Book Review: The Hollow Boy (Lockwood & Co. #3) by Jonathan Stroud

Title: The Hollow Boy (Lockwood & Co. #3)
Author: Jonathan Stroud
Genre: YA/urban fantasy
Date Read: 15/09/2015 – 17/09/2015
Rating: ★★★★

hollowboycoverJonathan Stroud is one of my favourite authors,  so of course I had this book on pre-order and snapped it up on release day.  I finished it within 36 hours and then had to deal with the book hangover that lasted a good 24 hours after.

In this third installment in the series, Lucy’s Talent for communicating with Visitors (ghosts) is becoming more pronounced, though Lockwood has forbidden her to experiment with it. The agency is busier than ever, especially since the larger agencies are taken up with as  outbreak of Visitors in the Chelsea area. Lockwood hires them an assistant,  Holly Munro, whom Lucy clashes with immediately,  though Lockwood and George seem to love her. All of this comes to a head in an old department store built on top of a medieval prison where all their lives are in danger.

I have to admit, there were a few things that felt a bit off in this book. It has been a year since I read the first two books,  so maybe I’m misremembering, but Lucy’s dislike of Holly felt so petty and out of character for her. Not to mention,  it took up a lot of the book,  and even if it was in character, got really irritating after a while. I was actually glad when the two of them began arguing outright, because the passive-aggression that they’d been throwing at each other up until then was grinding my nerves.

The highlight was definitely towards the end, when Lockwood finally opened up a bit to Lucy. He was even more stand-offish than usual for most of this book (with good reason,  admittedly),  so it was nice when he stopped that. Lucy was also much more mature in this scene,  which redeemed her behaviour during earlier chapters.

There were definitely still thrills and scares to be had as with the previous books (I had to close the blinds at one point for fear of crazed child ghosts grinning at me in the window), but some of the story seemed to be glossed over. The first 25% or so especially felt more like a series of vignettes than an actual novel with an overarching plot.

Having said all that, you know I’m going to be first in line to get the 4th book when it comes out next year.


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