Hollow Kingdom

Available Now!

from Grand Central Publishing (US)

One pet crow fights to save humanity from an apocalypse in this uniquely hilarious debut from a genre-bending literary author.

S.T., a domesticated crow, is a bird of simple pleasures: hanging out with his owner Big Jim; trading insults with Seattle's wild crows (those idiots); and enjoying the finest food humankind has to offer-Cheetos.

Then Big Jim's eyeball falls out of his head, and S.T. starts to feel like something isn't quite right.  His most tried-and-true remedies - from beak-delivered beer to the slobbering affection of Big Jim's loyal but dim-witted dog, Dennis - fail to cure Big Jim's debilitating malady. S.T. is left with no choice but to abandon his old life and venture out into a wild and frightening new world with his trusty steed Dennis, where he discovers that the neighbors are devouring each other and the local wildlife is abuzz with rumors of dangerous new predators roaming Seattle.  Humanity's extinction has seemingly arrived, and the only one determined to save it is a foulmouthed crow whose knowledge of the world around him comes from his TV-watching education.

HOLLOW KINGDOM is a humorous, bighearted, and boundlessly beautiful romp through the apocalypse and the world that comes after, where even a cowardly crow can become a hero.

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Bookseller Reviews

“Having grown up with two domesticated crows in the family, Jimmy 1 and Jimmy 2, the cursing brilliant crow narrating the hugely original debut, HOLLOW KINGDOM, stole my heart. Laugh out loud, sigh for the dead and turning away from the rotting of human flesh, S.T and Dennis the bloodhound take us on an apocalyptic retelling of The Incredible Journey set against human extinction around the city of Seattle. What other city could be the perfect setting where human life if being destroyed via smart phones and technology. I'd feed S.T. Cheetos anytime!”

-Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books (Mystic, CT)



“When Big Jim's eyeball fell out, S.T. knew it was not a good sign. S.T. is the narrator of this post-apocalyptic tale set in Seattle. He is a domesticated crow, with his feet more firmly set in the human world than in the Aura world of the animal kingdom and his fellow crows. When Big Jim succumbs, S.T. and Dennis, the loyal bloodhound, form their own murder and are forced out into a very changed world. What starts as a hilarious take on a zombie-like apocalypse as seen from the animal world becomes a compelling ecological tale. And S.T.'s emotional journey rivals any novel I've ever read. I laughed, I cried, I can't stop talking about this one.”

-Laura Cummings, White Birch Books (North Conway, NH)



“I'll certainly never look at crows the same way again. Or seagulls, housecats, bloodhounds ... look, HOLLOW KINGDOM is flat-out hilarious, unapologetically silly, and exuberantly profane. But it's also shot through with poetry, oddly moving -- and it sticks with you. I adored both the book and the foul-mouthed, big-hearted, black-winged protagonist.”

-Christie Olson Day, Gallery Bookshop & Bookwinkle's Children's Books (Mendocino, CA)



“Hilarious take on the zombie apocalypse but told from the view point of a pet crow who believes humanity should be saved. As he ventures out looking for a cure he must figure out how domestic animals fit into the new world order and how to come to terms with being a crow and not, as his heart desires, a human.”

-Ben Parker, Northshire Books (Manchester Center, VT)



“Where better to endure an apocalypse than verdant Seattle? But once S.T. realizes what he's up against he decides to take things into his own claws. Yep, S.T. is a crow, and not just any crow. He is the corvid that will have you laughing all the way through this tale, even while it delivers some hard truths. You will, for sure, want to step away from your cell phone.”

-Anne Holman, King's English Bookshop (Salt Lake City, UT)


“HOLLOW KINGDOM takes place at the end of the world in a not-so-alternate version of the present where humans (or Mofos as the narrator refers to them) have been infected with a technologically induced virus that turns them into literal zombies whose sole focus is to acquire a smartphone. But this book is not just about the apocalypse. It’s about those who turn the end of the world into the beginning of a new one. Through ST we are introduced to the college crows, to Winnie the Poodle, to Ghengis Cat, to The One Who Opens Doors, to a beautiful world that exists beyond human comprehension in the language of the trees and the conversations that happen below the ground. HOLLOW KINGDOM is a reminder of how much we take for granted, how much lies beyond our limited scope of understanding, and how much we have to lose if we don’t start paying attention. Kira Jane Buxton has truly written a novel for the 21st century (or however much of it we get through!)”

-Kinsey Foreman, Odyssey Bookshop (South Hadley, MA)



“How do I write a review about this book without sounding like a shrieking, sobbing mess? I loved just about every second of this book. Shit Turd and Dennis' journey breathes new life into the post-apocalyptic genre. I barely wanted to put the book down to attend to normal human things, I was so engrossed in this Seattle inhabited by only animals. I spent a good amount of time weeping while this book was in my hands, only pausing in my devouring of the story to clutch at my confused little dog and snuggle him. This book will make you marvel at domesticated animals and their love for us, it will make you re-think your relationship with technology, and it will make you want to befriend your local murder.”

