I received this book for free from Random House Children's Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud
Published by Random House, RHCB on October 10th 2014
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Young Adult
Source: Random House Children's Books
Ghosts and ghouls beware! London's smallest, shabbiest and most talented psychic detection agency is back.
Life is never exactly peaceful for Lockwood & Co. Lucy and George are trying to solve the mystery of the talking skull trapped in their ghost jar, while Lockwood is desperate for an exciting new case. Things seem to be looking up when the team is called to Kensal Green Cemetery to investigate the grave of a sinister Victorian doctor. Strange apparitions have been seen there, and the site must be made safe. As usual, Lockwood is confident; as usual, everything goes wrong, a terrible phantom is freed and a dangerous object is stolen from the coffin. Lockwood & Co. must recover the relic before its power is unleashed, but it's a race against time. Their obnoxious rivals from the Fittes agency are also on the hunt. And if that's not bad enough, the skull in the ghost-jar is stirring again!
The author of the blockbuster BARTIMAEUS sequence delivers another humorous and chilling instalment in the critically acclaimed LOCKWOOD & CO. series.
Review: I loved The Screaming Staircase, Stroud’s first Lockwood novel, so was keenly anticipating the follow up. Lockwood and Co is a great series and the Whispering Skull offered the same humour, darkness, spooky scenes and engaging characters as in the first novel.
This time, the central plot concerns a dare between Lockwood and Co and the rival Fittes agency. They need to find a missing relic and fast.
The series is developing well and characters are feeling more and more three dimensional. George’s mishaps remind me of Jerry on Parks and Recreation as the poor guy just can’t seem to get it right. Lucy is also a strong narrator and we learn more about her as the story progresses. As for Lockwood, there’s an intriguing twist at the end of the book that offers more insight into his character. I love his confidence in the book and how this often borders on arrogance, particularly regarding the agency.
The only flaws I found in the book was that the word felt a little less certain, I can’t help wondering what the adults in this world do as they become more unhelpful as they grow up and surely everyone can’t be involved in the supernatural business? What about all of the kids, are they all involved in that business too? Despite these questions and the fact I found it a little slower to develop in parts, the book was still great fun and I’m glad I read it. Stroud writes creepy, dark scenes very well and juxtaposes these beautifully with wonderful humour. The characters are great and I’m constantly rooting for Lockwood and Co to come out on top.
Fans of the first book should find a lot to enjoy in this latest addition and tantalising clues about the characters and their backstories. I really like this series and despite not being as swept away as I was in the first book, I enjoyed The Whispering Skull and plan on continuing the series.