Thursday, 25 September 2014

Lockwood & Co. The Screaming Staircase and The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud

Synopsis of The Whispering Skull (from Goodreads

Pages: 322
Publisher: Doubleday Children's Books
Released: 25th of September 2014


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.

What I Have To Say 

Series in general

Lockwood is basically the Sherlock Holmes of ghost hunters. The books are written by his Watson, Lucy Carlyle, who I really, really like the voice of. She explains things well and has good insights on the other characters while being brave, dependable and keeps her head in danger. In short, she's wonderful. 

I can be very sensitive to horror, so I suppose it doesn't mean that much that these books terrified me. Though I think it was a mistake to read the first one late at night with all the lights off. In terms of horror, I think the fact that I'm slightly traumatised by it all is probably a good thing. I don't think I'm going to be sleeping properly for a while. 

The Whispering Skull

I felt this book was better in some ways than The Screaming Staircase. It was less scary, which is either a good or a bad thing depending on whether you like terrifying yourself. Though it was still lovely and creepy in many places, which I much prefer to outright horror. But it was also much more about humanity and obsession and even madness, which I always like more than murder and vengeance,

The whole basic of the story was around a haunted object and how the people around are drawn to it due to various reasons, the curse of the object itself, money ect. It was so much more interesting than the first book, which does make a lot of sense because a lot of first books in a series are kept quite simple to set up the series.

I also really loved the skull, who I'm honestly surprised they haven't named yet. He was so sarcastic a lot of the time and I loved the pure evilness of him, I don't know why, but I love it when evil characters help good characters because they want to get some thrill of satisfaction when they fail. Or any reason that isn't because they're secretly good or whatever. I just love a good evil character.

And that ending! When's the next book coming out?

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