Review - "The Screaming Staircase"

"The Screaming Staircase" (Lockwood & Co. #1) 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 . . .

*4.5 Stars


I just finished reading this, and for the first time since I started this blog I decided to write a review right away. There's always a first time for everything, right?

Now on to the book... 

Jonathan Stroud is not an unknown author to me, so I have heard about him and his books before. I actually tried reading the first Bartimaeus book, when I was like 15 and I didn't enjoy it ... but a couple of weeks ago I picked up the audio-book of The Leap, which is a middle grade mystery/fantasy story and I did quite like that one! 
And I know two of my closest friends love his books as well and I thought why not give it another shot and read something else by Stroud. Said friends absolutely adore the Lockwood & Co series, so on my next trip to the library I picked up The Screaming Staircase and voilá - I really liked it! 

The story is told from a girl's POV. Her name is Lucy Carlyle and she's basically a ghostbuster. She leaves her hometown for London, (after a terrible event pretty much turns her world upside down), and tries to establish herself and find a decent job. She applies for one at Lockwood & Co., which she gets eventually. Lucy is stubborn, brave and kickass. And of course I absolutely adore her. 

Now enter Lockwood (& Co.). Which consists of Anthony Lockwood and George Gibbons. Lockwood is this kinda aloof and clever character - who kind of reminds me of Sherlock Holmes, now that I think about it - and you simply can't help but to fall in love with him. He's amazing. 
George is pretty much the sidekick, but nevertheless an important member of the group. He likes eating doughnuts and researching. George is basically me. He is also sarcastic. Which is also me. So yeah, George is me and I am George. 

Although you don't get to know these characters that well - meaning there is this detachment, which makes it hard to relate to them - yet, they are still intriguing and very loveable. 

The writing is of this book is unique. Stroud has a rare talent. And I'm not talking about his writing skills. But he manages to write in a way, that casts a spell over you. This is a story about ghosts and hunting, so you know it's supposed to be spooky. What you don't expect is feeling uneasy, when the characters do. Or that your heart starts beating faster, when theirs does to. Or feeling chilly, when they do. You know what I mean? 

Stroud doesn't take you into his story. He, as cheesy as this sounds, brings the story to you. He manages to bring this atmosphere to you. He makes you feel all these creepy things and question every noise you hear in the middle of the night. I am 22 and no chicken in anyway. I can watch the ugliest horror movies without flinching, but this book made me want to keep the lights on at night. Which is funny, because this is supposed to be a children's book. 

What I am trying to say is, Jonathan Stroud - you got yourself a new fan. 

PS.: I do plan on reading the Bartimaeus books as well! Suck it 15-year-old me! 

Title: The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. #1)

Author: Jonathan Stroud  

Pub. Date: August 29th 2013

Pages: 440

Publisher: Doubleday Children's Books 

ISBN: 9780857532015

Genre: Fantasy; YA; Horror; Supernatural; Childrens; 


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