-J Gallo, Bookshop Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA)

“I don't typically like books narrated by animals, but the voice of S.T. really caught me by surprise. This is not your average zombie novel. And, in fact, I don't think any of the marketing groups this book into the SFF category. It is part story of friendship and loyalty mixed with an environmental warning and plea. I can definitely say that I have never read a book quite like it.”

-Jamie Southern, Bookmarks (Winston-Salem, NC)



“Genre-bending, laugh-out-loud funny, heartbreakingly tender, the Hollow Kingdom is a breathtaking romp through the end of humanity. Mostly told through the eyes and wise cracks of a domesticated crow, S.T. (Shit Turd). The animal voices are spot on and the wisdom they shared makes this an essential fable for our time.”

-Jan Blodgett, Main Street Books (Davidson, NC)



“Strange, delightful, crass, thoughtful, funny, and oddly poetic. This book was an absolute experience and I already miss following S.T. and Dennis through an abandoned and desecrated Seattle. HOLLOW KINGDOM is as odd as it is timely, and I cannot wait to share its ability to touch the heart in new and unexpected ways.”

-Jane Alice Van Doren, Rediscovered Bookshop (Boise, ID)



“S.T. (Shit Turd), the sentient American crow, is seeing things he doesn't quite understand. The humans he adores are behaving strangely; they can't be roused by PBR and Tinder anymore, and they're strangely hungry, violent, and deformed. The reader knows what S.T. cannot: the zombie apocalypse has begun, and its vector is the humble, ubiquitous, seemingly harmless cell phone. S.T. is a smart crow, and he quickly realizes he can't save the human race. All he can do is look after his irretrievably stupid bloodhound roommate, Dennis, as he tries to free other domestic animals from their human homes, stay alive, and not succumb to the Black Tide of depression. This one reads like Tom Robbins on acid, and yet it's suffused with lyrical beauty and unlikely hope. I can't imagine a funnier antidote to our collective hubris.”

-Cynthia Haltner, Mrs. Dalloway's (Berkeley, CA)



“How can it be possible, to have such gorgeous, beautiful writing about nature in the same book as some of the most lascivious, hilarious, and foulmouthed insults I've read since Christopher Moore? I really don't know, but Buxton has managed to write a true gem of a novel that is both of these things at the same time, and it's such a treat to read. The book is uproariously funny, particularly through S.T.'s exceptionally sarcastic outlook on life. The descriptions of other animals are evocative and hilarious, each species given defining traits like sexual deviance (squirrels) or narcissism (cats). But additionally the love of nature here is effulgent, and no one is left out. Trees, grass, earthworms all play their part in Mother Nature's grand scheme, the biggest animals no greater than the smaller ones, and a return to pure nature levels all playing fields. As S.T. gets back in touch with his corvid roots, albeit reluctantly, we see how humans, though disruptive, are a part of all this too. The novel, as well as being a roaring good read, is a call to action, even if that action is just listening to the world around us a little bit more deeply.”

-Elayna Trucker, Napa Bookmine (Napa, CA)



“Alright, you've got your zombie apocalypse. You've got your Twelve Monkeys. You've got the typical wilderness-taking-back-the-cities, wolves running along the freeways, trees growing through broken windows, the world returning to its primeval untouched state. But we only ever see that through the lens of wildness -- what about the domesticated animals? What happens to them? Hollow Kingdom is an intriguing twist on the zombie trope through the eyes of a domesticated crow who views humankind as the pinnacle of existence: the inventors of Cheetos; the possessors of thumbs. What are you supposed to do when your people cease being people? S.T. the crow embarks on a quest with his bloodhound brother Dennis to save the pets abandoned by their zombie humans. A biting sense of humor, a brilliantly zany way of looking at the world, and perspectives ranging from whales to toy poodles to polar bears to moles --Hollow Kingdom is an excellent addition to the pantheon of apocalyptic lit.”

-Tori Hall, Indigo Bridge Books (Lincoln, NE)



“I felt like I was riding a really great roller coaster while listening to the 'Great Courses' on my headphones! A thrilling ride with a moral in the story!”

