The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud Book Review

The Hollow Boy (Lockwood & Co. #3) by Jonathan Stroud
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: September 15, 2015

After some success, Lockwood & Co. made up of Anthony Lockwood, George, and Lucy have been busy. Plenty of cases, but nothing big and they still aren't being taken seriously as a real ghost hunting agency. All that begins to change though when Lockwood hires a new assistant, annoyingly perky and hyper-efficient, to help them manage their cases. Now, they are starting to get bigger jobs, like the bloody footprints that keep appearing at a fancy house. Nothing is quite as it seems though as Lucy's psychic powers seem to be growing stronger and she is beginning to attract unwanted attention of a ghostly nature. Meanwhile, in Chelsea, most of the big agencies are looking for the source of a ghost outbreak with no luck. With the bloody footprints case newly solved under their belt, Lockwood & Co. is sure that they can solve this one too.

One of the many reasons why I love this series is that it is so nuanced. Although this could easily be just a fun ghost hunt adventure, Stroud is careful to give each of his characters a bit of mystery and depth. Except George perhaps, since George is exactly as he seems. Lucy's powers are growing stronger and stronger and she struggles with letting Lockwood know about her new abilities and exploring them more. Perhaps she would be a bit more open to sharing with Lockwood had he not hired Holly who seems to have captured his attention. This was both a positive and negative for me. One of the things I have always loved about this series is the absence of a love story. It never felt necessary and I am a proponent of the idea that people can work together and be friends and not be romantically involved. It seems that this is where the story is leading to. Lucy is terribly jealous of Holly and since we are in her head much of the time, we are just as suspicious of Holly as Lucy is. This drove me nuts because Lucy, who is usually cool, calm, and collected becomes careless and compromising all because of Holly.

As for the ghost stories, although I would state that none of their jobs were as scary as the Screaming Staircase from book one, I would posit that the buildup to whatever is really going on is promising to be awesome. Where did all these ghosts come from? What is the true source of everything? What is the room that Lucy finds at the end? Who set it up? I have no idea how many books Stroud is planning on writing for this series, but so far they have all been fantastic so I am okay with he keeps on writing them, just as long as we begin some more answers here and there. And if Lucy is going to pursue a relationship with Lockwood, I think it is time for Lockwood to be a little more trusting and a lot less secretive.