Friday, February 09, 2018

Skeleton Lake (The Hollows #1) by Angela Kulig

When Marlow shows up unexpectedly at a party and discovers that her boyfriend and best friend are a couple, she’s distraught. When she realizes everyone already knew this but her, she publicly humiliated and runs away, hysterical and hopeless, thinking to end it all in the lake. The next thing she knows she wakes up, being taken care of, in the bed of Raiden Mast, a boy from her school. She’s surprised and confused but even more so when Raiden tells her “Last night you ... died.” And thus, begins this highly imaginative and addictive story of the “Skeletons” of Skeleton Lake, the “Hollows,” and the “Fleshies.”

The Skeletons are former humans (Fleshies.) As children they had been sick and brought to Skeleton Lake where they are freed from their incurable bodies in the waters of the lake. To everyone else, they still look, act, and age like a human but they depend on the special water of the lake to heal their flesh-like coverings, their colorful glowing bones underneath, and maintain their strength. They mingle with the locals, go to school, shop, whatever, yet still pretty much keep to themselves living around the lake (which to human eyes appears to be a giant cornfield.) Skeletons only possess one half of a soul: sharing it with their intended life companion. If a Skeleton couple has a child, it will not have a soul such as their parents and are known as “Hollows” and seen as inferior. When a Skeleton dies, their half of the soul goes to a “replacement.” Marlow is the replacement for Cassie, the Skeleton girl who committed suicide when she became entangled with the “Hollow” Conrad, the brother of her intended, Raiden.

Just as Marlow is beginning to understand her new life and her feelings for Raiden and Conrad while keeping her parents in the dark, unexpected danger from outside arrives. Hollows from a distant community try to kidnap the young women of Skeleton Lake to take them back to their leader for breeding purposes.

The story is complicated and fascinating and just the beginning of this exciting, and totally different, series. This is recommended for readers that enjoy young adult, paranormal, and horror genres.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader copy of this book.

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