The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud

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Goodreads: The Hollow Boy
Series: Lockwood & Co. #3
Source: Library
Published: 2015


In London, the streets are filled with restless spirits whose touch can kill a person. Only children can see the entities, however, so they have been formed into agencies to fight the supernatural uprising.  Lucy is part of Lockwood & Co., the only agency not headed by an adult.  She likes it that way–she, Lockwood, and George form the perfect team.  Then Lockwood hires the annoying perfect Holly Munro.  Can Lucy work out her problems with Holly or will it distract her from more important things, like the bloody footprints appearing on someone’s staircase, or the large uprising of ghosts in Chelsea?


Thus far each installment in the Lockwood & Co. series has followed a similar structure.  A book typically begins with a series of smaller cases for the team to solve and then culminates in a final, desperate battle with an unusually powerful ghost.  This book follows a similar pattern but throws in a twist–the real battle here is not with the spirits walking the streets but with Lucy’s own emotions.  Honestly, without the ghosts, this might have been dreadfully dull.

Lucy seems to promise ominous times ahead, beginning with an account of their company’s perfect teamwork, then noting that they didn’t realize how good they were together until it was too late.  Cue ominous music.  Something will tear them apart!  Right?  Right…?  Well, sort of, maybe, depending how you look at it.  What really happens is that Holly Munro arrives and Lucy doesn’t like her because she’s pretty and capable, and thus a threat to her because Lockwood will probably fall in love with someone so pretty and capable.  Lucy responds by being snippy and sarcastic towards Holly and generally making Holly feel unwelcome and everyone else uncomfortable.  Without the ghosts, I might have been reading a high school cat fight.

Fortunately, the ghosts, as always, deliver.  This is an action-packed read full with high stakes, and I enjoyed every minute of it, even when I was shivering alone in the dark.  This may not have been the strongest installment of the series, but it was solid enough that I am looking forward to book four.

Krysta 64

5 thoughts on “The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud

    • Krysta says:

      Most of the story is self-contained and centered around the specific ghost they’re going to fight in this book, but there is a larger narrative thread running through about why the ghosts uprisings began in the first place. You could probably follow the action but it would be more useful to start at the beginning if you wanted more of the big picture.

      Liked by 1 person

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