Book Review: Rarity from the Hollow by Robert Eggleton

rarity from the holloBook: Rarity from the Hollow

Author: Robert Eggleton

Plot: Lacy Dawn is a little girl who lives in a magical forest where all the trees love her and she has a space alien friend who adores her and wants to make her queen of the universe. What’s more, all the boys admire her for her beauty and brains. Mommy is very beautiful and Daddy is very smart, and Daddy’s boss loves them all.

Ratings: 2.5/5


Sadly it is hollow

Huge thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of the book

Before i begin the review i want to mention that this book was completely out of the usual sphere of books that i generally read. In fact it was a different experience altogether and somehow my inexperience with this genre and this kind of work does kind of shadows my review and i wanted to mention that to be fair to the author and his work

I am really in a dilemma over this book because at one end I can see the relevance, the thoughts and the intensity of the theme of the book. The book is a peep into the lives of those who are shattered and destroyed under inhumane behaviors and treatments and lack of proper support and care but at the same time I hate to say and mention that the book and the story fails miserably to echo the same

There are lots of things that is working against the book. I am going to pick one by one all of those

Story: This is basis of every book so naturally the base has to be cemented well which unfortunately isn’t because all the parts of the story is overlapping and each section fails to find its designated place in the story. There is the voice of abuse, then there is the paranormal track and then there is involvement of sci-fi and then there is the resonance of struggles of life and add to the chaos , a bit of satire on society or individuals and all you get is a confused and crumpled ball of bit and parts of a story. To me nothing made sense because nothing stayed long enough to register its purpose.

For instance the book opens to two girls talking and showing us a very disturbed family background and immediately it turns into something completely different, more like a completely different genre because suddenly you realize one of the girl is talking to ghosts and then there is a sci fi element and all this within the variation of two to three paragraphs

Narration: I think this the major flaw in the book. Each paragraph is a different world, different idea and a different genre of fiction for that matter. You read one paragraph of a chapter and just as you start making sense of it you come to the next paragraph and you lose what you have been holding together so far in the chapter because none of the paragraphs make sense to the previous one or show even the slightest trace of link to it

Language: I believe the language used is very colloquial or native in structure and not meant for a massive audience because there were certain phrases or sentences that at times failed to convey the message I thought a more general form of language would have been more helpful

Characters: At times certain characters seems to paint a clear picture for you but then jump to the next chapter and you realize you don’t know these characters anymore as they are not behaving or saying things that they are supposed to do

I believe the book suffered because there was not a proper timeline and chronology to the events and narration. I felt that the author had not helped us with enough background information as well making it further difficult to understand.

I am still confused over a lot of things in the book. For instance I still don’t know what the character of Dot Com is. All those parts with this character and the so called, Mall settings all are still a blurred picture in the book.

The book fails to paint a clear picture of what the author wants to say exactly. The story, narration and even the characters all seemed fatally ill treated because everything is overlapping and running and sprinting onto next chapters without clearing the setting and picture for its readers

BUT apart from just being a work of fiction, one also needs to look at it like a means to change the lives of thousands of innocent children so as one of the reviewers said for the book

“It’s like buying ice cream for charity — everybody wins.”


About the Author


Robert Eggleton has served as a children’s advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. He is best known for his investigative reports about children’s programs, most of which were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from 1982 through 1997, and which also included publication of models of serving disadvantaged and homeless children in the community instead of in large institutions, research into foster care drift involving children bouncing from one home to the next — never finding a permanent loving family, and statistical reports on the occurrence and correlates of child abuse and delinquency. Today, he is a recently retired children’s psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome physical and sexual abuse, and other mental health concerns. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel and its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines: Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. Robert continues to write fiction with new adventures based on a protagonist that is a composite character of children that he met when delivering group therapy services. The overall theme of his stories remains victimization to empowerment.

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7 thoughts on “Book Review: Rarity from the Hollow by Robert Eggleton

  1. Rarity From the Hollow: A Lacy Dawn Adventure by Robert Eggleton
    Review by Adicus Ryan Garton, Atomjack Science Fiction Magazine

    “Imagine the Wizard of Oz and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy smashed together and taking place in a hollow in the hills of West Virginia. Now you have an idea of what to expect when you sit down to read Rarity From the Hollow: A Lacy Dawn Adventure by Robert Eggleton.

    This novel is an unabashed, unashamed exploration of the life of young Lacy Dawn, as she learns that she is the savior of the universe. The naked, genderless android, Dot-com, who lives in a ship in a cave, told her so. Add her abusive father, her weak-willed mother, a sexually-abused ghost for a best friend that was murdered by her own father, trees that talk to her, a dog that can communicate telepathically with cockroaches and so much more.

    There is so much to this story, and its writing is so unblinkingly honest; Eggleton spares us nothing in his descriptions of her father beating her and her mother, the emotions that the mother and daughter go through, the dark creeping insanity that eats away at her Iraq-veteran father, and the life in general of people too poor, too uneducated to escape.In part, it is a grueling exposition of what children endure when being physically and emotionally abused. Eggleton almost seems to suggest that the only way for a child to escape is to learn that she is the savior of the universe. Lacy Dawn is strong, tough, smart;all those attributes that any child should have and she reminds us that children are survivors, adaptive and optimistic.