-Tina Ferguson, Face in a Book (El Dorado Hills, CA)



“When I first read the premise of this book I was immediately drawn in. A zombie apocalypse told from the perspective of a domesticated crow? Count me in. Once I started it, I didn’t want to put it down, but I also realized that this book is so much more than what it initially seemed. With wit and wisdom, humor and heart, Buxton tells the tale of not what happens to humans when their world ends, but what happens to the world around them. Told from alternating animal perspectives, mostly from S.T. (the cursing domesticated crow with a severe addiction to Cheetos and unlikely hero), this book is takes on the affects our actions are having on the world, and what it can mean for the future of more than just our species. In this incredible debut, Buxton creates beautiful rendering of nature’s triumphant resurgence in a post-apocalyptic world.”

-Elisa Thomas, Cellar Door Books (Riverside, CA)



“People are starting to stare as I sit here in my coffee shop laughing out loud. Hollow Kingdom is brilliant!”

-Pat Rudebusch, Orinda Books (Orinda, CA)



“It's hard to say what I liked best: the humor (which made me laugh out loud), the relationships (S.T. and Dennis-don't get me started, I'll cry), the action (so descriptive and exciting), the entire premise (the most clever I've read in a long time). As far as I can tell, the only down-side to this book is that I will no longer look at a UPS truck without becoming emotional. I can't wait for August, when I will recommend Hollow Kingdom to my customers! Hollow Kingdom is a wonderful, moving, exciting, funny, heartwarming book! (P.S.- love the cover art!)”

-Lori-Jo Scott, Island Bookstore (Kitty Hawk, NC)



“Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton is bittersweet, funny, and thought-provoking.  How can you not love a novel with heart, charm, and wit, narrated by a foul-mouthed, Cheeto-addicted crow who is protecting his Noble Steed, a stupid but thoroughly lovable bloodhound named Dennis, while trying to help build a new society in a rapidly disintegrating world?” 

- Jude Feldman, Borderland's Books (San Francisco, CA)



“Whoaaaa. Ok I ended this in a pile of tears. It was very unexpected since it had me literally laughing out loud for the majority of it. This was a wonderfully unique, hilarious, and moving dystopian novel that I couldn’t recommend more highly!! I can’t wait for more from this author!” 

- Miranda Berdahl, Wind City Books (Casper, WY)



“What an unexpected and amazing story. I wasn't entirely sure what I could expect with a domesticated crow and his bloodhound best friend navigating a zombie apocalypse in Seattle, but I was in no way disappointed. Buxton's debut novel is one that sticks with its reader in a way I didn't predict, and I found myself laughing, crying, and craving Cheetos along with this bird at every turn. It is at times scary, at times hilarious, and very often poignant. I know it seems like a niche read, but people should read it anyway!”  

- Amber Brown, Quail Ridge Books (Raleigh, NC)



“As soon as I started reading, I couldn't believe this hadn't been done before. The apocalypse told from the perspectives of the animals? How have I never thought of this? Each chapter alternates between different animal perspectives, and I was blown away with the range that Buxton has with her characters’ voices; one chapter would feel like I was reading a Samantha Irby essay and the next was like reading something straight out of Walden. This is a perfect blend of dark humor and philosophy, perfect for those deep thinkers with trash mouths.” 

- Taylor Carr, Auntie’s Bookstore (Spokane, WA)



“I cannot say enough good things about this book! Funny and dystopian? Yes! A non-reader friend of mine red and couldn't put it down!! Winning!! Can't wait to see it on our shelves. This a book that will appeal to the masses.”  

- David Lucey, Page 158 Books (Wake Forest, NC)



“Clever take on human extinction from the perspective of a domesticated crow. Funny and poignant, S.T. the crow discovers his inner strength as he works to rally the other birds and various creatures in their attempt to survive the new world. Think "The Incredible Journey" meets "The Walking Dead."

- Laura Harvey, HugoBooks (Andover, MA)



“This book is hilarious, and thoughtful, by way of dystopian fiction for contemporary times. Milo and Otis meets Station Eleven with a crow named Sh*# Turd that has the vocabulary of a pirate. The first page drew me in and I could not put it down. Pick this one up and enjoy the ride. No, really I mean it. Read it."

- Hannah Oliver Depp, Loyalty Bookstores (Washington, DC)



“This book is the funniest and most interesting book I've read in a long time! The voice of the animals is spot on to what I'd imagine myself, and their view of the human world is just hilarious and somehow sad at the same time."

- Elizabeth Cipriano, Bookery Manchester (Manchester, NH)



“Hollow Kingdom is charming, delightful, creepy and altogether involving. A post-apocalyptic animal world set in a new mythology of the Seattle area; I loved the thoughtful and believably written characteristics of these animals. Our plucky crow hero collects facts and figures much as the other crows cache glitter and glass. Hollow Kingdom is a reading treat worthy of living on “Best Fantasy” lists for years."

