Book Review; Lockwood & Co: The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud
15 October, 2014
Author: Jonathan Stroud Publisher: Penguin Random House Published: 25th September 2014 Pages: 485 Format: Hardback Source:: Netgalley Add It:Goodreads, Amazon UK, TBD
Summary: In the six months since Anthony, Lucy, and George survived a night in the most haunted house in England, Lockwood & Co. hasn’t made much progress. Quill Kipps and his team of Fittes agents keep swooping in on Lockwood’s investigations. Finally, in a fit of anger, Anthony challenges his rival to a contest: the next time the two agencies compete on a job, the losing side will have to admit defeat in the Times newspaper.
Things look up when a new client, Mr. Saunders, hires Lockwood & Co. to be present at the excavation of Edmund Bickerstaff, a Victorian doctor who reportedly tried to communicate with the dead. Saunders needs the coffin sealed with silver to prevent any supernatural trouble. All goes well-until George’s curiosity attracts a horrible phantom.
Back home at Portland Row, Lockwood accuses George of making too many careless mistakes. Lucy is distracted by urgent whispers coming from the skull in the ghost jar. Then the team is summoned to DEPRAC headquarters. Kipps is there too, much to Lockwood’s annoyance. Bickerstaff’s coffin was raided and a strange glass object buried with the corpse has vanished. Inspector Barnes believes the relic to be highly dangerous, and he wants it found.
Ever since I finished The Screaming Staircase, the first Lockwood & Co book, I have been dying to get my hands on the sequel. Thus I was disappointed that I didn’t love this book more. While there were many things that I adored about this book, once I finished it I realised that I had not loved it as much as I’d hoped I would. I was expecting to be blown away once more but this just didn’t happen so even though this book was exciting and entertaining, it just didn’t reach my high expectations, unfortunately.
Important Is Missing
Before we get bogged down in the negatives and you start thinking that I truly hated this book, let’s look at the things I did like. The plot of this book was complex, full of action, and really made the book tense and exciting. Every time you were certain things were finally going right, something else would occur which definitely kept you on your toes! I was also continuously guessing as to what had happened until I was eventually proved right. It is a plot that will keep you alret and always wondering, which is never a bad thing.
You Will Have
In the first book of this series we’re introduced to a dynamic trio that really made the stroy more fun and exciting to read. Unfortunately I didn’t feel that this time around. The trio didn’t feel quite right to me and it made the book a little harder to read. There wasn’t as much humour as in the first book and while it’s all explained at the end, I just got a little put off that the main characters were in such a tiff with each other. I really just wanted them to be a strong unit but they weren’t. This, in turn, went through the rest of the book as well. There just wasn’t as much humour and excitement in this book as there was in the first. And I know I shouldn’t judge this book on the first but it’s difficult not to.
To Find It
I did enjoy this book. It was tense, mysterious and did get your heart rate moving rapidly but I also really missed the humour and fun that I had in the first book. While there were moments of it in the second, it just didn’t fall all the way through and that saddens me a little. I would still recommend this book and tell people that they should read both and I’m still very excited for the third book but I can only hope that there will be more fun in the next book again. I know that the topic of the book this time was more serious but it just didn’t sit right for me personally. I really wish I had enjoyed it more but in places, it felt like it dragged a little and yet I still found myself wanting something a little more from it. But really, I need to re-iterate that I did really like this book, I just didn’t love it but there is nothing wrong with that.
** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **