Book Review: Lockwood & Co; Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
29 August, 2013
Author: Jonathan Stroud Publisher: Random House Children’s Published: 29th August 2013 Pages: 440 Format: Hardback Source:: ARC from Publisher Add It:Goodreads, Amazon UK, Amazon US
Summary: Hauntings are our business . . .
Ghosts crowd the streets and houses of London. Anthony Lockwood, with his slightly grumpy deputy George, and his junior field operative Lucy, make up LOCKWOOD & CO, the small, shabby yet talented ghost-hunting agency.
After a series of calamitous investigations into the supernatural go awry, the team are desperate to prove themselves. Their opportunity comes in the form of a terrifying ghost, the Red Duke. But little do they know what perils lie in store for them at the haunted Bliss Hall . . .
Before I started Lockwood & Co: Screaming Staircase, I had been really excited to read it because I had been given the chance to meet Jonathan Stoud and hear him talk about his book. Through his personality, it was easy to see that he had a good sense of humour and that his newest book was most likely going to be one that I’d enjoy. I was instantly intrigued due to the storyline as I enjoy stories that centre around ghosts and so I knew that I would have to read this book as soon as I got my hands on it. And boy was I glad that I did. This book was one that was so incredible that I struggled to put it down, and ended up lending it to a friend because they simply had to read it.
In this book, Lockwood and George are on the lookout for someone to help them out with their ghost agency, and Lucy is looking for work in London. When they finally come together, it is clear that they are a trio that is meant to work together. Their job is to fight ghosts that have been sighted in homes because in this world, ghosts are incredibly dangerous and can kill you if they touch you. The plot of this book was riveting, funny, and full of tension and horrifying scenes. Jonathan Stroud has done an excellent job of writing a book that has you clinging to the pages in fright one minute to giggling softly to yourself the next. He has written a book with the perfect mix of emotions that has you quickly turning the page and refusing to put the book down.
It would be impossible to finish this review without mentioning the three main characters in this book. From the first moment I saw them all, I fell in love with them for lots of different reasons. Lockwood is a guy who doesn’t always think things through, he acts rashly, but always does so with the best intentions. He is always coming up with grand schemes to save things but doesn’t think them through or talk about them, always just expecting them to work in the best possible way. I loved that about his character as you could really imagine meeting someone like him. George on the other hand was someone who never stopped thinking. He did a lot of research, he was stubborn and always tries to put Lockwood in his place but essentially he’s also still just a curious kid who worries about his best friend. He was such a loveable character.
And then there is Lucy. A new character to the trio but nonetheless a great one. She was fierce, strong, and also had a shaded past that caused her to act in certain ways. She was protective, but also freaked out a little bit. She was intuitive, secretive, and had an amazing gut instinct. A truly amazing character that you can’t help but want to read more about. As a trio, they all just work so well together and I loved the dynamics of the relationship. It was these characters that really made this book ten times better for me. They were characters to root for, and ones that you just didn’t want to stop reading about.
Aside from the characters, the other reason that I kept turning the pages and reading was because of the writing style. Jonathan Stroud simply has a way with words that keeps you entertained. When it was needed, he was able to bring tension and horror to the pages, before adding in a touch of humour that had you giggling. It was informative writing with the perfect amount of description and it shows that Jonathan is just an incredibly talented writer. It is a truth that I will now be reading the rest of Jonathan’s work because I am truly enamoured with his writing style. I also cannot wait for the next book in the Lockwood & Co series as I just truly loved this book.
When I finished this book, I put it down on the side of the bed and literally sat for about an hour just thinking about the amazing story I had just read. It didn’t leave my mind for days after finishing it and I soon found myself inspired by the story, writing a piece of original fiction (short story) that was wholly inspired by the book. Then, a month or so after that, I came up with another idea and am now currently in the middle of filming something inspired by this book. I am telling you this to show you how much I absolutely adored Lockwood & Co: Screaming Staircase. This was a book that blew me away in a way that I haven’t felt in an incredibly long time. It is captivating, interesting, and just a powerful story that I guarantee you will love. So if you’re looking for a book to read that is scary, funny, and full of heart, with amazing characters and a grand storyline, then you should definitely start reading Lockwood & Co: Screaming Staircase.
** I received this copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **