What They Say
Once thought to be a shoo-in for detention, recent transfer student Lucy Snow has come into her own at Hollow Fields thanks to Doctor Bleak - a mysterious box-like artifact that Lucy found in the library. Now with Doctor Bleak on her side, can the duo uncover the mysteries of the windmill and reveal the scope of Miss Weaver's evil plans before its too late?
Hollow Fields is a series that began with a strong introductory volume that did its job of introducing the characters, the plot, and the ghoulish clockwork school very well. And its second volume does its job at least equally well. The function this time is to build on the foundation laid by the first book. One way it does this is through flashbacks. Don't worry; the author is too clever to fall into the "everybody's life story" trap. The flashbacks have a direct bearing on the current situation. They give us a glimpse into what the teachers are up to...and drop a few juicy hints about the terrible secret of the windmill.
But in between the judicious flashbacks the story moves along at a fine speed. At the end of the previous chapter Lucy had begun to hold her own against the malevolent forces arrayed against her. Now you see her preparing for a counterstrike by improving her robotics skills, snooping for information, and upgrading Dino into a multi-functional utility plushie. She also realizes she's going to need some allies if she wants to break free of the school, and that leads to some increased interaction with the other students. But who to trust?...
Hollow Fields is a series that started off on the right foot and the second volume is an improvement on a good beginning. I love the design and background art: the school seems to take on a life of its own simply as a building and casts a menacing (but not too disturbing) cloud over the whole story. It's as if events are constantly, irrevocably being forced along to a sinister conclusion by the myriad wheels and gears - a perfect counterpoint to the plucky heroine. I'm certainly cheering her on. And waiting for volume three just as eagerly.
This volume contains another generous helping of design art along with a fun little extra story told with four-panel strips. There are also alternate flashback sequences and a couple of pages of fan art.