- Tracey Trudeau, Powell’s Books (Portland, OR)



“Hollow Kingdom is set in a Seattle teetering on the edge of apocalypse, now that a new zombie-like virus is spreading. Luckily there’s hope, in the form of a smart-ass domesticated crow that loves junk food, watching TV, and humanity. I found this upcoming novel funny, weird, surprisingly touching, and extremely lovable — there’s something for everyone here."

-Leah Cushman, Powell’s Books (Portland, OR)




-Suzanna Hermans, Oblong Books (Rhinebeck, NY)



“An entertaining yet thoughtful look at humanity through the eyes of the animals that witness us at our best and worst.”

- Sarah Danforth, Towne Book Center and Wine Bar (Collegeville, PA)



“The world has ended, and humanity is gone.  But what about the ones who are left behind? Join S.T. the domestic crow and his faithful roommate Dennis the bloodhound as they try to find meaning in a world devoid of Cheetos, electricity, and above all, the humans who make their lives mean something.  As S.T. and Dennis travel across a that is Seattle being rapidly overtaken by wild animals and other, darker monsters, they must find a new way of surviving, and answer the question: What do we do now? At once side-splittingly hilarious and deeplying introspective, this book is a fantastic new look at the animals that live alongside us, and what we all mean to each other. Super funny and moving, with some of the most unique character voices I've ever read, this book had be both laughing and unashamedly sobbing in public.  It made a lasting impression, and I know it's going to stick with me.”

- Gigi, Tattered Cover (Denver, CO)



“This is not your mama's novel of the zombie apocalypse. When humanity finally loses its humanity to the lure of screens, it's up to the animals to look after each other and keep the newly-(de)evolved humans from making things even worse than they already have. Enter ST (short for Shit Turd), a domesticated crow. Profane, compassionate, fiercely loyal, not as smart as he wants to believe he is, with an outsized love of Cheetos, and almost as much human as he is crow, ST is an unlikely hero for the end of the world, but there may be no one better suited to the task.”

-Billie Bloebaum, Third Street Books (McMinnville, OR)




- Amanda Qassar, Warwick’s (La Jolla, CA)



“I love ST and I think you will too. A very sassy crow is the narrator of this fun story set here in Seattle. I look at crows now thinking of ST that’s the kind of impression he makes on you.”

- Suzanne Droppert, Liberty Bay Books (Poulsbo, WA)



“This is not my kind of book (narrated by an animal, humans turning into zombies, post-apocalyptic Seattle)--but as soon as I started reading it, ST's voice (he is the domesticated crow narrator) grabbed me and wouldn't let go. Highly recommended for anyone who loves animals; would make an excellent teen-crossover choice. Read it!”

- Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza (Albany, NY)



“This ain’t your usual zombie apocalypse! For one thing, our surviving hero is a domesticated crow with a foul mouth and a heart of gold by the name of Shit Turd, his sidekick and steed is the slobbering bloodhound Dennis, he thinks humans are also called “mofos” and Cheetos are the highest form of culinary art, and he’s going to have to embrace his true nature as a feathered thing if he’s going to keep alive the mofo traditions he loves.”

- Megan Bell, Underground Books (Carrollton, GA)



“I finished reading HOLLOW KINGDOM last night.  Even though I only had about 75 pages to go after the buyers retreat last week, I had to put the book down for a little while after reading the chapter of Dennis’ demise.  It completely undid me.  Until now, I would have said that the best portrait of grief I’ve ever read in a novel was in Hanya Yanigihara’s A Little Life.  After reading this, however, I have discovered its rival. This was such a rollicking good read and I’m so grateful that it was “assigned” because otherwise I doubt very much that I would have picked it up, thinking I wasn’t the right reader.  Now I know that *everybody* is the right reader for this book.”

- Emily Crowe, An Unlikely Story (Plainville, MA)



“I enjoyed HOLLOW KINGDOM so much I now want to visit the world Kira created (as an animal, not a mofo). This book is laugh out loud hilarious and will change the way you look at the animal kingdom forever. Plus the main character is a crow named ST who loves Cheetos! What more could you ask for in an adventure book?!”

- Alexa Butler, Beach Books (Seaside, OR)



“I may be partial to this book because I grew up in Seattle—and Buxton centers her book on all the classic landmarks. It is refreshing to read a new spin on the same dystopian and zombie tropes that have taken over media culture. Hollow Kingdom is fresh - both in point of view and endgame. This is a book that comes alive, as humanity is dying out, with laugh-out-loud humor. S.T. is my favorite fictional character of 2019.”

- Allie Bangerter, hello hello books (Rockland, ME)



“A wild and hilarious take on the post-apocalyptic story, HOLLOW KINGDOM shows us what it looks like to see nature truly begin to take back the Earth. Our narrator S.T. “the extremely disgruntled domesticated crow” along with his band of misfit animal friends, must learn to navigate this new world without humans there to unlock doors, turn on the TV, and buy Cheetos. Strange and dark creatures start to snatch up the weak, shadows leave behind bones, and destruction is around every corner. With the world rapidly changing around him, the unique voice of S.T. is often so sincere in his quest to reconcile his identity as a human on the inside and the subtle call of the natural world that often times this book felt more like a diary than a work of fiction.”

