5 Things About Emilie and the Hollow World

October 18, 2016 Review 16 ★★★

5 Things About Emilie and the Hollow World
Emilie and the Hollow World by Martha Wells
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 287
Release Date: April 2nd, 2013
Series: Emilie #1
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Steampunk, Young Adult
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.

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Let’s go on a steampunk adventure

HELL YEAH STEAMPUNK! A genre I love and don’t get to read enough. EMILIE AND THE HOLLOW WORLD combines fantasy with steampunk. There are air ships and pistols and interesting gadgets combined with magic and parallel worlds. So many different concepts I love all together in one place!


I thought it was middle grade

For some reason I was under the impression that Emilie was 12-14 when I started this. NEK MINUT she’s actually 16. It was strange because the writing style reminded me more of a middle grade tone, but honestly it could also just be steampunk style that I’m not used to. Maybe.

Smart Girls

I just realised that in this entire book there are only three female characters. Boo. The only good thing is that they’re pretty awesome female characters. They’re all smart girls/ women who use their intellect to get the best of situations, rarely relying on brawn. I also appreciated the fact that Emilie didn’t miraculously gain new fighting skills or anything because that is a pet peeve of mine (Though I must admit there were some awfully convenient solutions to plot things). Oh and there was no romance for any of them (the hints of a future OTP were sown at the very end but they were tiny, miniscule hints).



The Hollow World is a world different to our own, filled with some pretty creepy sounding creatures. We only got to meet two of these creatures (Races? Species?), and we didn’t get to know their cultures as well as I would have liked unfortunately. Most of EMILIE AND THE HOLLOW WORLD is focused on a rescue mission and not world exploration.

The second half was much preferred

The first half of EMILIE AND THE HOLLOW WORLD was pretty meh. We were introduced the characters and some of the steampunk science/ magic, but I wasn’t fully invested, even when they first started exploring the Hollow World. The best part was by far the second half of the novel, where the pace picked up and the action began. It wasn’t insanely suspenseful but it moved nice and quickly.


In Summary

EMILIE AND THE HOLLOW WORLD was a fun little read. I didn’t fall head over heels for the story, but I appreciate its charm. The last half is full of action and suspense, and I really enjoyed the steampunk elements. I‘m interested in following Emilie’s path to becoming an adventuress at some point in the future, but I’m not going to be in a rush to get my hands on it.

Rating Report
Overall: 3.1

16 Responses to “5 Things About Emilie and the Hollow World”

    • Bec

      It is a pretty niche genre haha. I personally love it, but I’m a massive fan of historical novels set in similar time periods that inspire steampunk.

      It has such a glorious cover!

  1. Danielle Nolan

    I keep saying I will be exploring this genre more. I have yet to do so. I have Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carriger & Boneshaker (The Clockwork Century #1)
    by Cherie Priest here. I believe both are marked as Steampunk. Have you read either? Or have any better recommendations?
    Danielle Nolan recently posted…The Mine (Northwest Passage #1)

    • Bec

      Soulless is a lot of fun and hilarious! Boneshaker I’ve been meaning to check out.

      The main recommendation that is jumping to mind is The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress. That book was a lot of fun to read, plus featured three amazing leading ladies with a fantastic friendship.

  2. Fleur @ Frankly Books

    Oh yes, I can see where you got the idea that this was middle grade. As soon as I saw the cover, I guess I kind of assumed the same thing? I’m still not completely over that first assumption even though I now know better (wow, am I stubborn or what?). The idea that merpeople are in a steampunk world actually really interests me. Wouldn’t have thought that those two aspects went together. I love the photo of the book on your kindle by the way!
    Fleur @ Frankly Books recently posted…What am I? A Sheep. | 4 Books I Haven’t Read, Because Someone Else Hates Them

    • Bec

      I shouldn’t have drawn conclusions so quickly, but even it read like a middle grade. It took some adjusting and I still struggle to see Emilie as 16 haha.

      It’s a pretty cool concept!

      Thanks :D Taking photos of kindles can be difficult because the screen brightness can throw so many things off.

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