The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

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RATING: 4/5

SYNOPSIS:ย On a routine haunting case for Lockwood & Co, Anthony Lockwood and Lucy Carlyle discover a woman’s body hidden in the walls of a home and a mysterious locket around her neck. Along with their other partner, George Cubbins, the trio investigate the murder and hope to bring peace to the spirit.

 

The beginning was hard for me, but that’s because I confused myself. For some reason I was under the impression that this book was set in the 1800s or somewhere around then, but it’s not. It’s set in present day, so don’t get confused about that if you decide to read. There was also a point where I felt like there was too much going on at once, but once I figured out how everything was connected it all made sense and I didn’t feel so overwhelmed. Other than my own brain working against me, the only problem I could see was the fact that this book suffered in the same way most books suffer in the beginning, how to dole out the exposition without bogging things down. There was a lot of blatant expositiony moments in the beginning because the reader needs to understand 1. the alternate present day filled with ghosts and 2. the terminology and weaponry one uses to hunt ghosts. Once all that was settled I discovered a really cool alternate present and some incredibly enjoyable characters. Although there were times when Lucy felt like one of those “not like other girls” kind of girl and that left a sour taste in my mouth. I enjoyed their completely different personalities and how the fit together and clashed at all the right moments. Although my absolute favorite is Lockwood, I did greatly enjoy how George’s prickly exterior harbored a kind (if you can call him that) and caring friend. I really loved how Lockwood, Lucy, and George worked together as a team and how their individual strengths were utilized throughout the mystery. I also loved that the story kept me guessing because although I knew the murderer wasn’t the guy they suspected (because it never is), I wasn’t entirely sure who the actual culprit would be until much later in the story. I also enjoyed the actual ghost hunts because it really helped me to understand what they do and their specific paranormal abilities. I thought that the descriptions of things like the “death spots”, the iron tools that they use to subdue spirits, and the ghosts themselves were effective in helping me picture the situation. There is also a very handy glossary in the back of the book in case you need further explanation on something! I think that now that the team is established and the world is explained the other books will be exciting adventures!

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