends of the First Empire.There is not nearly as much profanity in them.

What does Jonathan Davis bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Jonathan Davis does a good job with the reading of the story. I enjoyed his narration, and would definitely listen to another narration by him.

Any additional comments?

The story idea is interesting. The story itself is well-written and catches your interest right away. Personally, I couldn't finish the book simply because I got tired of the profanity.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Wow..

Its a good thing I did not read this before the Ryira series... otherwise I would have never have read them.

This is the most overly dramatic and predictable book I've ever read....

It feels like a book a college girl would write for drama class for an end of the year test.

Over emotional and downright akward.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

We Aren't in Riyria Any More

If you are a huge fan of Michael Sullivan's "Riyria Revelations" (as I am), you may be disappointed by the storyline of this book. If you love Hadrian and Royce and Gwen and Arista (as I do), you may be disappointed by the characters in this book. If you are simply a fan of Sullivan's writing (as I am), or if you like thought-provoking social commentary with offbeat sort-of science fiction, you may like this book.

Elements of the book reminded me of "Looking Backward," an 1888 book by Edward Bellamy. It is a change to see a vision of the future that had at least some elements of utopia, rather than the bleak and brutal dystopian futures portrayed in most 21st century novels. But 2,000 years is a long time (trying to go 200 years into the future, our MIT-trained protagonist miscalculates by an order of magnitude), and this future is indeed weird.

Definitely a change of pace for Michael Sullivan, and not something I would have chosen if he hadn't been the author. "Hollow World" lives up to his high standards as a novelist, and I'm not exactly sorry I listened to it, but, unlike the "Riyria" books, it's not something I'd want to listen to a second time.

78 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A departure from his main body of work, but WORTH the read!

I am a huge fan of the Riyria duo and how the characters came alive through my stereo. I listened to every book and I was seriously bummed when I heard that dreaded phrase ‘the end.’ I didn’t know if I could become invested in another genre and am please to tell you that this book, that I just finished’ is every bit as good as Michael J. Sullivan’s most popular series. The story line is a complete departure but if you’re like me, you won’t be disappointed!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Futuristic Tale & Enjoyable Read

It's taken me a long time to figure out how to write a review for this book without including spoilers. Many of the reasons why I enjoyed the book are key points of the story- either plot or character based. The only thing that I knew about the book prior to starting it was that it involved time travel - all of my other preconceived notions were completely wrong. (Which is my fault for drawing unsubstantiated conclusions.) As a result, I spent the first few chapters of the book being shocked & surprised. The audio version of the book comes with a free copy of the ebook version. I knew the book had my hooked when I started flipping back & forth between the two versions because I HAD to at least finish the chapter.

What did I like about this book? Many of the story conflicts; the very different (opposing) viewpoints regarding the same events; and the outstanding imagery. This is one of the most visually stimulating books I've read recently.

There is a high probability that SOMETHING in this book will either offend you or make you uncomfortable. This isn't Riyria- this book has a far different tone than that universe. It is the type of book that will make you think and may even have you questioning what you would do in the same situations. Would I read another book set in this universe? Yes = this book feels like the pebble thrown into pond- the ripples created are still expanding & it would be very interesting to see what happens next.

The narrator, Jonathan Davis, is excellent.

One other hint: don't skip over the author notes at the beginning and end of the book.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointed...

I love The Riyria Chronicles. Read those instead. Here he creates a beautiful world, with an interesting premise. intriguing characters trying to finding oneness with something foreign. and then halfway through he guts the story to beat you over the head with rhetoric and lumps all oppositional views in with a bigoted, abusive, genocidal psychopath. I believe all stories should have a message to explore. Just don't sacrifice the story to make a point. I mourn the lose of this story and what it was so close to being... and all the burnt bridges left uncrossed.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Entertaining Read, Not Quite Exceptional.

I'm a big fan of Michael J. Sullivan. Which of course means I love the Riyria based books. When I saw Hollow World come up for sale I had to buy it in spite of the very different subject matter. I wish I could say I enjoyed Hollow World as much as any of the Riyria books, but don't think this is quite up to that level of quality.

I like how different in nature this protagonist is from any of his previous main characters. He is a good man, but has some moral flaws and past regrets that color his current personality. That being said, he lacks the charm and charisma of Royce or Hadrian. If you don't know who I'm talking about you need to stop reading this and check out the authors other series immediately. I guess I found him a little boring overall.

Although MJS's other works are fantasy, I also enjoy Sci-Fi and was excited to see how he handled the genre. Since he's so adept at writing epic tales I thought this book would have a much grander story arch. In reality, it's more of a standard thriller with an added Sci-Fi dimension. This by itself is a fine premise for a book, I was just expecting it to be more exceptional considering MJS's talents.

