The Hollow Folk is a continuing series that should be read in order and reading this review may open up spoilers for the previous book.
Vie Eliot still doesn’t want to be in Wyoming and he still doesn’t want to be living with his abusive father, but that is where he is. The murderer he survived recently is thought to be dead, but Vie isn’t so sure about anything anymore. He does know that his psychic abilities are changing. He doesn’t know how to explore his abilities or contain them and now he’s trying to balance that out with being a boyfriend.
But life is difficult and complicated for Vie and when River, a drifter passing through, disappears, Vie is reluctantly brought into finding out what happened to him. The murderer that Vie calls Mr. Big Empty seems to be everywhere and the killer is invading Vie’s daily life, as well as his dreams. With a trail of murder mounting, Vie knows the killings are personal, but he doesn’t know how much danger the people he comes in contact with truly are.
All the Inside Howling follows Mr. Big Empty and definitely needs to be read after that book. This picks up right after those events with Vie knowing that the killer is still out there, but he’s not even sure if it’s the same killer, if there is more than one killer, and how the killer is able to get into Vie’s mind and dreams.
Vie doesn’t have a great life, yet he is resilient. He hates his father and thinks he covers the abuse well and Vie is terrified to strike back. Everyone sees the bruises though, but the kids that have everything don’t know how to truly understand what it’s like to be Vie.
Vie finds himself in one situation after the next and the amount of pain he suffers both physically and emotionally is daunting. He’s trying to stay ahead of murderers, ones he can see and ones he cannot, while also trying to figure out how to be a good boyfriend. But Vie’s feelings are split between two boys, and adding high school into the mix that is already overwhelming Vie leaves his life feeling out of control.
The series is based on the presence Vie calls Mr. Big Empty and how he torments Vie’s dreams and then leads him to where he wants Vie to be, but at this point, I’m not entirely clear on everything about Mr. Big Empty. There is still a lot to be discovered as the series continues, but if there are questions to be asked, I have them.
Ashe excels with character development and even the characters with the smallest of roles are highly visual. The characters have great depth and Vie and his group have long stories and there is still a lot to come for them. Every day is a struggle for Vie and violence finds him often, but there is something charming about Vie that has people gravitate toward him and finding out what happens to Vie is high on my list. Once again, this book is an entire event and Ashe laces his words with a quality that makes the book impossible to put down.