Mini Audio Reviews: Weyward, House of Hollow

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on July 14, 2023 | 0 Comments

Mini Audio Reviews: Weyward, House of HollowWeyward by Emilia Hart
Published by St. Martin's Press (2.2.2023)
Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Format: Audiobook, 336 pages
Length: 10 hours, 51 minutes
Narrator: Aysha Kala, Helen Keeley, Nell Barlow
Source: Library

3 Stars

2019: Under cover of darkness, Kate flees London for ramshackle Weyward Cottage, inherited from a great aunt she barely remembers. With its tumbling ivy and overgrown garden, the cottage is worlds away from the abusive partner who tormented Kate. But she begins to suspect that her great aunt had a secret. One that lurks in the bones of the cottage, hidden ever since the witch-hunts of the 17th century.

1619: Altha is awaiting trial for the murder of a local farmer who was stampeded to death by his herd. As a girl, Altha’s mother taught her their magic, a kind not rooted in spell casting but in a deep knowledge of the natural world. But unusual women have always been deemed dangerous, and as the evidence for witchcraft is set out against Altha, she knows it will take all of her powers to maintain her freedom.

1942: As World War II rages, Violet is trapped in her family's grand, crumbling estate. Straitjacketed by societal convention, she longs for the robust education her brother receives––and for her mother, long deceased, who was rumored to have gone mad before her death. The only traces Violet has of her are a locket bearing the initial W and the word weyward scratched into the baseboard of her bedroom.

Weaving together the stories of three extraordinary women across five centuries, Emilia Hart's Weyward is an enthralling novel of female resilience and the transformative power of the natural world.

My thoughts

This is one of those kinds of books that I enjoy while reading, but forget about entirely in a short amount of time. It’s not a story that will stick with me. I liked the way all three women’s stories tied together, as well as the history of the Weyward women and the magic they possessed. The connections were the driving point for this book, because there really wasn’t much else going on plot-wise.

This book is more or less a story of the oppression of women, and it touches on some dark themes such as domestic violence, abuse, rape, and abortion/miscarriage.

Overall Assessment

Plot: 2/5
Premise: 4/5
Writing style: 3.5/5
Originality: 4/5
Characters: 3.5/5
World-building: 4/5
Pace: 3/5
Feels: 1/5
Narration: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall rating: 3/5

Mini Audio Reviews: Weyward, House of HollowHouse of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland
Published by GP Putnam's Sons (4.6.2021)
Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Format: Audiobook, 304 pages
Length: 9 hours, 10 minutes
Narrator: Eleanor Bennett
Source: Library

4 Stars

Seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow has always been strange. Something happened to her and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats.

Iris has spent most of her teenage years trying to avoid the weirdness that sticks to her like tar. But when her eldest sister, Grey, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, Iris learns just how weird her life can get: horned men start shadowing her, a corpse falls out of her sister’s ceiling, and ugly, impossible memories start to twist their way to the forefront of her mind.

As Iris retraces Grey’s last known footsteps and follows the increasingly bizarre trail of breadcrumbs she left behind, it becomes apparent that the only way to save her sister is to decipher the mystery of what happened to them as children.

The closer Iris gets to the truth, the closer she comes to understanding that the answer is dark and dangerous – and that Grey has been keeping a terrible secret from her for years.

My thoughts

This book was delightfully dark and atmospheric! It had an uncanny, rather whimsical feel to it while also being creepy and a tad disturbing at the same time. I saw a lot of people call this magical realism, which made me nervous to read it because that’s not usually my cup of tea. However, it didn’t feel like magical realism to me. It just felt like a collision of gothic horror and urban fantasy. Oh and it was kind of a portal fantasy, which I adore! I loved the idea of the doorways to another world at liminal times where the boundaries between worlds were thin.

While I never really connected to Iris or her sisters, I did think they were interesting characters. They were otherworldly beautiful and possessed the power to bend wills, and their magnetism was evident in the pages. The lack of knowledge about what happened to them when they disappeared as children created a mysterious air that kept me interested. I also liked that there wasn’t really any romance, that was refreshing!

Overall Assessment

Plot: 4/5
Premise: 5/5
Writing style: 4/5
Originality: 4/5
Characters: 3.5/5
World-building: 4/5
Pace: 4/5
Feels: 2/5
Narration: 3.5/5
Cover: 3/5
Overall rating: 4/5

Jessi (Geo)

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