Review: Emilie and the Hollow World by Martha Wells

Emilie and the Hollow World - Martha WellsPublisher: Strange Chemistry (April 2nd 2013)
Paperback: 287 pages
Source: Strange Chemistry
Series: Emilie
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

While running away from home for reasons that are eminently defensible, Emilie’s plans to stow away on the steamship Merry Bell and reach her cousin in the big city go awry, landing her on the wrong ship and at the beginning of a fantastic adventure.

Taken under the protection of Lady Marlende, Emilie learns that the crew hopes to use the aether currents and an experimental engine, and with the assistance of Lord Engal, journey to the interior of the planet in search of Marlende’s missing father.

With the ship damaged on arrival, they attempt to traverse the strange lands on their quest. But when evidence points to sabotage and they encounter the treacherous Lord Ivers, along with the strange race of the sea-lands, Emilie has to make some challenging decisions and take daring action if they are ever to reach the surface world again.


Emilie is a plucky young girl who has the worst luck ever trying to stow aboard the steamboat Merry Bell. Ending up on another ship heading to the hollow world, a world under the ocean within the earth, Emilie is caught up in a research race where sneak attacks, kidnappings and underhanded tricks are not all uncommon.

Emilie & the Hollow World was a fun, action steampunk adventure read. Thrown into a new world, Emilie at first was  just an audience member, like us, to the adventure but soon she becomes bolder and gets in on the fun too. I  liked her particularly because she  never whined and just did what she felt needed to be done, despite Emilie (and many of the other characters) having a cardboard cutout personality, which was a main weakness in the book. The hollow world contained  interesting races of aliens and the exploits were intriguing and moved a nice pace. The book felt more middle-school than YA because of it’s more straightforward approach to the characters and plot. But overall, I found it to be an enjoyable book when I was in need of something light and whimsical.

{*Thanks to Strange Chemistry for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

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