Flawless Victory
















As most of you know, I was a regular guest on web radio show, Random Fandom. When host Drew Taylor stated that he was excited to read Hollowstone, I figured best case scenario, he would like the story or would be mildly entertained.

What I didn’t expect, however, was for Taylor to pen such a powerful review of Hollowstone. A review that is definitely worth sharing.


A microcosm of elitism, privilege, and depravity is stylistically rendered through words by
author Dennis Upkins in his book “Hollowstone”. Upkins deftly lands a solid one-two punch
with this young adult knockout that is equal parts murder mystery, supernatural suspense,
thriller, and romance!

The banter of well developed characters steers the reader to places that angels fear to tread
while pushing the scope of what, at first glance, might seem to be nothing more than another
teen-angst-drama. Robust with pathos, yet focused like a laser upon maintaining the clarity of
the story; it is taunt epic of just over 350 pages. “Hollowstone” will fly by in moments but, will
most definitely have the reader enjoying it again, and again.

Upkins has the audacity to push the envelope of this genre via the juxtaposition of two of his characters; an ‘alter-boy-straight-edge’, and a traditional ‘bad boy’ type character. They are not to be dismissed as simply marking time as he beats a word-count-drumbeat for Parker Press. Upkins knows his craft well and delivers a paragon of prose through these, and other characters in this stunning tale.

The author brings together a complex whodunit mystery, while simultaneously delivering a timeless message of love, hope, and redemption, without flinching away from issues of race, religion, or sexuality. It would appear that Mr. Upkins may well be the zeitgeist of this decade and more if this work is any indication.

Serving well to establish a high mark, both for persons of color, and the LGBTQ community, “Hollowstone” boasts in broad strokes the picture of a world in which we actually live, but never reducing it to a cartoon-like trope of lesser works that mock the reader as culturally challenged. More books of this sort need to exist immediately, if for no other reason than to help to mainstream the under-represented minority writers, and to further advance the cause of literacy in America.

“Hollowstone”, though aimed at young adults hits all the high notes of an adult literary drama without the failure of pretension or, overreaching on the part of a new author. Mr. Upkins maintains a well developed and linear story that highlights his ability to skillfully create, and deliver story with both style and substance.

If there are any negative criticisms they would, perhaps, fall into the category of…’why is there NOT more of this book?’ Upkins is wise, and leaves the audience wanting more but, only after carefully bringing his story of the Hollowstone Academy to a succinct closure. Soulful, spiritual, and artful all describe this work, yet it is also reflective, because it is a type of mirror and each reader will see a bit of themselves shining back for good or ill as they devour this tasty bit of mind candy.

I believe this is what they would call, FLAWLESS VICTORY!

[pops collar, like a boss]


Speculative Fiction Novelist. Author of Hollowstone, West of Sunset and other cool stories. Wordsmith, activist and nerd seraph. Saving the world and/or taking it over. http://www.dennisupkins.wordpress.com