    Instead of giving us a story of escapism, Eggleton shows us a girl whose life follows her through the story. But don’t think you’re going to be reading something harsh and brutal and tragic. This book is laugh-out-loud funny at times, satiric of almost everything it touches upon (some common themes are shopping, masturbation, welfare, growing and selling drugs, and the lives of cockroaches). The characters from the hollow and from the planet Shptiludrp (the Mall of the Universe) are funny almost to the point of tears.

    I hate happy endings to stories that deal with any kind of oppression or abuse because they tend to suggest, it worked out okay, and the reader walks away with the impression that the world is a better place (think of all those inner-city sports movies about black kids who win the big championship despite being addicted to crack). I thought for a long time that this book was an escapist fantasy, and when the fantasy broke, it was going to be tragic. No one wants to see a little girl go through heaven only to learn that hell awaits her at the end. And then when I realized that Eggleton was not writing an escapist fantasy, I worried that this happy ending effect was going to take place, making me not like the book, despite all its positive attributes. But when I realized that Lacy Dawn had to fix her life first before the story could progress, and that this was IMPOSSIBLE except by extraterrestrial means, and that Lacy Dawn carried her past with her as part of her instead of in spite of, it made the prospect of a happy ending much better.

    Go here, buy the book and read it. It’s absolutely fantastic, and the proceeds go to the Lacy Dawn Adventures project. It’s like buying ice cream for charity — everybody wins.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Five Star Book Review (excerpt): “If I could, I would give it all the stars in the universe…I usually do not read or review books that discuss child abuse or domestic violence…I am glad that I took a risk; otherwise, I would have missed out on a fantastic story…I could go on for days about the excellent job that Eggleton did in developing Lacy Dawn’s character…whimsical, witty, and understanding approach to sensitive and serious subject matters…matter-of-fact and irreverent tone…Rarity from the Hollow brilliantly combines social commentary in a fantastical and intricate science fiction setting that readers can understand and relate to. It is one of those books that if it does not make you think, you are not really reading it.”

    By Charity Rowell-Stansbury, 11-17-15


  3. Excerpt of 11-6-15 Book Review that Awarded Rarity from the Hollow a Gold Medal:

    “…a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, only instead of the earth being destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass, Lacy Dawn must…The author has managed to do what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse, and written about them with tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them…Eggleton sucks you into the Hollow, dunks you in the creek, rolls you in the mud, and splays you in the sun to dry off. Tucked between the folds of humor are some profound observations on human nature and modern society that you have to read to appreciate…it’s a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy. I give it four and a half stars…

    Rarity from the Hollow: …profound…funny …sci-fi….”


  4. Thanks again for the review of Rarity from the Hollow, an adult literary science fiction novel. A lot has happened since the post and I decided to update you and your readers.

    The novel is currently in the process of being republished by Dog Horn Publishing, a traditional small press in Leeds. The 2016 Amazon link is:

    Following are some of the highlights about the novel since we last communicated:

    As you know, the novel was found by the editor of Atomjack Science Fiction Magazine to be laugh-out-loud funny in some scenes. Long-time science fiction book
    critic, Barry Hunter, closed his review, “…good satire is hard to find and science fiction satire is even harder to find.” http://thebaryonreview.blogspo……

    A former Editor of Reader’s Digest found that, “Rarity from the Hollow is the most enjoyable science fiction that I’ve read in several years.”

    Rarity from the Hollow was referred to as a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and awarded a Gold Medal by Awesome Indies: “…Tucked between the folds of humor are some profound observations on human nature and modern society that you have to read to appreciate…it’s a funny book that most fans of sci-fi will thoroughly enjoy.”……

    With respect to the story’s treatment of tough social issues, this reviewer said: “If I could, I would give it all the stars in the universe…I was hesitant to accept. I usually do not read or review books that discuss child abuse or domestic violence; however, I was intrigued by the excerpt and decided to give it a shot. I am glad that I took a risk; otherwise, I would have missed out on a fantastic story with a bright, resourceful, and strong protagonist that grabbed my heart and did not let go.”

    A prominent book reviewer from Bulgaria named Rarity from the Hollow as one of the best five books that he had read in 2015.

    On January 20, 2016, Rarity from the Hollow was awarded a second Gold Medal by another popular book review site:….

    An Affiliate of Fantasy Fan Federation, an international organization that has been around since the 1940s, posted on Amazon: “The author has created a new narrative format, something Ive never seen before, with a standard third-person narration, interspersed, lightly, with first-person asides. This makes me think of Eugene ONeills play Strange Interlude where internal and external dialogue are blended. Rarity from the Hollow begins with some rough stuff, hard to read, involving child neglect and child abuse. But it soon turns the corner to satire, parody, and farce, partaking a little of the whimsical and nonsensical humor of Roger Zelazny or even Ron Goulart….”

    “…There is much here worthy of high praise. The relationship between Lacy Dawn and DotCom is brilliant. The sense of each learning from the other and them growing up and together is a delight to read. The descriptions of DotCom’s technology and the process of elevating the humans around him again is nicely done. Eggleton reminds me very much of Robert Heinlein at his peak….”……

    Rarity from the Hollow has now appeared on over one-hundred blogs or magazines worldwide, in twenty-two different countries including all over the U.S. and the U.K., Finland, Mexico, Bulgaria, Belgium, South Africa, Croatia, Uruguay, India, Taiwan, Australia, Nigeria, Egypt, Malaysia, Canada, Vietnam, Portugal, The Netherlands, Sweden, and Israel. The project has grown into a world-wide movement to sensitize people about child maltreatment through a satiric and comical science fiction adventure.

    Thanks again for your review!


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