I was lucky enough to request and receive a copy of this from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own.
Nevermoor: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
Before we go any further, all you really need to know is: this book is A-MAZING!
But that wouldn’t make for much of a review on its own, would it, so…
This is the third book in the absolutely fantastic Nevermoor series. If you haven’t read books one and two (where have you been?!) stop reading immediately and go and read them now.
I realised on writing this that I reviewed book one before I had my blog, so I’ve posted it here belatedly. And I’m not sure where my Wundersmith review went but let’s blame that on new baby craziness and just know that it was every bit as good, if not better, than book one.
And the same can most definitely be said of Hollowpox.
We rejoin Morrigan in her second year as a member of the Wundrous Society and see her beginning to learn more about the Wretched (or Wundrous) Arts in a most brilliantly devised and captivating way, as she is helped to try and harness, master and diversify her powers as a Wundersmith, whilst simultaneously struggling to keep her Wundersmith status under wraps outside of WunSoc – something which proves increasingly challenging as the story unfolds.
We are introduced to a new, third part of WunSoc, which is every bit as intriguing, magical and atmospheric as we’ve come to expect from Jessica’s settings and we’re introduced to some great new characters and typically WunSoc style secrets too.
But of course, things couldn’t go smoothly for long. And in an eerily prescient way (for the book was written way before this year’s Covid 19 pandemic), we see a deadly ‘virus’ sweeping through the Wunimals of Nevermoor, turning them into Unnimals on the rampage, with no sense of their human sides left and a compulsion to attack.
As the attacks increase, panic spreads. No-one knows where the Hollowpox came from, how it spreads and there’s no cure. With curfews, closures and messages to “Stay Alert” it felt like a mirror for current times in many ways.
After attacking, the Wunimals left ‘hollow’ in a coma-like state but with seemingly nothing left inside, leading to increased debate in Nevermoor about who the victims of the Hollowpox are.
Indeed, it felt all too realistic and equally saddening to see the way in which the disease sees Wunimals blamed, with fellow citizens turning on them and the sparks of prejudice many carried against them already ignited.
There is an absolutely hilarious, but all too true quote about numpties which I will let you discover for yourselves but it summed up perfectly both Nevermoor in this crisis, and our own world too.
With twists, turns, blame and backstabbing, not to mention a race against time to beat the mysterious disease, this is already thrilling, shocking and thought-provoking. But then, of course, comes the return of Ezra Squall.
The last Wundersmith, banished from Nevermoor for his evil acts, he reappears to Morrigan on the Gossamer from the Wintersea Republic with a, deal to be done, and the plot well and truly thickens….
And that ending! Oh my god.
I loved everything about this.
As, ever, the characters are well-fleshed out and considered, and I especially liked how we dug a bit deeper with Squall in this book.
The inhabitants of Hotel Deucalion (including of course the hotel itself, which is one of my favourite ‘characters’ I think) are as fantastical, funny and fiercely loyal as ever.
The story itself is compelling and complex, with heavy doses of humour and gloriously magical moments, as well as messages of equality, kindness, courage and honesty which always run through this series.
And of course, it is breathtakingly imaginative, heart-stoppingly exciting, goose-bumpily (yes that’s a word!) observant. At once a wundrous escape from reality and an astute commentary on it.
Loved it, loved it, loved it. Need book four immediately.