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Hollow Kingdom

Written by: Kira Jane Buxton
Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"The Secret Life of Pets meets The Walking Dead" in this big-hearted, boundlessly beautiful romp through the apocalypse, where a foul-mouthed crow is humanity's only chance to survive Seattle's zombie problem (Karen Joy Fowler, PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author)

S.T., a domesticated crow, is a bird of simple pleasures: hanging out with his owner Big Jim, trading insults with Seattle's wild crows (i.e. "those idiots"), and enjoying the finest food humankind has to offer: Cheetos®. 

But when Big Jim's eyeball falls out of his head, S.T. starts to think something's not quite right. His most tried-and-true remedies - from beak-delivered beer to the slobbering affection of Big Jim's loyal but dim-witted dog, Dennis - fail to cure Big Jim's debilitating malady. S.T. is left with no choice but to abandon his old life and venture out into a wild and frightening new world with his trusty steed Dennis, where he suddenly discovers that the neighbors are devouring one another. Local wildlife is abuzz with rumors of dangerous new predators. Humanity's extinction has seemingly arrived, and the only one determined to save it is a cowardly crow whose only knowledge of the world around him comes from TV.

What could possibly go wrong? 

©2019 Kira Jane Buxton (P)2019 Hachette Audio

What the critics say

"A plucky hero, a boisterous tale, startling prose and eerie events combine for a thoroughly enjoyable account of the end of the world as we know it. The Secret Life of Pets meets The Walking Dead." (Karen Joy Fowler, PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

"Hollow Kingdom offers a bird's-eye view of the apocalypse we all want and need-especially when the bird in question is a plucky, Cheeto-loving domesticated crow.... With infinite heart and humor, Kira Jane Buxton's fine-feathered narrator guides us through richly imagined animal realms while braving the terrifying collapse of the human world. A dazzling, wholly original debut, revealing the great paradox of humanity's fatal flaws and resilient spirit." (Mona Awad, author of 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl and Bunny

"If you've ever thought that humans were the ones in charge, Kira Jane Buxton's groundbreaking novel will have you thinking otherwise. Full of unforgettable humor, insight and beauty, Hollow Kingdom enriches our human experience by inhabiting the minds (and bellies!) of our non-human animal companions and reminding us that we're not alone here on this earth." (Ruth Ozeki, nationally best-selling author of A Tale for the Time Being)

"Hollow Kingdom is a nature book for our own age, an exuberant, glittering, hard-hitting mashup of Dawn of the Dead and The Incredible Journey. It's an adventure lit by strange myths, brand-names, television and smartphone screens, a fable with teeth and claws about animals making new lives amongst the ruins of humanity. It's transformative, poignant, and funny as hell. S.T. the irrepressible, cursing crow is my new favourite apocalyptic hero." (Helen Macdonald, New York Times best-selling author of H Is for Hawk)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fun, funny, and flawless

A rare gem among tales, irreverent, hilarious and insightful. I’ll be recommending this book to many!

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Beautiful

Beautiful, and gory, just like life.
The performance of the narrator made this book sing.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Victor @ theAudiobookBlog dot com
  • 2020-05-08

Original, Funny, Unputdownable

Robert Petkoff is the perfect narrator for this incredibly funny, original and addictive end of the world adventure. Filled with memorable ... characters, Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton is a book like none other and it will show you the Apocalypse like you never seen it before.

A good friend of mine, best-selling and award-winning thriller author Brett Battles, suggested that I give this story a listen and boy he was right on the money!

If you liked this review please vote Helpful below and find more of them here and on theAudiobookBlog.
I also post honest reviews at the author, narrator or publisher's request,

Thank you & stay safe,
Victor

8 people found this helpful

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  • George
  • 2019-09-20

Oh So Good!

If Christopher Moore re-wrote Jonathan Livingston Seagull during a zombie apocalypse, it still wouldn’t be this good! Fun and funny, it’s irreverent beauty is a joy to behold and the narration is spot on.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Midi
  • 2020-03-28

Completely, unexpectedly wonderful!

