Overall Rating: B+
Synopsis: The series, by Madeleine Rosca, follows Lucy Snow, a 9 year-old (sorry, 9 and a half year old) girl. Volume 1 starts as she heads out to her boarding school. However, she's running late, and, of course, decides to take the shortcut through the foreboding woods. There she finds a strange castle, and meets Miss Notch, a guard/maid who is...we'll say strange. It turns out that the castle is actually Miss Weaver's Academy for the Scientifically Gifted and Ethically Unfettered--also known as Hollow Fields.
Lucy unwittingly joins the school before learning it's curriculum, or the fact that the student with the lowest grades every week is sent to detention. Even then, it doesn't sound so bad when she gets her own room (at the school she was supposed to go to, she would have had to share with 12 other girls), and everything is free. Then Lucy learns that no one has ever come back from detention, and the only person who has been nice to her so far just got sent there. Her new classes include Live Taxidermy, Cross-Species Body-Part Transplantation and Killer Robot Construction. Lucy has to master her new classes, and find a way to escape before she is sent to detention!
I picked up Hollow Fields after talking to a nice woman at the Seven Seas booth when I picked up Venus Versus Virus (and Kashimashi for Leah's husband Will). She recommended Hollow Fields, but it hadn't come out yet. So, when I was finally able to pick up a copy, I was excited. Unfortunately, I was also at Gen Con, so I wasn't able to read it right away. I'm finally done with the first volume, and was not disappointed.
Hollow Fields is the kind of book where the concept (girl goes to strange and interesting boarding school where danger and excitement await at every turn) isn't that original, but the characters, little extras (clockwork robots! graverobbing class!), and art make it worth the read. Plus, I am dying to know what happens when you get detention. I definitely recommend checking this one out if you're in the mood for something light and fun with a touch of macabre.