- Mary Lamphier, Bookpeople (Austin, TX)



“If you are going to read one book about the impending Zombie Apocalypse this year, this should be the one. It's hard to use delightful and Zombie Apocalypse in the same review, but there you have it. This is a delightful, quirky, witty, story about the end of humanity, yet hopeful about the resilience of nature. I will never look at crows the same way.”

-Jessica Osborne, E.Shaver Bookstore (Savannah, GA)



“HOLLOW KINGDOM by Kira Jane Burton is that rare anomaly in books—a completely original idea that works! After the zombie apocalypse, a domesticated crow (the foul-mouthed, snack food obsessed S.T.) and his dim-witted bloodhound friend decide they must set free all the pets that are dying inside of locked houses abandoned by human. The adventure is brilliant, full of terrifying battles against mutant and beast, and S.T. is a hero for the ages—Snake Plisskin from ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK in avian form. The comedy is actually laugh out loud funny, the horror is gory and scary, and the animal behavior is spot-on. It is also heart-breakingly, achingly sad in spots, and I wept for two chapters straight (if you've read it, you know exactly which ones!). Never has the bond between human and pet, nature and man been explored in such a vibrant and entertaining (if sobering) manner. The reviews that are stating this is The Walking Dead meets the Secret Life of Pets are only partway correct in their analysis. This is Watership Down for a new millennium. I was moved through the final breath-taking pages, and I loved every moment of it. Bravo!”

-William Carl, An Unlikely Story (Plainville, MA)



“Zombies have always struck me as the least interesting of all possible apocalypses, but turns out it’s way more fun if you ditch the human-centric drama and see what the animals think of the end of humanity. This is a fascinating, brilliant, hilarious, sad, and deeply joyful novel. It is so wonderfully unusual as to defy most meaningful comparisons, but imagine cross-pollinating Alan Weisman’s The World Without Us with Christopher Moore’s Fluke and you won’t be too far off.”

-Ruth Hubert, Fireside Books (Palmer, AK)



“If you have ever been curious as to what animals do during a fictional global crisis, this is absolutely the book for you. Kira Jane Buxton's HOLLOW KINGDOM is the story of companionship between S.T. the crow and Dennis the sweet simple dog, following their tale as they encounter other animals and try to find out what has happened to their humans and the rest of the natural world that they thought they understood. "Homeward Bound" meets "Dawn of the Dead" in this incredibly clever and original novel.”

-Delany Holcomb, Bookmarks (Winston-Salem, NC)



“HOLLOW KINGDOM by Kira Jane Buxton is laugh out loud hilarious and full of joy. If the films Shaun of the Dead and Walking Dead were to have a baby, it would be this book. What happens when zombies take over the world? Well we've already been given the stories of how we humans would react, but what about the animals? What would it mean for the birds and the trees and natural life as we know it? That's what HOLLOW KINGDOM tries to answer. At turns bizarre and brilliant, devastating and brimming with hope, this is a book that questions everything we know about the world, about storytelling and perspective. It's not for the faint of heart, but it's a definite must-read. I absolutely loved this book.”

-Michelle Malonzo, Changing Hands (Tempe, AZ)



“Three stars for a really original story and downright HILARIOUS moments. However, once I got towards the end of the book I found it too devastating and heavy for my heart to handle. Beware - this is not light reading despite how funny a lot of it is written. As much as I laughed at parts I made up for it in tears later.”

-Cheri Anderson, The Bookloft (Great Barrington, MA)



“When Big Jim's eyeball falls out and he stops eating, S.T., a domesticated crow, begins to think something is going badly wrong. When he heads out to pick up meds and food in hopes of curing Big Jim, he sees other "MoFo's" in a similar state. While S.T. has learned many words from Big Jim, Zombie is not one of them. S.T. begins to tune into underlying hum and communication between birds of a feather, animals and trees that he has previously scorned, just like those wild crows. The humor, quirkiness, insightfulness and hope of Kira Jane Buxton's HOLLOW KINGDOM highlights the interconnectedness of our world and how in overcoming misconceptions about others, we/they can overcome unimaginable foes. And it's wickedly funny with observations of human and animal life that are spot on.”

