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Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow is the third and most recent installment in the Nevermoor series by Jessica Townsend. It was first published September 29th, 2020 in Australia and worldwide in English-speaking countries by October 27th, 2020.

Contents

Dedication

"This book is dedicated with love to Jo Laurance and her friend Mrs. Miller, the original cabaret duckwun."

Book Description

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 of the Accomplished Wundersmith, and control the power that threatens to consume her.

Meanwhile, 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. There are whispers - growing louder every day - that this catastrophe can only be the work of the Wundersmith, Ezra Squall.

But inside the walls of Wunsoc, everyone knows there is a new Wundersmith - one who's much closer to home. With Nevermoor in a state of fear and the truth about Morrigan threatening to get out, the city she loves becomes the most perilous place in the world. Morrigan must try to find a cure for the Hollowpox, but it will put her - and everyone in Nevermoor - in more danger than she could have imagined.[1]

Plot

This section requires expansion.


Chapter 1: Unit 919

Hawthorne: "What about Creation and Destruction? Maybe they're going to turn us into ALL POWERFUL GODS."
Lam: "Or Chanting and Dancing?"
Francis: "Or Chips and Dip?"
— Unit 919 discussing what C&D could stand for[src]

Winter of Two

-

Chapter 2: A Carefully Maneuvered Sequence of Events

"It is an endless, thankless, dirty, dangerous, repetitious job, but one that we are privileged to perform. And now, that privilege is also yours."
―Elder Quinn[src]

unit 919 is shown a footage reel of their wundrous society inauguration, it is revealed that the show that was put on was not intended to impress, but to distract the new scholars from the slinghouls and vools (which were attempting to cause physical harm to the scholars through means not disclosed) as well as the whingeing woods.

Chapter 3: The Gathering Place

"Because often . . . telling people they are at risk creates a different, sometimes even greater risk. People are dangerous when they're frightened. Remember that."
―Elder Saga[src]

after the events that transpired in the last chapter, the young scholars are now aware of the true purpose of the society, and they are all ushered into the gathering place to plan on the C&D of the nevermoorian scaly beast annual breeding season. The society is demonstrated at its fullest when scholars and people with knacks from all fields are allowed to build onto an idea, the motion that goes through is golders night.

Chapter 4: Dangerous Levels of Cheer

Jack: "How many verses does this song have, exactly?"
Morrigan: "I've heard . . . sixteen, so far."
Jack: "What? No. It's easily been twenty. Remember he sang all those verses about responsible sleigh maintenance yesterday."
— Jack and Morrigan watching Jupiter's abundance of Christmas spirit[src]

Chapter 5: Six Swifts, Two Cats

"She is tremendous. An absolute queen."
―Helena Swift's first impression of Fen[src]

Chapter 6: De Flimsé

"Juvela De Flimsé is an icon, my dears. A giant of the Free State fashion world. She once called me her muse, you know."
―Dame Chanda Kali[src]

Chapter 7: Rook

"She peered down at Morrigan with a mingled expression of academic curiosity and wolfish delight."
―Rook first meeting Morrigan[src]

Chapter 8: Basement Nerds

Conall: "I can only presume you meant to introduce us by what you well know is our actual name—the Sub-Nine Academic Group."
Rook: "Presume away."
— Meeting the basement nerds[src]

Chapter 9: The Book of Ghostly Hours

"This book was a treasure chest and a time machine and a dream come true."
―Morrigan's excitement[src]

Chapter 10: Golders Night

"How much experience do you need to stand outside an empty train station for three hours?"
―Hawthorne not looking forward to Golders Night C&D[src]

Chapter 11: Visitors

Nurse Tim: "Got yourself a nasty scratch there, pet. You've had a rubbish night, haven't you?"
Morrigan: "Not my best. I got chased by a bearwun and then I drowned."
— Nurse Tim checking in on Morrigan[src]

Chapter 12: Happenchance and Euphoriana

"No, you're quite right, darling. Tonight is a celebration! And as they say, the show must go on."
―Dame Chanda determined to honor Juvela on opening night[src]

Spring of Three

Chapter 13: "Wunimal Shock at Nevermoor Opera Horse!"

