- STAR RATING: 5 stars
- PAGE LENGTH: 440 pages
- DATE PUBLISHED: August 29, 2013
- PUBLISHER: Doubleday Children’s Books
- WHAT SERIES? Lockwood & Co.
- WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH? The Screaming Staircase
- HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? Five
- CONTENT WARNINGS: Murder, Fatphobia (George is described as fat several times), Child death (off page)
- IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud
When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in . . .
For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.
Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest, most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.
Set in a city stalked by spectres, The Screaming Staircase is the first in a chilling new series full of suspense, humour and truly terrifying ghosts. Your nights will never be the same again . . .
This is the first middle grade book I’ve read in….a long time. Like a long, long time. I always read ahead of my peers when I was in school, so I was out of middle grade by like…5th grade? Either way, it doesn’t matter, not really. I picked The Screaming Staircase up simply because I’d seen the TV show and wanted more of the characters. (And not to mention that I absolutely loved Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus series.) Well, color me absolutely not surprised at all because I loved this book.
Look, if you need a break from the adult world and want something that’s funny, charming, and sometimes quite spooky, this is what you want to read next. Stroud stretches his writing chops here creating a whole parallel world to ours that is plagued with a huge problem: ghosts are coming back from the dead and killing people. For some reason, only children can see (and fight) the ghosts. Adults just…die. Stroud sets this world up quickly and without any impossibly huge info dumps — everything you need to know is given to you in bite-sized pieces between everything else.
Our heroes are Anthony Lockwood, a rather mysterious young man who owns his own ghost hunting/fighting business. George Cubbins — a large boy who focuses on research and irritating everyone. He was quite annoying, but not enough to degrade my experience of the book. Lucy Carlyle, whose POV the books are told, is a girl who is running away from a horrible experience. Together, they try to solve a murder-mystery. Is it predictable? Maybe a little, but you have to remember who the audience is, and well, predictable does NOT mean badly written. It didn’t lessen my enjoyment of this book at all to know where it was going.
This was so much fun. I’m absolutely going right onto the next book in the series.
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