Book Review

Hollowpox: The Hunt For Morrigan Crow

Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow

  • Author: Jessica Townsend
  • Genre: MG Fantasy
  • Publication Date: October 27, 2020
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
  • Series: Nevermoor #3

CONTENT WARNING: animal attack, violence, bigotry, mention of death

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Morrigan Crow and her friends have survived their first year as proud scholars of the elite Wundrous Society, helped bring down the nefarious Ghastly Market, and proven themselves loyal to Unit 919. Now Morrigan faces a new, exciting challenge: to master the mysterious Wretched Arts, and control the power that threatens to consume her.

But a strange and frightening illness has taken hold of Nevermoor, turning infected Wunimals into mindless, vicious Unnimals on the hunt. As victims of the Hollowpox multiply, panic spreads. And with the city she loves in a state of fear, Morrigan quickly realizes it’s up to her to find a cure for the Hollowpox, even if it will put her – and everyone in Nevermoor – in more danger than she ever imagined.

Could I possibly love this series any more? Let me answer that for you. No, I couldn’t. I love this series with my entire heart. And the audiobook version is hands down my favorite out of all the ones I’ve ever heard. Gemma Whelan continues to do the best job I’ve ever heard from a narrator, convincingly narrating a wide range of accents, voice tones, and even sounds to bring this story to life in the most vivid way I’ve ever heard. 

With this book, we’re brought back to the magic world of Nevermoor and get to see even more of the place. Morrigan and company have survived their first year of schooling in the Wundrous Society, and are learning more than ever. This year, Morrigan begins training in the skills that make her a Wundersmith, and her journey is incredibly cool. I loved seeing her progress with her talents, and the learning process was amazing, although it does come with a little separation from her peers.

Speaking of her peers, there’s a little less of them in this story, since her journey takes her down a little bit of a different path from them, but they do play a big role in the story regardless. While I was a huge fan of Hawthorne from the start, it was so interesting to see how her connection with Cadence changes throughout the series, and their relationship becomes even more clear in this book. 

Naturally, things don’t go smoothly in this story either, but that’s what makes it such a good story. There’s a scary sickness on the loose in Nevermoor that’s infecting Wunimals and turning them into Unnimals that attack anything they see — including people. The series reminds me a bit of the HP series, in that the first books are more geared towards younger children, but get darker as the story goes on. In this one, there’s some death and an animal attack, but nothing is brutal, gory, or terrifying, and still age-appropriate for MG readers. I think the story takes on a different tone now that children have actually experienced a pandemic, and can see for themselves how a vaguely defined illness with unknown origin and no cure can affect society and how people act. 

Morrigan is unwillingly thrust into the spotlight, and used as a political pawn at times in this story. I was on the edge of my seat during the whole story, and couldn’t resist listening to this every chance I got. There’s action and unexpected plot twists, and we find characters making surprising alliances in order to save the day. I loved this book, and can’t wait for the next one to come out!

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 10

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