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Hollow Earth (Hollow Earth 1) [Paperback]

John Barrowman , Carole E. Barrowman
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
RRP: £6.99
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Book Description

2 Feb 2012 Hollow Earth 1
Lots of twins have a special connection - being able to finish each other's sentences; sensing what the other is thinking; perhaps even knowing when the other is in trouble or in pain - but for 12-year-old twins, Matt and Emily Calder, the connection is beyond special. Together, the twins have extraordinary powers - they are able to bring art to life, or enter paintings at will. Their abilities are sought by villains trying to access the terrors of Hollow Earth - a place where all the demons, devils and creatures ever imagined lie trapped for eternity. The twins flee with their mother to the security of an island, off the west coast of Scotland, where their grandfather has certain protective powers of his own. But too much is at stake, and the twins aren't safe there either. The villains will stop at nothing to find Hollow Earth and harness the powers within...

Frequently Bought Together

Hollow Earth (Hollow Earth 1) + Bone Quill (Hollow Earth 2) + The Book of Beasts (Hollow Earth)
Price For All Three: £15.72

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Buster Books (2 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907151648
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907151644
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


a fine piece of storytelling (Choice Magazine)

a captivating children's fantasy adventure (S Magazine, The Sunday Express)

Gripping (iVillage.co.uk)

a pacy adventure (Book Witch)

nail-biting, exciting read (Woman's Way)

The central conceit - that certain people, known as Animare, are able to bring to life any picture they draw - is interesting and explored well, and the main characters, Matt and Emily Calder and their hearing-impaired friend Zach, are appealing and given convincing dialogue. The plot, meanwhile, sees sinister forces aligning to exploit the children's powers to open up a netherworld full of demons and there's a good use of lesser-known beasts from myth and fable. (Financial Times)

an exciting page-turner...awash with devils and demons, set against an atmospheric backdrop (Scottish Sunday Post)

a superbly exciting story (Newbury Weekly News)

a world that is sure to capture children's imaginations (The Ulster Star)

a fascinating premise for a story... The potential is huge and there is plenty of scope for more gripping adventures (Parents in Touch)

a sincerely, skillfully written adventure story with an old-school feel and page-turning energy (Doctor Who News)

fantastically mysterious... Books which transcend age like Hollow Earth are rare - we highly recommend it! (www.thebookclub.co.uk)

Hollow Earth isn't just any book. It may be the Next Big Thing in young adult literature (Popmatters.com)

a brilliant read... keeps the reader on edge and hungry for the next page (Millport.com)

About the Author

Carole E. Barrowman is a Professor of English and Director of Creative Studies in Writing at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. John Barrowman has worked in television, musical theatre, film and music, and stars as Captain Jack Harkness in Torchwood and Doctor Who. His autobiography, Anything Goes, was published in 2008.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Middle Grade Adventure 3 May 2013
By W.M.M. van der Salm-Pallada TOP 1000 REVIEWER
When I first was approached about reviewing Hollow Earth and its successor, Bone Quill, what first struck me was the name John Barrowman. Someone I only knew from British television as a musical star and the star of Torchwood, I was surprised to find he was also a writer. The book is co-written with his sister - which wow, I think if I tried that with my siblings we'd have probably done our heads in after two chapters, so kudos for that - and is in fact more middle grade than YA, but even if I don't read and review them as often I really enjoy well-written children's books, so here we are. And I'm glad to be here because I spend an entirely enjoyable afternoon in the company of Matt and Em and the rest of the cast immersed in an adventure that feels like an modernised version of what I hazily remember of Enid Blyton's Famous Five books - it's been a few decades since I read her work - and has an exciting supernatural component.

Hollow Earth's premise of Animare, gifted people that can bring their drawings to life, and Guardians, the people who need to protect the Animare from the world and the world from the Animare, was intriguing and I really liked how the authors pulled this out into history, by having some of the most famous painters in history be Animare. Even if they don't animate their work, the magical energy they put into painting gives their work that magical sparkle that sets it apart from regular artists. The idea that all the monsters ever created by the Animare are gathered together and imprisoned in the Hollow Earth is quite scary; it's like having a giant closet filled with the monsters-under-your-bed you always thought weren't real.
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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hollow Earth 2 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Hollow Earth
I absolutely loved this book, it's a great read irrespective of your age. It's action packed and a good mystery, keeps you guessing throughout the story. I could not put this down... I loved the way the authors interweaved fiction with real places and artwork. I was thoroughly entertained and felt more educated about some of the great artwork mentioned. I have sudden urge to vist some of the galleries to see the works of Art. I'm really looking forward to reading this to my niece and nephew as I know they will love the concept too and I also look forward to reading further installments about the Calder twins. Good work Carole & John Barrowman!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for adults too 7 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Originally purchased for a friend's son I have to admit to reading it first and then ordering it for Kindle. What an exciting adventure this is and a refreshing change from many adult books that do not balance the characterisation and plot lines so one is left unsatisfied with the read. The book leaps straight into the action: the unique world of Hollow Earth and the Calder twins are swiftly entwined in a real page turner.The story moves along nicely with a few unexpected twists and left me wanting to read (the as yet unwritten) second book now.
The phrase may be over used but I really struggled to put this down.Given the authors it is maybe not surprising that one can see this as a film and certainly the characters deserve to be just as well known as those in J.K's books. Well done John and Carole.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, fun read for young and old 9 Feb 2012
I bought this "officially" for my 9 year old daughter, but also because I was facinated to see if it could be a cut above the average celebrity novel, given that Carol has excellent literary credentials.

It certainly is. John's wild imagination and enthusiasm is evident throughout, and Carol's high quality writing style makes it flow from the pages as a fast paced, slick and very enjoyable read.

It has come up with a completely new concept for a superpower (as far as I am aware), slightly reminiscent of the Mary Poppins scenes where they jump into the pavement art and have an adventure. I also love books that have a flashback plot line running along side the main plot as it adds extra richness

I can see this book not only giving children something new to read and be passionate about now Harry Potter is complete, but also sparking an enthusiasm and interest in art - it certainly made me get out my books or great artworks of our times, and I am looking forward to discussing them with my daughter once she has read it (now I have finished she can have a turn!)

I hear it may be made into a TV series - it would be well suited, but personally I think it would be a shame if it happened too soon as many children would then just watch it rather than being drawn into, and encouraged to read the books and imagine the settings and characters for themselves.

Looking forward to the next....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoying this book 11 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's kept me interested and I'm keen to get onto the next book, my daughter and her friends will love it. I also like the fact that it brings in a character with a sensory impairment to make the reader more aware of the difficulties of hearing loss. If only telepathing was real!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great fantasy tale 13 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition with Audio/Video|Verified Purchase
Although written for children, it's a really good read. Enjoy it and forget that you are not a child. Thanks John and Carole
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