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Lockwood & Co: The Hollow Boy: Book 3 (Lockwood & Co., 3)

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The trio has such a good vibe, but the advent of Holly causes some tension and throws off the chemistry. Not to mention his unique ability to leave us with a cliff-hanger that shocks us but also provides us with the opportunity to pick up the next book at a later time.

This time, there’s a big ghost breakout in London, which seems to get worse no matter what main agencies do. THE HOLLOW BOY is the third novel in the series, following the tales of Anthony Lockwood and his associates; a team of ghost busters!

At the end of the last book— The Whispering Skull—Lockwood finally relented and let her and George in. There was also some exposition still present, but either I'm getting used to it or it was less cumbersome than it had been before because I didn't mind it as much this time. I thought this was a good addition to the series and the book starts off with the crew of Anthony Lockwood, George and Lucy tackling ghosts while there's a ghost epidemic brewing in the Chelsea neighborhood of London. Stroud invented such an intriguing world that it gets difficult not to believe in spectres, malaise and ghost lock. We're at the third installation of what is at least a four-book series, and Jonathan Stroud is finally starting to deviate just a little bit from his established formula.

Surely this is the perfect chance for them to show once and for all that they’re actually the best in town? I'm so glad that today's kids have this kind of amazing writing and story-telling to read instead of some cheesy Goosebumps books (that while fun lack the depth of story telling and characterization we get here). After all she’s done and how close she sometimes feels to Lockwood, it still seems Holly Munro is the shining star. Can the team get past their personal issues to save the day on all fronts, or will bad feelings attract yet more trouble?Also, the artwork here is great and so are the interior chapter headings, but please lighten the chapter artwork. There is a new spirit of openness in the team now that Lockwood has shared some of his childhood secrets, and Lucy is feeling more and more as if her true home is at Portland Row. Sir Rupert Gale, a villainous “friend” of Penelope Fittes, whom Lucy and Lockwood had met in a previous book, joins in the chase, then attacks Lockwood when the assailant gets away. As usual Montague Barnes was no help and seemed to brew his own soup once again but oh well, nothing new there, right?

Ok, enough with the threats, for now, and WELCOME once again to the scariest London in fictional existence. Because until it happened, the Lockwood series read as lighter fare, creepy manifestations and nighttime horrors and deaths and all. It leaps at her, and she falls over the banister, holding on by one hand as the (now obviously evil ghost) comes for her.

There are hints here and there that Lucy is starting to lose sight of what's important, and also that Lockwood may not have the team's best interests in mind, but Stroud is either waiting for later books to develop those ideas, or he just couldn't be bothered.

Lucy had valid reasons for not liking Holly, and Holly coming from a more complicated, less corporate background than Lucy assumed doesn't negate those reasons. Stroud lives in St Albans, Hertfordshire, with his two children, Isabelle and Arthur, and his wife Gina, an illustrator of children's books. i don't love the "lucy doesn't get along with other girls" vibes (holly seems like a lovely person, lucy, chill) but the ending still gives me all the feels. Ugh, this is such a downgrade for her character to be seen as some petty love interest that makes her leave the agency at the end because she just can't handle things. Meanwhile in flashbacks, Lockwood shares part of his past with Lucy and George by showing them the closed room of the house.A bomb landed next to it during World War 2, killing dozens, and it was the site of a truly horrid medieval prison. Lucy Carlisle has definitely uttered the phrase "I just get along better with guys, girls have so much drama" at some point in her life, and I hate her for it. It comes as a great shock, then, when Lockwood and George introduce her to an annoyingly perky and hyper-efficient new assistant, Holly Munro. Lucy is delving deeper into Antony's past, and developing her ability to talk to ghosts, one that is admittedly dangerous.

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