The Hollow Key

Essence of Ohr

Young Adult - Fantasy - Epic
328 Pages
Reviewed on 01/08/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Demetria Head for Readers' Favorite

In The Hollow Key by Parris Sheets, the fate of the world of Ohr hangs in the balance as war ravages the lands, fueled by the corrupting influence of Aterus. Salvation lies in the unity of six gods, but the one capable of bringing them together and saving Ohr is missing. The protagonist, Kole, embarks on a perilous journey, leaving behind his familiar world to search for a hidden god with the power to rescue Ohr. The challenges he faces are formidable, from floating islands to crumbling lands and distorted gravity. With time ticking away as the portal home is set to reopen, Kole must navigate this surreal landscape, release the god, and return before the war becomes irreversible. As the narrative unfolds, dark secrets from Kole's past emerge, revealing the true nature of who he is and the pivotal role he plays in Ohr's destiny. The question arises: after learning the truth about himself, will Kole be inclined to return home, or will he abandon Ohr to its uncertain fate?

The Hollow Key captivates readers with its imaginative world-building and a plot brimming with suspense and urgency. Parris Sheets skillfully crafts a fantastical realm filled with unique challenges that keep the reader eagerly turning the pages. The ability to blend elements of mystery and adventure creates a compelling narrative that draws readers into the heart of Kole's quest. One of the strengths of the story lies in its character development. Kole's journey is not only physical but also a profound exploration of self-discovery. The revelations about his past add layers to his character, making him relatable and compelling. The supporting cast of gods and other inhabitants of Ohr add depth to the story, each contributing to the intricate tapestry of the novel. The author excels in creating vivid and atmospheric settings, allowing readers to immerse themselves fully in the fantastical world of Ohr. The descriptive prose paints a picture of the unique challenges and wonders that Kole encounters on his quest. The ability to evoke a sense of awe and curiosity adds a rich layer to the overall reading experience. The Hollow Key is a stellar blend of fantasy and adventure, offering readers a gripping tale of sacrifice, self-discovery, and the enduring struggle between light and darkness. Parris Sheets has crafted a world that lingers in the imagination, leaving readers eagerly anticipating the next installment in this captivating series.

Stephanie Chapman

Parris Sheets’ The Hollow Key is the fourth book in the Essence of Ohr series. Kole and Caradin travel past the Black Wall to find Vara, the Soul of Seasons. Meanwhile, weeks passed for everyone else. Piper has Jax build a cannon so she can retrieve Kole. While everyone leaves to support the military forces in Rush, Vienna stays to open a portal every night at midnight to allow Kole to return. However, looters steal the moonstone and Vienna's transportation. She attempts to get the tools needed to repair the cannon, and she finds Shikar, who aids in the repairs. Kole finds Vara, but she refuses to leave her prison because Arterus is present. Aterus breaks the deal with Kole by using Niko’s soul as a disguise. Arterus opens the barrier in Kole's mind. While Kole retreats from Arterus in his mind, a protective barrier appears.

Parris Sheets builds suspense with Kole and Caradin arriving where anything is possible. Facing a partial death every time Kole rescues one Soul is just one obstacle of the many he faces. The intense details of the fighting that occurred inside Kole’s mind made it easy to imagine. Piper’s intentions are suspicious as she doesn’t admit or deny it, and she may know more than she tells everyone. I understood why Kole lacks trust in Piper since she is the daughter of Arterus. The plot is unpredictable because the telepathic messages from the Souls are vague. Putting together the pieces of information like a puzzle kept me engaged in the mystery. The emotional pain of losing people who were important to Kole brought tears to my eyes. I felt the ending was bittersweet. The Hollow Key will appeal to readers who enjoy fantasy stories with characters who have to battle against a being who can infiltrate their minds.

