Format: E-ARCPublisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Series: Nevermoor #3
Number of Pages: 560Publishing: October 27th, 2020
Source: Edelweiss Plus
Opening Line: "On a glossy black door inside a well-lit wardrobe, a tiny circle of gold pulsed with light and at its center was a small glowing W."
Hollowpox is the third book in the Nevermoor trilogy, I highly recommend starting with the first book in the series, The Trials of Morrigan Crow. In book two, we saw Morrigan and her friends finally being inducted into the elite Wundrous Society after having successfully completed a series of trials and proving their loyalty to Unit 919. Although certain revelations also led some of the scholars in the society to begin to despise and fear Morrigan.
It's the start of Unit 919's second year and they're ready to take on more responsibility. However, just as Morrigan begins to learn more about the Wretched Arts and how to hone her skills to become an accomplished Wundersmith, a strange illness begins to target Wunimals. Where the Wunimals were once peaceful, self-aware animals with human like characteristics, the illness reverts them to a Unnimal state, causing them to behave in a bizarre, violent fashion, attacking with a ferocity meant to kill. As the attacks begin to increase in frequency and the number of infected rise, fear begins to take hold, pitting Wunimals against the high council and the citizens of Nevermore. When someone close to Morrigan is infected, it brings a new urgency to locating a cure. Morrigan is even willing to make a deal with her worst enemy if it means she can save her friend.
Diving back into the world of Nevermore was a bit of a slow start for me. This was purely a me thing, too much time having passed between reading Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow and Hollowpox. I started to get confused by all the names and it took me a little while to get into the swing of things. But then the various attacks in the story began to happen and with it came the realization that a pandemic or outbreak type situation was happening. I will totally admit I was surprised by the parallels I was feeling between the story's plot and the current pandemic. I kept wondering whether Townsend planned to include these things or was it just coincidental? The way she captured the fear, speculation and rumors surrounding the unknown. How there were theories circulating about what caused the infections, the need to quarantine, and how physicians were franticly searching for a cure. Even the connections she made to the current political climate, how there were two competing governments, the free state and republic that were unable to work together for a common goal, and instead questing for power over each other. And although things were strikingly similar to our current pandemic and political environment, somehow it didn't get in the way of my enjoyment of the story. I think everyone, including the Wunimals are waiting for a day where we can return to some form of normalcy.
Morrigan is defiantly the star of this story, although Hotel Deucalion and Fenestra are a strong second. Who couldn't love a "living building" that adjusts to your mood, changing the interior design every day based on the guests and the hotels desires? And a Magnificat that is part body guard and one hundred percent feisty. Even riding on the Wunderground train system and having a cool knack like inferno? And then there's Morrigan's training in the Wretched Arts picking up new skills and gaining confidence in her abilities. I totally enjoyed my return to Nevermore, the story is exciting, suspenseful and that ending has me screaming for the next book in the series. If each book was a little shorter, I'd defiantly be re-reading Hollowpox before the next one comes out and even still I might make the time for that re-read.