Morrigan: "They misspelled—"
Dame Chanda: "Yes, they think they're being funny,"
— About the article on the front page of a tabloid[src]

Chapter 14: Hollowpox

"When the Hollowpox leaves the body, it seems to take almost everything with it . . . But they're not just comatose, they're... sort of... empty."
―Jupiter reporting on the Hollowpox disease findings[src]

Chapter 15: The Gossamer-Spun Garden

"Morrigan had tried to make a red rose and instead ended up with something more closely resembling a vomit-green pillbox on a stick."
―Morrigan adding her 'flower' to the garden[src]

Chapter 16: Extracurricular Activity

Thaddea: "Have you made any monsters yet, Morrigan? Something with lots of teeth, I hope."
Cadence: "And lethal breath. And poisonous BO."
Morrigan: "All good ideas. I'll make a note."
— Unit 919 joking with Morrigan[src]

Chapter 17: Ezra, the Boy

"[The other Wundersmiths] were his friends. His family—the only family he ever had, really, since his parents must have given him up to the Wundrous Society when he was young."
―Sofia feeling unsettled watching a young Ezra Squall[src]

Chapter 18: Daylight Robbery

Morrigan: "Thaddea, I don't think this is meant to be a comp—"
Thaddea: "EVERYTHING IS A COMPETITION."
— Stealing something for a class assignment[src]

Summer of Three

Chapter 19: The Gobleian Library

"I cannot stress this enough: It is extremely dangerous in here. You must be vigilant at all times. "
―Roshni welcoming Unit 919 to the Gobleian Library[src]

Chapter 20: Book Bugs

"They don't even try to get them back in the book anymore, that's how bad it is. They just kill them."
―Miss Cheery explaining about the book bug infestation[src]

Chapter 21: Concerned Citizens of Nevermoor

"I decided that this extraordinary talent could not be wasted on this wretch of a woman."
―Sofia, discussing Gracious Goldberry with Morrigan in the Ghostly Hour[src]

Chapter 22: The Sunset Gala

Fen: "I won't excuse you, or your behavior. You're a bully and a bigot and frankly I've no idea how either of you made it onto the guest list. I can only assume you're gate-crashing."
Jack: "Fen. Maybe we should just ignore—"
Fen: "We don't ignore bigotry, Jack. That's how cowardly bigots turn into brave bigots."
— Fen confronting rude and obnoxious party guests[src]

Chapter 23: Rescue Rings

Morrigan (simultaneously): "She's... part of a smuggling ring?"
Jack (simultaneously): "Fen, you're a smuggler?"
Fen: "We prefer the term rescue ring."
— Finding out more about Fen[src]

Chapter 24: From Bad to Worse

"To use a highly provocative slur against her fellow Society members, against her brothers and sisters? That is precisely what she meant to do."
―Elder Saga[src]

Autumn of Three

Chapter 25: We're All on the Same Side, Really

"I just want you to remember that there are no sides to this. Wunimals, humans... we all just want this to be over. Even Prime Minister Steed and the Stink."
―Sofia[src]

Chapter 26: Squall, the Monster

Morrigan: "How do I know you're not lying? How do you know it even can be destroyed?"
Squall: "Do you think I would make something I couldn't unmake?"
— Morrigan and Squall on the rooftop[src]

Chapter 27: Spark

Lam: "No. No, Thaddea. Bad idea."
Thaddea: "Are you saying that as an oracle, or a scaredy-cat?"
Lam: "Both."
— Unit 919 on the steps of Proudfoot House[src]

Chapter 28: A New Threat to Nevermoor

"I have mushy peas on my face!"
―Morrigan's mortification at her photograph[src]

Chapter 29: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow

"As good as your intentions might have been, as brave and noble and whatever... you still swooped in where you didn't belong, where you weren't asked to be, and made a giant mess."
―Holliday Wu[src]

Chapter 30: The Kindling in the Hearth

Kindling: "The Kindling."
Morrigan: "I'm... sorry, what?"
Kindling: "You will be please call the Kindling by its name."
— At the Hearth[src]

Chapter 31: Call Me Mog

Morrigan: "Mor—uh, Mog."
Maud: "Moramog? Strange name."
— Morrigan forgetting not to give her real name[src]

Chapter 32: Squid Crow Po

"They wear that love like an invisible coat. It never comes off, it's always there, and in the quiet moments, you can feel it."
―Jupiter on Morrigan's love for Emmett[src]

Chapter 33: Dear Prime Minister

"It's a slightly dirty trick, and it will expose Steed to a lot of public outrage... but he was asking for it."
―Jupiter filling Morrigan in on meeting with the PM[src]

Chapter 34: The Emissary

"There were things about Squall that frightened her, but nothing so much as this. Nothing he'd ever said or done was as terrifying to Morrigan... as seeing him so frightened."
―Morrigan as Squall accosts her in the hallway[src]

