Drome hasn't been in the crazy, inside-out world of Hollow long but already loads of people are out to kill him. He's not entirely sure why they're after him but one thing is sure: he needs to get back to his village soon to warn his fellow humans of the danger coming their way.
The trouble is he and his somatically-challenged companion have been shipwrecked in the middle of nowhere and need help. Unfortunately, almost everyone they meet is intent on sticking sharp, pointy objects in Drome's tender body. And Drome's relationship with his skeletal travelling partner is getting a little too weird for comfort.
Meanwhile, things aren't going too well in Drome's village. Civilisation is clinging on by its fingertips as factions compete for the village's dwindling resources. Plots, counter plots and general greed are the order of the day. The struggle to find a way back to Earth – and to be the one who controls that way – is a deadly business.
What chance do Drome or the villagers have with Vester, the emperor's power hungry ex-advisor, against them? As far as Vester is concerned, nothing can be allowed to threaten Hollow's political status quo. Especially not upstart humans with their interstitial travel technology. They all need to be killed and their interstitial travel device destroyed. He has despatched the emperor's elite troops, the skalpriss, to do just that.
Will Drome be in time to warn the villagers? Will they succeed in rebuilding the device that can get them home to Earth?
Or will the skalpriss get there first?
Book 2 in the Hollow series (approx 278 pages)
Interview with the author, Kent Silverhill
Q. Why did you choose a living skeleton to be Drome's companion?
A. I liked the idea Drome's companion having a bizarre condition that made things even more difficult for the fleeing pair. Readers share in the dilemma of having to consider every situation from the point of view of someone who has no flesh. I think it makes for great comedy fantasy.
Q. The villains in your books are often quite inept. Why is that?
A. I read a lot of fantasy books and the antagonists are often shallow and infallible, at least until the end when the hero wins. Real life villains might have a broad plan to be leader of the world or whatever, but they still have to deal with things that go wrong day to day. They might seem sure of themselves but, like the rest of us, they have to make it up as they go along. My baddies have as many foibles as anyone else… plus massive egos which often get in the way.
Q. The villagers of Amblesby quickly fall apart. Surely they would pull together in their situation?
A. I used to live in a village much like Amblesby. It was warm and friendly but just below the surface, there was often division and tension. As I developed the story I realised that some villagers would not cooperate. This was one reason I placed Amblesby in a remote area. If aliens started turning up then the villagers would unite.
There are people who think of others and will work together in a crisis. Then there are those who will try turn any situation to their advantage. In between are a number of people who can be swayed one way or another. Then there are the ditherers.
Q. Why are there different types of magic in Hollow?
A. Physics, chemistry, medicine, religion and every other area of knowledge have many branches so why not to magic too? I wanted there to be 'normal' magic as well as sympanometry which is a blend of science and magic.