-Eileen McGervey, One More Page Books (Arlington, VA)



“I absolutely adored this novel. It was thrilling, funny, and full of emotion. It made me laugh, gasp, cry, and then laugh some more—all out loud, no matter where I was reading. Besides a page-turning plot, the writing was phenomenal and the characters really struck a chord with me, despite (or maybe because of) almost all of them being animals. When all the humans in the world start succumbing to a disease that turns them into zombie-like creatures, S.T. the crow (who thinks he should have been born human) and his faithful Bloodhound must go on a quest to free the pets of the world from the confines of the houses they are locked in. S.T. is such a plucky, genuine narrator and unlike any I've read before—I loved him so much. From page 1 this book drew me in and I couldn't stop reading it or thinking about it. I want to sit down and read it all over again.”

-Katrina Bright-Yerges, Books & Company (Oconomowoc, WI)



“Hollow Kingdom rocked my world! Not only hilarious and endlessly creative, but Buxton's ability to pull off some heartwarming, hope-giving moments in the midst of squirrel masturbation jokes is incredibly impressive. Homeward Bound with an adult zombie twist, Buxton continues a long tradition of reminding us of our human faults through the eyes of animals. While S.T. the domesticated crow quickly cawed his way deep into my heart, I was especially delighted by the random chapters from the perspective of other animals. Genghis Cat was hilarious and I could do with a whole book about him. Bottom line, get a ride-or-die like S.T. and Dennis and swoop into this book. It's got murders (both kinds), packs, herds, Cheetos, and everything you need to know about being a good MOFO.”

-Kyle, The Book Cellar (Chicago, IL)



“Before you read this book you might want to pick up a copy of Planet Crow or The Hidden Life of Trees or The Uninhabitable Earth and then you'll be set for this smart and funny post-apocalyptic novel with animals to guide you through the wreckage. I laughed and cried and in the end so very pleased with this book.”

-Stanley Hadsell, Market Block Books (Troy, NY)



“Hollow Kingdom is raucously funny, starkly poignant and unlike anything you have read before. Follow S.T., a wry and highly intelligent domesticated crow, as he finds himself in a quickly deteriorating Seattle amidst the end of the human race. As mother nature reclaims the world, S.T. must find a way to consolidate his two natures- crow and human- in order to survive the impending animal-centered world war. A mix of humor, adventure, and a love-letter to nature, Buxton creates an exhilarating, genre-bending experience that you simply cannot miss.”

-Tianna Moxley, The River’s End Bookstore (Oswego, NY)



“Such an off the wall and fun read!”

-Laura Taylor, Oxford Exchange (Tampa, FL)



“One of the few perfect books I've read in a long time. Kira's novel of a technologically induced plague descending on humanity, but narrated through the eyes of a crow who thinks himself a human and his bloodhound sidekick, is so unique and viscerally philosophical. It's a story of the fall and evolution of mankind from the often hilarious and sad perspectives of the flora and fauna left to spread. It is a parable, a message of the kinship of all living things and the importance of its survival. This is a story not to be missed!”

-Lauren Nopenz Fairley, Curious Iguana (Frederick, MD)



“Hilarious, moving, and absolutely original, Hollow Kingdom is the best Sci-Fi novel I've read in some time.  Buxton's wiseacre crow and his intrepid basset hound sidekick are great protagonists, but it's her pitch perfect dialogue that makes this novel sing.”

-Marjorie Darraugh, Pegasus Books (Berkeley, CA)


“Shit Turd always identified more with humans than his winged brethren.  But when our technological hubris spells humanity's doom, S.T.'s animal instincts are the only thing that can save him, and the rest of the Domestics; trapped in suburban prisons without an opposable digit to liberate themselves.  With his trusty Rocinante, Dennis the Bloodhound at his side, Shit Turd sets out to save the last remnants of the world of man, their furry friends.  Spectacularly written, a true hero's journey a la Joseph Campbell, and an absolute treat, I cannot recommend this book strongly enough.  Nor can I think of a better way to usher in the 6th extinction than with a good laugh-till-you-cry adventure!”

-Paul Laffoon, Folio Books (San Francisco, CA) 



“The zombie apocalypse through the eyes of a foul-mouthed crow, what’s not to like? If you are a fan of Christopher Moore or Terry Pratchett, you’ll love this book. Our smart phones have literally turned us all into zombies. So, the all-knowing giant squid at the aquarium sends our hero and his fearless blood hound companion on a quest – free the trapped pets! Step away from the iPhone and enjoy the ride!”

-John Foley, Folio Books (San Francisco, CA)



“An optimistic, chaotic, eerie, original tale. ST the crow and Dennis his faithful bloodhound romp around post-apocalyptic Seattle, freeing pets trapped in their former homes and learning about mother nature, community, trust, friendship, loyalty, and the meaning of life. An incredible story, one of few that I know I will re-read!”