K.C. Finn

The Hollow Key is a work of fiction in the action, adventure, and fantasy subgenres, and is the fourth installment of the Essence of Ohr series. Penned by author Parris Sheets, the work is intended for young adult readers. In this continuation of the exciting journey, the fate of the world now rests on Kole's shoulders as he embarks on a perilous quest to unite six gods against Aterus' corruption. The narrative unfolds with war looming, and Kole, the crucial missing link, sets out to find a hidden god capable of saving Ohr. The adventure takes him through fantastical landscapes with floating islands, crumbling lands, and distorted gravity. With time ticking away, Kole must release the god and return home before it's too late. However, dark secrets from his past emerge, revealing his true identity and destiny. The tension rises as Kole grapples with whether to save Ohr or abandon it to its fate.

Author Parris Sheets has crafted an immersive and imaginative fantasy reading experience in a richly imagined world filled with magic, mystery, and the weight of destiny. Sheets utilizes detail, emotion, and atmosphere to create a captivating narrative with a great balance of world-building, character development, and suspenseful plot twists. Kole's journey goes beyond the initial quest of saving his world and expands into a profound exploration of identity and choices that young adult readers can reflect back on in their own lives. The vivid and cinematic descriptions of the fantastical landscapes enhance the sense of wonder, making it easy for readers to get lost in the adventure. The pacing is smooth and engaging, never lingering too long, and always delivering good variety in the blend of action, mythology, and personal discovery. This creates a compelling narrative that keeps readers eagerly turning the pages. Overall, The Hollow Key is a thrilling addition to the Essence of Ohr series, offering both escapism and thought-provoking themes, and I would not hesitate to recommend it and the series in general to fantasy fans everywhere.

Essien Asian

Kole continues his quest to free The Souls and put an end to the conflict that rages in Ohr. With Caradin by his side, he believes that it is only a matter of time before he will reunite with his friends beyond the portal but a nagging concern grows in his heart: Can he trust that Aterus will keep to his end of their bargain in an arrangement which looks unusually lop-sided against the embattled god? Only time will tell in The Hollow Key by Parris Sheets.

Parris Sheets' fantasy novel follows a young hero as he sets out on a challenging quest to mend a broken world. This novel is part of a much wider story arc but Sheets's writing style makes it simple for anyone who is unfamiliar with the series to follow the story without becoming bogged down in the action. The plot of The Hollow Key reads like an adventure that must be finished in stages for an enjoyable experience. Although the characters' motivations may appear similar at first, they are well-developed, and if a reader is willing to read between the lines, they can quickly piece together the true concerns of each character. Although Vienna appears to be more concerned with returning Kole to their domain, her worries about the security of the Kayetan that is traveling with her reveal certain unresolved issues with Felix. Also noteworthy is the intriguing alliance between Kole and Aterus, which suggests that despite their refusal to acknowledge it, they have similar objectives. With its sophisticated tone, The Hollow Key is a lovely piece of work that dispenses with the dated notion that all great stories must follow the same path.

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

Ohr is in danger, and while there are many who are willing to fight to the death to save it, it’s all going to come down to one person; Kole. But with Kole on a mission that could mean one more step toward success … or the end of everything, it’s up to others to keep things going and to be ready for his return when he’s done. They’ll need to be strong, and they’ll need to put everything they have into preparing for what’s coming next. Will Leo and the Zealians be able to fight against Orla and the Black Wall? Will Vienna be ready for Kole when he’s ready to return? Will Kole be able to release the final Soul from its prison? Will the Souls be strong enough to fight against the Gray Soul? Will Kole survive the secret that Russe has to share with him? Or is all about to be lost in The Hollow Key by Parris Sheets?

When you read The Hollow Key, you’ll be hooked right from the start with the vivid descriptions and interesting characters. From Vienna and Kole to Piper and Leo to the many Souls that are each crucial to saving the world as they all know it, there are more characters scattered throughout this book than you would think. Even still, Parris Sheets does an amazing job of making each one come alive and helping you to feel like you’re right there, experiencing the hope and pain, and the battles and adventures right along with them. This book will take you into a completely new world, with fantastic creatures, both good and bad, and maybe more than a few in between.