Chapter 35: Summoner and Smith

"Tonight, you need to be the brightest beacon in Nevermoor. A lightning rod."
―Squall telling Morrigan how to draw out the Hollowpox[src]

Chapter 36: Courage Square

Morrigan: "I can't do it."
Fen & Squall: "Yes, you can."
— Fighting the Hollowpox[src]

Chapter 37: Bed Rest

Miss Cheery: "They're anxious to see you, especially Hawthorne and Cadence. Should I let them know you're—"
Hawthorne: "FINALLY AWAKE, ARE WE?"
Miss Cheery: "Never mind, then."
— Morrigan waking up after two days[src]

Chapter 38: Opening a Window

Squall: "Don't go getting ideas about summoning me. This won't work every time, you know."
Morrigan: "It worked this time."
Squall: "Because I was expecting it."
— Morrigan calling Squall to finish the job[src]

List of Deaths

Character Killed By Cause Of Death Circumstances
Baboonwun fisherman[2] Hollowpox Drowning Culmination othef disease led the baboonwun to throw himself off a boat and sank below the surface
Young man (Robbie)[2][3] Baboonwun Injuries sustained from attack Baboonwun under Hollowpox disease attacked and left him in critical condition before the young man succumbed to the injuries
Old man[3] Jackalwun Jackalwun under Hollowpox disease attacked at a doctor's office waiting room. Man died at the scene.
Two Teachers[4] Lionwun Lionwun under Hollowpox disease attacked at Nevermoor University. Died at scene.
Student
Lionwun professor Stealth, Hollowpox (indirectly) Unknown Culmination of the disease led to the lionwun attacking bystanders. Taken out by the Stealth after killing three persons

Details

Morrigan's Christmas presents

  • A plump, over-filled stocking of goodies (Saint Nick)
  • Brightly colored bubble baths and carved soaps (Martha)
  • Bird chandelier replica made of beads and silver wire (Kedgeree)
  • One Hundred Gruesome Deaths in the Age of the Nightwalkers, clothbound book (Frank)
  • Amethyst bracelet, delicate (Dame Chana)
  • Jodhpurs & horse-riding lessons (Charlie)
  • Pheasant, large - dead (Fen)
  • Ice Skates, crimson leather (Jupiter)
  • Silver key to 5th floor lake (Jupiter)

Awards

Winner of:

Other Accolades:

  • Australian Book Industry Awards, Book of the Year for Younger Children (Shortlisted) - 2021
  • Goodreads Choice Award, Middle Grade & Children's (Shortlisted) - 2020

Editions

Behind-the-Scenes

  • This is the first novel to include the title in a chapter name (Chapter 29 - The Hunt for Morrigan Crow)

Release

While the original release of the book was slated for an early 2020 release (February 4 in Australia, March 10 in North America), the date was later pushed back to a late summer release (Australia - July 28, August 18 - North America) to allow Townsend more time to focus on the “pivotal book in the series and a crucial turning point for Mog.”[5]

Due to the worldwide Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, the release date was once again pushed back by approximately two months (Australia - September 29, UK - October 15, North America - October 27) in the hope that bookstores and other retailers would be open once again and able to sell the novel at that time.[6]

Those who preordered the book had it automatically carried over to the new date both times.[5][6]

Trivia

  • The motto for Hollowpox is "Burn Brightly"
  • This is the longest book published so far
  • The Waterstones special edition paperback includes a bonus chapter that was ultimately cut from the novel. It is said to focus on the witches of Coven 13 (last seen during the Fright Trial in Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow) and witchery section of the School of Arcane Arts at WunSoc and also includes a goat[7].
  • In discussing the novel, Townsend mentioned that there are things she wrote many months before the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic that are identical in the novel (due to it focusing on a magical disease outbreak). She also mentioned that in the novel, a politician puts up vague/unhelpful "STAY ALERT'' posters up around Nevermoor (though she mused that her editor may make her take it out due to the situation of the worldwide pandemic).[8]

Notes and References

  1. https://www.hachette.com.au/jessica-townsend/hollowpox-the-hunt-for-morrigan-crow
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow, Chapter 25 (We're All on the Same Side Really)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow, Chapter 27 (Spark)
  4. Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow, Chapter 33 (Dear Prime Minister)
  5. 5.0 5.1 https://twitter.com/digressica/status/1206859200376299520
  6. 6.0 6.1 https://twitter.com/digressica/status/1260038442798350336
  7. https://twitter.com/digressica/status/1402961163265081345
  8. https://twitter.com/digressica/status/1259496294646571008