What did I like about the book? Well the future "Hollow World" setting is quite thought provoking. He doesn't shy away from envisioning a wildly divergent evolutionary path
that we could take while showing how some basic traits/failings of humanity will always follow us. I found his world thought provoking but also slightly repulsive in it's order/homogeneity. Months later I still catch myself preforming thought experiments on the society he created. It's very interesting to think about how life would be like in that environment

I'm trying not to give the story away, but I found the main plot device to be rather outlandish. While story was told with proper pacing and excitement, I had a hard time buying some people's motivations and actions.

All in all, I'm happy I used a credit on this audiobook. I don't feel it's wasted at all. Of course I can think of several better books in this genre which I would recommend before Hollow World. If you're a MJS fan, you might want to read this regardless. Just keep in mind it's no Riyria Revelations.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Instant Classic, Makes You Think, Great Characters

This story was so much more than I was expecting. I was expecting it to be great and enjoyable because I like the author's writing, but this book has so much more in it than a good tale. It makes you think, a lot. It deals with a ton of huge concepts and ideas but not in a heavy handed way. You discover things with the protagonist and it comes off so well in the story. As Ellis Rogers, the main character, is discovering things and rethinking his worldview you find yourself as a reader contemplating the same issues as well. I don't want to give any spoilers away but I'll just say that this is a time travel novel and the society that Ellis discovers in the future is an amazing place to visit, but also something that really makes you think about a ton of issues.

Okay so the book makes you think, but it's also really fun, has characters you will love and love to hate, and fantastic settings. I really enjoyed my visit to Hollow World and you will too. The people you'll meet and the places you'll visit you won't soon forget and you'll think back on fondly when you finish the story. I found myself rooting for the main character and enjoying his journey. He was written really well. Very believable motivations, very fleshed out and real. I feel as if I've met him. A certain person of the future, the one on the book cover, is my favorite character though. His name is Pax and he is awesome. You'll see what I mean when you read or listen to the story. The audiobook is how I read this by the way and the narrator Jonathan Davis did a fantastic job. I've heard him read a few Star Wars novels and so I knew I was in good hands but he really made this story shine. I especially loved the way he voiced the antagonist of the story.

There's so much more I could say about his book like the fact that it also made me laugh a lot, but I don't want to spoil anything. I have no problem calling this novel an instant classic and I think that anyone who's a fan of Science Fiction would agree. To sum up, great characters, cool settings, thought provoking issues brought up by a difference in the society of the future our protag discovers. Five stars all the way baby.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A Good Read!!

This was a good read, I don't think that i'll be reading it again though... It had a good point of view regarding the future, and how it could happen or be like but thats basically it....
There were several twists through the book which were predictable easily and i didn't enjoy knowing what will happen.

I do love Micheal Sullivan's work, but this one wasn't as great or good as his other work.

Honestly, I just bought the book without knowing what it will be about exactly, I don't regret it of course, it was a good read, but for some reason i've expected something else.

If you like books that show how the future might be like and so on, then you will like this book.

27 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

not just bad, abysmal

Some spoilers... The protagonist of the story, Ellis "Mr." Rogers, an M.I.T. graduate of engineering, whips together a time machine in his garage using nothing more than milk crates, some wiring, and an old van seat. He flees to the future after finding out that he's dying from an incurable lung disease, and after finding out that his "best friend" Warren was porking his wife right after his son killed himself. Ellis Rogers is by far the most braindead and stupid character I have ever encountered in any book, and not in a humorous way. The villain, Warren a.k.a.: "Ren" (where's Stimpy?), his redneck best friend who's educated with nothing more than a GED, a big clod who was banging Ellis's wife Peggy right after their son hung himself because his M.I.T. graduate father couldn't accept his gay son, follows Ellis to the far future by offering some nerd a little ass and cheap beer to copy Ellis's time machine based off the technical papers Ellis wrote up and left with Warren, "just in case". Once there, Ren plans to destroy the society there, "Hollow World", because he has to make 'Merica great again even though the country hasn't existed for over 1,500 years. Warren wants to revert this super advanced society back to his version of 1950s America using nukes. Well of course nukes, obviously. Oh but, Ellis can't seem to figure any of this out even though it's obvious. What's not obvious is how an abusive GED drunk could have gotten this far in the first place. The very premise is absurd, weapons-grade facepalm, and Ellis's so-called naivete is just as absurd. Let me put it this way, it would be like you telling Ellis, "I hate you! I wish you were dead!" and Ellis would reply with, "I'm not sure I understand, what do you mean by that?" Yes, he's that moronic, yet he's an MIT graduate, rofl. The narration was good despite the garbage he was reading. I will be returning this crappy book. Stick with your Riyria series Michael, you and sci-fi don't mix.

2 people found this helpful