The Maknae’s Book Review: Hollow Core

Are Chinese cultivation dramas your thing? Then you NEED to check out Gage Lee’s Hollow Core! Read on to see why!

(Plot synopsis courtesy of Amazon) Jace Warin never wanted anything more than to attend the School of Swords and Serpents to escape the labor camps and restore his family’s stained honor.

But the determined young martial artist soon discovers the school he’s always dreamed about is teeming with secret plots and sinister designs. To survive, he will have to master long-lost jinsei techniques, repair his wounded soul, and face down a most unexpected enemy: The Academy’s ruthless headmaster and cunning professors.

Hollow is the first book in the School of Swords and Serpents series, a tale of wuxia adventure, cultivation mastery, and lurking threats.

It’s easy to see echoes of famous book series in Hollow Core — a Harry Potter-like sorting system for the magic school Jace attends, the echoes of a dystopian society straight from The Hunger Games or The Giver — but overshadowing it all is the strong devotion to the cultivation plot.

I have a hard time with cultivation dramas — they tend to be slowly paced and I feel like the characters aren’t getting ANYwhere, but Hollow Core side-stepped that problem neatly through the use of great pacing and interesting side features like beast spirits, Jace’s own cleverness, and the reasonable adults who show up every once in a while to make sure that Jace isn’t gonna be beat down by his enemies on every side.

Jace himself was a decent character to live through while I enjoyed this story. He’s fixated on regaining his honor, though a little less intensely than Prince Zuko of Avatar, and his determination had me cheering for him.

I highly recommend Hollow Core. If you’d like to support the blog, you can purchase it through our affiliate link HERE.

Until the next page turns, I remain —

Karie the Maknae

Dramas with a Side of Kimchi

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