The Screaming Staircase
The Screaming Staircase
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Text Difficulty:3 - 4
- goofy127 - Around fifty years ago, the Problem occurred in London. Ghosts and other paranormals have appeared in England with the horrifying ability to torture and kill you. And yet the only people able to sense them and act are children and teens. Say goodbye to being a child and hello to growing up fast. A number of Psychic Agencies have appeared over the last few decades, dedicated to ridding people of the Problem. Lucy, a strong, willful and talented agent comes to London in search of a better job and a better future. But she is denied and instead finds herself accepting a job in the tiniest, most ramshackle agency there is. When their cases go horribly wrong and they run incredibly low on money, they are faced with one chance to redeem themselves: spend a night in the most haunted house in England and come out alive after ridding it of ghosts. And perhaps, for more publicity and the sake of doing good - figure out the reason behind a hidden dead body and the secret of the mansion. This is absolutely one of the best books I’ve read. Although it seems like a horror story, it is written in a way that is scary, suspenseful, witty, but light enough not to give you nightmares. One of the reasons I like it so much is because it is a good all-around story, it has the themes of family, friendship and camaraderie. It’s also got the touch of medieval English culture. I would recommend this book to everybody - it’s that great.
July 1, 2013
In what has come to be called “the Problem,” the British Isles have become plagued with ghostly Visitors in this highly entertaining first book in Stroud’s Lockwood & Co. series. Since children and young teenagers are most able to sense the ghosts, psychically gifted youths are employed by agencies large and small, and use iron chains, magnesium flares, and salt bombs to contain and dispatch the Visitors. Narrator Lucy Carlyle has moved to London following a ghost-hunting mission gone very wrong, and her luck improves when she joins a small, independent outfit run by the dashing Anthony Lockwood and his studious and exasperating (to Lucy) partner, George Cubbins. Stroud (the Bartimaeus series) shows his customary flair for blending deadpan humor with thrilling action, and the fiery interplay among the three agents of Lockwood & Co. invigorates the story (along with no shortage of creepy moments). Stroud plays with ghost story conventions along the way, while laying intriguing groundwork that suggests that the Problem isn’t the only problem these young agents will face in books to come—the living can be dangerous, too. Ages 8–12.
June 15, 2013
Three young ghost trappers take on deadly wraiths and solve an old murder case in the bargain to kick off Stroud's new post-Bartimaeus series. Narrator Lucy Carlyle hopes to put her unusual sensitivity to supernatural sounds to good use by joining Lockwood & Co.--one of several firms that have risen to cope with the serious ghost Problem that has afflicted England in recent years. As its third member, she teams with glib, ambitious Anthony Lockwood and slovenly-but-capable scholar George Cubbins to entrap malign spirits for hire. The work is fraught with peril, not only because a ghost's merest touch is generally fatal, but also, as it turns out, as none of the three is particularly good at careful planning and preparation. All are, however, resourceful and quick on their feet, which stands them in good stead when they inadvertently set fire to a house while discovering a murder victim's desiccated corpse. It comes in handy again when they later rashly agree to clear Combe Carey Hall, renowned for centuries of sudden deaths and regarded as one of England's most haunted manors. Despite being well-stocked with scream-worthy ghastlies, this lively opener makes a light alternative for readers who find the likes of Joseph Delaney's Last Apprentice series too grim and creepy for comfort. A heartily satisfying string of entertaining near-catastrophes, replete with narrow squeaks and spectral howls. (Ghost adventure. 11-13)
COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
September 1, 2013
Gr 6-9-Lucy Carlyle relates the exploits of the teenage ghost-hunting agency, Lockwood & Co. The world is still reeling from an infestation of malevolent, deadly ghosts that can only be detected by Talented youngsters with rare psychic sensitivities. Anthony Lockwood heads his three-person team, including Lucy and George Cubbins, in their efforts to defeat the evil spirits-and remain solvent. A minor haunting that turns into a major problem leads Lockwood & Co. to a brooding mansion that has already claimed the lives of more experienced ghost hunters. Combe Carey Hall is "the most haunted private house in England... an ugly oppressive mongrel of a building," and the trio quickly realizes that the dangers they face have human as well as supernatural sources. Authentically spooky events occur in an engagingly crafted, believable world, populated by distinct, colorful personalities. The genuinely likable members of Lockwood & Co. persevere through the evil machinations of the living and the dead and manage to come out with their skins, and their senses of humor, intact. This smart, fast-paced ghostly adventure promises future chills.-Janice M. Del Negro, GSLIS Dominican University, River Forest, IL
Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
PublisherDisney Book Group
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