Hollow Kingdom

Grand Central. Aug. 2019. 320p. ISBN 9781538745823. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781538745816. SF
DEBUT In the heart of Seattle, a domesticated crow named Shit Turd (S.T.) with a fondness for human culture notices something isn't quite right with his owner, Big Jim, whose eyeball suddenly falls out of his head. In the coming days, S.T. realizes that Big Jim isn't just sick; he's been plagued by a zombielike illness spreading across civilization. Can S.T., accompanied by his aloof but lovable pet bloodhound Dennis, save the small shreds of humanity left in the world, or is it already too late? In this play on a zombie uprising tale, Buxton's dark humor takes center stage. The Seattle references and stereotypes will especially amuse Pacific Northwesterners.
VERDICT Though some aspects of the plot, including a divinatory octopus, present as colorless, the overall fresh, quirky tone and content will interest animal lovers and fans of regional books featuring sardonic wit, such as Lish McBride's Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, and anthropomorphized characters à la W. Bruce Cameron's A Dog's Purpose. Suitable as a YA/adult crossover. [See Prepub Alert, 2/4/19.]

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