The Hollow Boy (Lockwood & Co. book 3) by Jonathan Stroud
The trio that has grown into a great team over the first two books changes in drastic ways. Luce is dealing with being an agent and a teenage girl, who might have crush on Lockwood. Lockwood hires a new member of the team, without Luce being involved in the decision. George hasn’t seemed to grow as a character, but is getting better at being an agent and doing research. The new member at Lockwood & Co., is Holly and Luce doesn’t like her, it is almost as if she is threatened by another girl being around Lockwood. While not out of character for a typical teenage girl, this doesn’t seem to match 100% of what Luce has been about the first two books.
There is a horrible outbreak in Chelsea and while Fitts and Rotwell are taking care of it, but not being able to find the source, Lockwood handles a case that Holly arranged with a wealthy client. After taking care of this client’s ghost issue, Lockwood and Co. are her special guests at the parade and then it all goes crazy. George does what he does best, and figures out the where the source is located, leading all four members of Lockwood and Co and a surprising group from the Fitts agency to see if they can investigate and really find the source. Of course, George is right and the end results are happy for Chelsea, the surrounding area, and almost everyone involved in the investigation.
Luce had some scary moments, throughout the book, leading to a surprising decision at the end of the book. However, it is teamwork that has helped all the agents get through tough situations and that shined during the different encounters. Luce is given a special scare when one ghost, a Fetch, tells her that ghosts don’t only see the past but can see the future. Without giving too much away, it is not something that would a shock if you were looking at the clues leading up to the decision and realizing that the characters are different in this book compared to the first two.
The skull in the jar is helpful and insulting during the book, and if ghosts really can see the future I wonder who might really be in the jar. The ending seems forced, as if to set up book 4, The Creeping Shadow, and a plot line there. Overall, it was a great book and enjoyable to read, highly recommend it (as well as the first two: Screaming Staircase and Whispering Skull). Enjoyable read and with a good story, will look forward to the next book in the series.
Character List: (new information on characters from Book 2)
Mr. & Mrs. Evans = proprietors of Lavender Lodge on Cannon Lane in Whitechapel, clients of Lockwood and Co.
Jessica = Lockwood’s older sister, likes lavender, dead
Inspector Montagu Barnes = DEPRAC, good at his job, annoyed by Lockwood & Co.
Quill Kipps = works for Fitts Agency, offers to help Lockwood
Araella Crowley = ghost haunting Mrs. Peters’ armoire where a confession was hidden
Holly Munro = new assistant at Lockwood and Co., Luce is possibly threatened by her and how she interacts with Lockwood, tension with these two reaches a head towards the end of the book
Fiona Wintergarden = client Holly arranged, influential, gets DEPRAC to ask Lockwood & Co. to help at the problem in Chelsea
Officer Ernest Dobbs = DEPRAC officer, Inspector Barnes’ deputy
Florence Bonnard (aka Flo Bones) = relic seller, sometimes helps Lockwood and Co., such as when investigating the source of the problem in Chelsea
Leopold Winkman = black magic dealer, feared more than his father (Julisu), teenager, wants revenge on Lockwood & Co. for putting his father in jail.
Sir Rupurt Gale = companion to Ms. Fitts, Lockwood & Co. know he is a collector of dark relics.
Penelope Fitts = knows and supports the Orpheus Society that George may want to join one day
Kate Godwin = member of Kipps’ team, had been friends with Ned Shaw (dead)
Bobby Vernon = member of Kipps’ team, goes missing while searching with Kate
Samuel Aickmere = represented 4th generation of the family to the run Aickmere Department Store (the site of a plague pit, bombing, and King’s prison)