I'm not really sure how I came about purchasing this book. It may have been a random Audible Daily Deal that I purchased on a whim. It sat on my app for several weeks and finally, I decided to listen with no recollection of what it was about and absolutely no expectations. Well, the main character had me immediately at 'Shit-Bird'... and then it just went on from there. Robert Petkoff, a narrator with whom I was unfamiliar, was ABSOLUTELY amazing! (I loved his amazing accents and voices, especially the foul mouthed Scottish... I think he was a cow... wait, I guess that would make him a bull). The story, which brings to mind those TV shows where they talk about what happens if all humans were to disappear and what would happen to the animals, both domestic and wild, is approached from the view of a pet crow. There wasn't a dull moment in this book and I literally laughed out loud so often that my husband kept giving me strange looks. Honestly, I will never look at a squirrel the same again. I also almost cried at one point... and I challenge anyone who reads/listens to this say it didn't affect them - unless, of course, you have no soul. But that's the hallmark of a good book isn't it? Comedy and drama intermingled to evoke emotions. Coming to this book with no expectations, it just felt that much more satisfying to enjoy it so very much. Thank you Kira Jane Buxton and Robert Petkoff for bringing me this amazing reading/listening experience. (This is probably the gushiest review I've ever written... but yes, I enjoyed it THAT much.)

2 people found this helpful

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  • Beth
  • 2020-02-27

Crows Before Hoes

Very interesting book, with an anthropomorphizing bent that reminded me a little of The Overstory for some reason. Aura, I suppose.
I found this book quite satisfying. I don't really like zombie apocalypse stories but this one was so different I enjoyed it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Terri
  • 2019-08-08

Pets Narrate Zombie Apocalypse

Very funny! New twist to a standby theme. It really feels like exactly what animals would be thinking if faced with humans suddenly lurching about as zombies. A bit profane if that bothers you, but used wisely. Enjoying the heck out of the wacky tale--especially the narration.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Courtney Bitting
  • 2020-06-02

I’m here for the narration

Great easy listen. The story is inventive and funny. The best part is the narration from Robert Petkoff, the guy has range.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • McFitz
  • 2020-05-10

Irreverent and Clever

A very irreverent take on the zombie apocalypse genre, told from the viewpoint of a domesticated crow. Corvids as a species are very intelligent, but also deviant, so the shoe fits, so to speak. Lots of foul language and violence. Narrator Robert Petkoff did a fabulous job with voices and timing.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rich Tanguy
  • 2020-04-11

Can this be rewritten for Young Adults?

First the pros: well written main character, funny similes and descriptions, humorous observations on human behavior, Nicely narrated with many, many voices needed for the variety of characters.
Unfortunately, the plot gets in the way.
I'm sure there is a target audience out there. Readers who like to anthropomorphize animals, don't really understand how evolution works and maybe live in the city where they are insulated from the natural balance of predator and prey species.
This would make a popular book targeted to young adults. Much of the best humor relates to the sexual, but removing those would not make the book less enjoyable.

1 person found this helpful

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  • TL80
  • 2020-03-30

Started off strong and then fizzled out

I enjoyed the originality of the story. It was a different take on the apocalypse that seems to be popular but done in a way with humor and a different perspective.

Loved the humor. Loved the first half of the book and then somewhere along the way, the story seemed to meander and I got lost. Tangents were taken and not clearly explained.

There seemed to be too much filler, like the PoV from other trapped animals, that was not needed.

The ending was ok. Anticlimactic.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-03-05

YA?

Honestly, except for the foul language, it comes across as a YA book. If I were an editor, I'd clean it up, repackage it for a younger audience, and voila! It's an enjoyable book. Otherwise, it's pretty light on emotional depth, characters, and plot payoff.

1 person found this helpful