The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

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I’m not a fan of ghosts, let me point that out; in fact, they terrify me. They terrify me even more now I’ve finished reading this wonderful book. At one point I even called my dad to casually ask him when he’ll be coming home because it was getting dark and I was afraid of being alone in the house. Despite the fact that it scared me (a lot) at times, I really enjoyed reading this book.

The novel is a non-typical ghost story, in which Britain faces the Problem a.k.a. the growing number of ghosts and their attacks on humans. Since adults can’t see them, teenagers are the front line of defence.  Lockwood  & Co is a young agency, whose mission is to identify and dispose of all kinds of apparitions and ghost. The head of the agency is a young agent called Anthony Lockwood, who transformed his family home into both his office and a home for Lucy and George, his employees. The trio fights to keep the agency afloat after a terrible accident pushes them deep into debt.

In order to save the agency Lockwood takes on a risky case; to identify and get rid of ghosts in the most haunted house in Britain. However, when Lucy and the boys finally arrive at the manor, things start to quickly unravel and they learn just who their employer really is and what were his motives for hiring them. The ending of the novel is more than intense; it ends on a cliff-hanger that basically defines what a cliff-hanger is supposed to be.

The writing flows effortlessly and I fell in love with the main characters. Lucy, Lockwood and George were funny and moving and they make their own little strange family that sticks together no matter what. I loved reading from Lucy’s POV, it really made the story feel more personal. The book was scary at times but I just pushed my fears aside because I had to finish reading it.

The mystery could do with a bit of work, I felt that it was resolved too quickly. My personal favourite was the dynamic between the three friends and Lucy’s story. They work so well together and I think their relationship will only evolve and improve in the next books. And what happened between Lucy and Lockwood at the end?! I’m kinda rooting for George, though. The two just annoy each other so much they would make a cute couple.

‘George,’ I croaked, ‘are you okay?’
‘No. Someone’s buttocks are flattening my foot.’
I shifted my position irritably.

Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase

Author: murmuringletters

A bookish girl in love with stories in all shapes and sizes. Fan of Harry Potter, fantasy literature and Scotland. Collector of tea cups and bookmarks, history enthusiast, believer in fairyland.

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