Author: Jonathan Stroud // First published: September 2015 // Genre: Paranormal, YA
This edition: 466 pages, published in September 2015 by Doubleday Childrens // Get it @TheBookDepository
Read in October 2015
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Lockwood & Co. might be the smallest (some might say shambollic) Psychic Detection Agency in London. But its three agents – Lockwood, Lucy and George – are exceptional Talents. And they get results. When an outbreak of ghostly phenomena grows to terrifying levels in Chelsea, Scotland Yard is left baffled.
Even more baffling is that Lockwood & Co appear to have been excluded from the huge team of Agents investigating the Chelsea Outbreak. Surely this is the perfect chance for them to show once and for all that they’re actually the best in town? Well, that’s if they can put aside their personal differences for long enough to march into action with their rapiers, salt and iron…
Since this is the 3rd instalment in a series, beware of potential spoilers.
Where to begin… This was probably my most anticipated release of the year; I was looking for a pre-order link since February or something, and actually pre-ordered it in July. So you know… I wanted to read this book…
I found that The Hollow Boy was a bit different from the previous books. In structure first of all; where in the previous ones we mainly followed one big case that had to be resolved (with the smaller “opening” case to put you in the mood at the beginning of the book), here we basically follow 2 big ones. One is like a “red line” and we always come back to it, and the other helps us see more into the characters.
And that is the second way this book differs from the others: we go more into the mind of a particular character. Lucy is going through some things that she doesn’t understand, her team is not fully trusting her, and she has to face both a new addition to the team and the fact that she feels left out and misunderstood. Teenage angst much?
While I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the “ghost” parts of the book, I was less taken with this jealousy theme, the fact that Lucy clearly has feelings for Lockwood and all… I don’t like that. I absolutely get the anger towards the Monroe girl (trust me, <spoiler>if I was in Lucy’s shoes, I would be PISSED that my team hired someone new without even consulting me!!</spoiler>), but the whole dormant romantic thing that she has for Lockwood… I wish we could go on with the series with this aspect being left out.
I will say though that I think it irritated me so much because it felt like a real teenager could say and feel those things. It just so happens that I’m not a fan of romance and romantic interests in books, so there’s that too.
Something that I found frustrating was the fact that the book is called “the hollow boy”, but in the end, we don’t know all that much about this hollow boy. I say it was frustrating because by the end of the previous books, the cases of “the screaming staircase” and of “the whispering skull” were solved and you knew what it was all about. Here, we encounter the hollow boy in one chapter, there is a reference to it in an other, but that’s it. It still is a mystery that remains to be resolved. But I guess it’s just more incentive to read the next books 😉
I’m still very much in love with this series, and I would urge every one to read it. I had some issues with a few aspects of the storyline, this is why I’m knocking a star down and giving it 4/5 stars, but it remains a very good solid and good book, a great addition to the series, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.