-Kaity Heniges, The Astoria Bookshop (Astoria, NY)



“There are stories that can only truly be told with full detail from the eyes of those not intimately involved in the drama of the moment. In this case, the fall of human civilization is reported to us as the crow flies, literally. This is one of the funniest and most refreshing books I've read in a long time. Epic and heart-wrenching and utterly hope-filled. The first page is like tasting one Cheeto - be prepared to devour the whole bag in one sitting

-Liliana Lettieri, pages: a bookstore. (Manhattan Beach, CA)



“One of the most original, funny, heart-wrenching and hopeful books to come along in our time and of our time. Told from the perspective of a wise, sarcastic and sentimental crow (who loves Cheetos above all else) Hollow Kingdom transports the reader to a post-apocalyptic world populated by insightful, prophetic crows, cats (Ghengis)and dogs (“S.T.” short for Shit Turd & Winnie the Poodle).  This was so much fun to read and while not typically my genre of choice I LOVED it!!”

- Linda McLoughlin Figel, pages: a bookstore. (Manhattan Beach, CA)



“A starkly original story, staring the most unlikely of heroes, HOLLOW KINGDOM brings heart and humor to the post-apocalyptic world of human zombies and rebellious animals. S.T. is the star of the show, a domesticated Crow with a foul mouth and twisted affection for mankind. As the world around him devolves, S.T. and his bloodhound buddy, Dennis, embark on a quest of survival along with an unforgettable cast of characters. Told from various points of view we see ourselves as our pets envision us, whether it is the mediocre servants of our cat’s imagination or the poop obsessed walking companion of our dog’s. Kira Jane Buxton captures the personality of each species and infuses this darkly humorous tale of humankind’s hubris with playfulness and wit. A delightfully ingenious debut!”

- Luisa Smith, Book Passage (Corte Madera, CA)



“A thoughtful and unexpectedly hilarious take on the walking dead apocalypse.  And I didn’t expect to be moved in the way I was by the observations made by the lead character.  A wonderful, gonzo-literary gift to readers!”  

- Kenny Sarfin, Books & Greetings (Northvale, NJ)



“HOLLOW KINGDOM is a hilarious irreverent post-apocalyptic novel told from the POV of a crow named "S.T." At times moving, at times fall-out-of-bed laughing, it is a bit cautionary tale, a bit satire, and a bit love letter to Seattle. I had to stop marking sections early on because I found something I wanted to remember on almost every page. And yes I did cry a little, but I refuse to tell you why. I read the print version, but Buxton's descriptions are so good and dialogue is so sharp that it just begs to be read aloud.”

- Faith Park-Dodge, Page 158 Books (Wake Forest, NC)



“This is such a fun read and the humor is spot-on. A charming cast of animal characters led by the hilarious, foul-mouthed crow, ST, and his constant companion, Dennis, a lovable and loyal bloodhound.”

- Gaël LeLamer, Books & Books (Miami Beach, FL)



“What a delightfully profane and hysterical novel! I got so much more than I expected when I went into this. A semi-domesticated crow with a foul (pun intended) name, whom I'll call S.T., sets off on a mission around north Seattle with his hound dog friend, Dennis, after the human race turns necrotic and zombified-- including their person, Big Jim. What follows are the adventures and escapades of all the world's animals in a (mostly) post-human Earth. S.T. would do anything to save Big Jim and humankind, but it seems he's the only critter that values their existence. What's a bird to do? Hollow Kingdom is outrageously original and riotously witty-- for lots of laughs and a (somewhat) metaphorical take on our world today, you must not miss this book.”

- Andrew King, University Book Store (Seattle, WA)



“Wise, witty and wonderful, Kira Jane Buxton's debut is an absolute sensation. Never has the apocalypse been so funny or full of heart. Hollow Kingdom's clever charm will create lifelong readers for Ms. Buxton.”

- Katerina Argyres, Bookshop West Portal (San Francisco, CA)



“Kira Jane Buxton’s debut introduces one of the most exciting, refreshing voices in recent years: S.T., an irreverent, foul-mouthed, Cheeto-loving crow. Raised on TV and schooled in human ways by a beer-guzzling, shotgun-toting human named Big Jim, S.T., straddling human and animal worlds, becomes our guide to the end of civilization as a virus sweeps across the world, humans (lovingly called ‘mofos’) tumble down the evolutionary ladder, and S.T. sallies forth on the back of his faithful basset hound, Dennis, in search of a way to restore his comfortable lifestyle. Full of gorgeous descriptions and startling empathy, this book roams from the Scottish highlands to the wilds of the Arctic as S.T. searches for answers and for his place in this brave new world. I couldn’t believe how beautiful and lovingly rendered the landscape and characters of this book were; a truly glorious debut.”

