This book is a real surprise. I'm not a sci-fi reader, I usually enjoy fantasy, thrillers and historical novels, but I picked it after reading the wonderful Riyria series by mr. Sullivan. He has just a way to write about tales that I wanted to try something else from him, and something new for me altogether. The summary of Hollow world is intriguing, and I started to read the book four days ago. I was literally hooked with the tale, and the characters. The world is beautifully depicted, and you can't help but want to know more, also the main character is not your average twenty-something guy with many talents and a typical brilliant future or impending tragedy ahead of him, Ellis is just like your middle aged guy next-door, with average skills and a knack for science, who had led an average life, with average fulfillment and above average tragedies, simply put a guy you can fully relate to. He finds himself in a particular and dire condition, but he decides to chance the future, to have a future, and from this choice, seasoned with thrilling and fantastic elements, you follow him on Hollow World. There are many new things to discover, and he'll face challenges which to me feel like a true self-discovery journey, which is very interesting given his age. The tale also mixes elements which are not original, I mean there are many science fiction novels and classics which delve into the possibilities of the future, but the structure of the tale is absolutely fascinating, and gave me a wonderful time reading. Also, there are personal themes intertwined with the plot, and reflections on beliefs, human condition and struggles of the self represented, in my opinion, by the different views of two separated characters. Some themes are dear to the author, but I never felt a pressure of answers, I simply enjoyed the discovery. I like it when an author shares seamlessly, and in a well structured book, his opinion, but without pushing. This is definitely a solid story with much background and entertainment, the kind of tale I like to read about, the downside is that a science-fiction book is a gamble, and I'm sure the story could have been further developed (note the further, which doesn't mean better, because I like it the way it is), maybe spanning a couple of books. But the plot is conclusive and I was satisfied by the ending.
Also read the before and after word, there is a lot to learn about self-publishing and traditional publishing, the role of great women and about the creation of this book, I feel there's real added value in reading about the behind the scenes, and I appreciate the way the author relates to his readers. Don't miss this book!