Hollow Kingdom, by Kira Jane Buxton

Stories told from the point of view of animals are a hard sell. Usually it feels like a gimmick, or a lazy way to gain reader sympathy because, y’know, animals. I’m a bit of a monster, it’s true, but not an animal-hating monster. Except for birds. Don’t like ’em. Especially owls, those feathered ghouls are terrifying.

Anyway, this story is told largely from the POV of a crow.

And I freaking loved it!

Described as Walking Dead meets The Incredible Journey, this novel is a crow’s eye view of the zombie apocalypse. There’s a message about tech addiction, environmental conservation, and even an animal analogue of the current human discussion around gender identity, but it plays out organically.

Through S.T. (short for Shit Turd), we get a foul-mouthed corvid’s meditations on humanity, survival, and the interconnectedness of everything. Hollow Kingdom is horribly funny, tense as hell, and bursting with heart and hope.

4/5