- Anna Eklund, University Book Store (Seattle, WA)



“Who knew the zombie apocalypse could be this funny, particularly from the point of view of a pet crow - funny, in so many different meanings of the word- quirky, odd, hilarious. This story is a wildly imaginative critique of human behavior, which turns out to be highly engaging on many levels.”

-Lia Lent, Wordsworth Books (Little Rock, AR)

Advance Praise for Hollow Kingdom

“HOLLOW KINGDOM offers a bird’s eye view of the apocalypse we all want and need—especially when the bird in question is a plucky, Cheeto-loving domesticated crow named Shit Turd. With infinite heart and humor, Kira Jane Buxton’s fine-feathered narrator guides us through richly imagined animal realms while braving the terrifying collapse of the human world. A dazzling, wholly original debut, revealing the great paradox of humanity’s fatal flaws and resilient spirit.”

- Mona Awad, author of 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl and Bunny

“A plucky hero, a boisterous tale, startling prose and eerie events combine for a thoroughly enjoyable account of the end of the world as we know it.  The Secret Life of Pets meets The Walking Dead.”

- Karen Joy Fowler, PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

“A hilariously exuberant and heart bursting fable for our times, HOLLOW KINGDOM reminds us that creativity and determination (and a whole lot of love) can go a long way toward saving the world. When Mr. Rogers said to look for the helpers, who knew that might mean a salty mouthed crow and a faithful bloodhound?”

- Jennie Shortridge, author of Love Water Memory and co-founder of the Seattle7Writers

“What a surprising, funny, terrifying, marvelous, wholly original novel! Buxton combines a vivid horror show (think zombies and the gruesome, bloody extinction of man) with a touching love story between the unlikeliest of BFFs: a crow, a hound, and a man who’s had a tough go of things on Tinder, and that was before his eyeball fell out. With humor and a style that brings to mind Tom Robbins and Karen Russell, Buxton's debut is heartwarming and heart stopping, hilarious and tragic.”

- Amy Poeppel, author of Limelight and Small Admissions

“Everything you’re hearing about Kira Jane Buxton’s HOLLOW KINGDOM — that it’s wildly original and inventive, funny and profane — is wonderfully true. But even better, this book is timely, smart, movingly written, and beautifully concluded. It’s heartbreaking and hopeful, and in the very best way, it will change how you look at the world all around you.”

- Laurie Frankel, author of This Is How It Always Is and member of the Seattle7Writers

“Wow. Hilarious or horrifying? Sassy or wise?  HOLLOW KINGDOM is a surprise and a marvel: a razor sharp and satisfying warning about the coming apocalypse, told by one of the most engaging narrators I have met in a long time.  Good fiction makes you think.  It turns you upside down and makes you realize that you recognize the world from that vantage point.  HOLLOW KINGDOM is that good fiction, and so much more.”

- Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, author of Shadow Child

“HOLLOW KINGDOM is a nature book for our own age, an exuberant, glittering, hard-hitting mashup of Dawn of the Dead and The Incredible Journey. It’s an adventure lit by strange myths, brand-names, television and smartphone screens, a fable with teeth and claws about animals making new lives amongst the ruins of humanity. It’s transformative, poignant, and funny as hell. S.T. the irrepressible, cursing crow is my new favourite apocalyptic hero.”

- Helen Macdonald, New York Times bestselling author of H Is for Hawk

"HOLLOW KINGDOM is a grown-up’s Watership Down for our times—or the end of them. Kira Jane Buxton has created a crow so full of personality you won’t even miss the company of humans, who are devolving at hyper-speed rates into something sub-literate and grotesque. But Buxton shows there’s humor in our plight and strength in tenderness, and she portrays the intelligence and astounding beauty of the natural world in a completely fresh way. This book is a triumphant feat of imagination, and it had me believing that the bonds we’ve formed with our pets might help them save us after all. I’ll never look at a corvid the same way again."

- Zoe Zolbrod, author of The Telling and Currency and former editor at The Rumpus

"If you've ever thought that humans were the ones in charge, Kira Jane Buxton's groundbreaking novel will have you thinking otherwise. Full of unforgettable humor, insight and beauty, HOLLOW KINGDOM enriches our human experience by inhabiting the minds (and bellies!) of our non-human animal companions and reminding us that we're not alone here on this earth."

- Ruth Ozeki, bestselling author of A Tale for the Time Being

"Ugh, I love this book so much! I wanted to set it on fire while hugging it. I wanted to hasten the apocalypse just to see how my own pets fare in a more humane world without humans. Kira Jane Buxton’s voice is fresh, like a newly dug grave, but so joyful and honest you’ll laugh out loud, and then check to make sure you haven’t lost an eyeball. HOLLOW KINGDOM is a wildly original debut and a paean to my favorite city."

- Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet 

Copyright © 2019 Kira Jane Buxton - All Rights Reserved

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