Lockwood & Co. Pt2: The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud
This is the sort of novel that those who aspire to writing should read. The story flows like a well oiled machine, the detail of the settings are immaculately described, the characters are uniquely created, the dialogue is snappy and witty and the plot is totally absorbing and told well. Can I say more?
It is essentially for high school students but good intermediate readers will devour it. The novel is 469 pages long and is part 2 of the Lockwood & Co series and there are more to come. It stands alone as a novel, I didn’t read the first part titled the Screaming Staircase but I am going back to get it.
The setting is London and while it is present day or near future it seems like a Dickensian setting. It is mostly told at night and the urban poor are everywhere along with the rich , wealthy and decadent.
Lockwood & Co are three people. The handsome and mysterious Lockwood who is early 20’s, a younger George his researcher and Lucy a shy but attractive girl who hears the whispers of the dead. All three are Agents, they hunt the ghosts ghouls and various creatures of the dead that have come loose in an event they call The Problem. Ghosts are everywhere. Using, iron, silver salt, magnesium flares and rapier swords they combat these ghosts wherever they occur.
In this novel the grave of Edmund Bickerstaff a Victorian crazy has been disturbed. In it was a bone glass mirror that has the power to show the holder what goes on on “the other side”. But it kills those who can’t handle it. It is stolen and the chase is on the recover it before it can do great damage. The climax in the catacombs below Kensal Green Cemetary will have you on edge. Splendidly told.
I can tell you no more except that it is compulsive reading. Jonathan Stroud wrote one of the best fantasy series title The Bartimaeus series. This is up with that. As Rick Riordan says “Stroud is a genius”
Don’t miss this.