by Jonathan Stroud
Published: 29th August by Random House
Version: paperback ARC loan from Faye
Rating: 4.5 sofas
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 . . .
I’m going to be honest and say that if it wasn’t for Faye and Daphne I probably would not have picked up this book. Overall I’m not a huge lover of fantasy, but I think thats more because I haven’t read much of it, and I’m daunted by the level of detail and world building involved. However, when Faye offered me her copy of The Screaming Staircase to borrow, I said yes, because I’d heard such good things from them.
Even so, I still put off reading it. The ARC does not have the pretty cover, and as such, looked quite scary to me. So if you are thinking that this is not a book for you, then THINK AGAIN. This is exactly the frame of mind I had, and I was wrong.
The Screaming Staircase follows Lucy as she joins a new ghost-hunting team, and describes the adventures and the spectres they encounter. It backtracks into the past and shows how Lucy got into the world of ghost hunting and how she ended up working with Lockwood & Co.
Lucy was such a likeable character. She is confident, smart, and most of all COOL. A teenage ghost-hunter is such a good role model, and I found myself wishing I was her quite often throughout the book. That is when I could stop picturing Lucy from Queen of Contemporary in my head!
It also wasn’t as scary as I thought it might be. It very much reminded me of Doctor Who. In particular that episode where people are seeing ‘ghosts’, old relatives, who actually turn out to be Cybermen. And David Tennant tries to triangulate the signal with some gizmos. And this is exactly how I picture Lockwood; a bit scatty, a guy who obviously knows his stuff but likes to plow straight into it.
I think this was a great beginning to what I hope will be a fantastic series. Lucy has such great potential, and I am intrigued to find out more about Lockwood and his past, as well as that of his assistant George. I get the feeling that the house may hold secrets of its own too!
Overall The Screaming Staircase surprised me. It was fun and adventurous, with amazing characters. Even if you doubt this book is for you, I would urge you to give it a try. Definitely a series to look out for! 4.5 sofas!