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Flu Review - The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

In a time when ghosts and specters are a common place sight, Lockwood &
Company is ready to take on the challenge. While most of the ghost hunting is
left up to large corporations with fancy uniforms and expensive equipment,
Anthony Lockwood is head of his own agency. With only two employees to
call on, Anthony and his friend, George Cubbins, the company seems shabby
compared to all the other options out there. But, when Lucy Carlyle comes in
to town to escape her own past and finds herself on their team instead of one of
the big shiny groups, they are set for a successful partnership. Unfortunately,
disaster strikes and nearly tears the company apart. They must get this next
case right or risk loosing everything. This will, however, require all the nerve
and strength they have since they need to spend the night in one of the most
haunted houses in England.

Jonathan Stroud does a fantastic job giving the reader the atmosphere before the
story even gets rolling. I truly have never read anything like this book. The
way it seamlessly transitions from one character to the next and keeps the story moving without going too fast is nothing short of amazing. I immediately identified with each of the main characters and there is nothing cliché about any one of them.

Lockwood & Company: The Screaming Staircase is the first in the series of expertly written science fiction. I found it hard to put the book down and read the entire series in succession. I will mention that there are a couple of uses of curse words that especially a parent should be aware of. Also, as to be expected in this genre, the scenes portrayed definitely have a creepy factor and some gross descriptions as well. These books are a challenge to classify because they straddle the border of Juvenile and Young Adult Fiction. So, that is just something to keep in mind when choosing this series. 

One thing I love about the characters in this book is that they are all vastly different and can be annoyed with each other but still give respect. I get the impression that the author wanted to make sure there was a place in his story for all kinds. It is a very endearing quality of the story and as it progresses, each one has to learn some difficult lessons in order to move forward. The mindset of team work is admirable and one we could all take a lesson from. It is very inspiring as well as exciting.

This book reminds me just a little of The Adventurers Guild, by Nick Eliopulos and Zach Loran Clark. Interestingly enough, the cover art for that book is very similar to the cover of another one of Jonathan Strouds books, Heroes of the Valley. The Lockwood & Company series would be a fun Halloween read as it has the “spooky campfire story” vibe. So if you enjoy secrets and mystery this would be a good fit.

Taking into mind the fabulous writing skill with a few question marks thrown in because of the language used, I would give it 4 out of 5 stars. If it were clearly a young adult book instead of possibly being a juvenile, I would give it 5 out of 5 stars.


By Jenny

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