Lockwood and Co by Johnathan Stroud
This is a cheerful series about some orphans that are adopted by a rich woman- who is helping them fulfill their greatest potential, and making their dreams come true. The “screaming staircase” that first book is referring to is the one the young girls like to slide down- and scream in sheer joy as they fall.
I’m totally pulling your leg. Clearly, this series is not about anything cheerful. In fact, all of the characters in this book are either dead or being hunted by things that are dead. There is an orphan in it though….so…… there’s that…
I’m not normally a supernatural, ghost huntery, spooky story loving reader. BUT THESE BOOKS ARE AMAZING! I started listening to the first book early in the week, and I am now on book 4! I am hooked!! These books are such a fun blend of truly terrifying, witty, and emotional!
So- here’s the basic plot:
Fifty years ago “The Problem” began. Ghost sightings, hauntings, and supernatural occurrences became so common, the country (England) has had to enforce strict regulations to keep citizens safe. One touch from a ghost will kill you.
Fortunately, along with the rise in ghosts, there has been a rise in children that have special gifts. They are discovered early and trained to become Psychic Investigators, which is a fancy title for “ghost hunters.”
Our hero is Lucy Carlyle, a young girl with incredible talent, who has left her home after a tragic experience, to join a new team of Psychic Investigators. The only place she is able to land a job with is a small agency called Lockwood and Co. The agency is literally just Antony Lockwood- a young teen, his book smart friend George Gibbons, and now Lucy herself. And in an effort to not go bankrupt, they take on a case that has literally killed every person who has tried to solve- because they are that good (and also desperate.)
Let me give you a basic feel for this series so you can decide if your kids can handle it. (By your kids I mean you- because really if you enjoy supernatural fiction at all, you should be reading this right now.)
It’s in our Intermediate Section at the library, but I actually feel like Young Adult readers would enjoy this more. There’s no way I would let my 8-year old read this, but we’re pretty weak sauce when it comes to horror around my house. On a sliding scale from Goosebumps to M. Night Shamalan, this is Dr. Who scary, if that helps.
This series is dark like the last of the Harry Potter books, intense like The Last Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney, but the characters are awesome and quirky like Jackaby by William Ritter.
Books one and two were squeaky clean as far as language goes. But, books 3 and 4 have had a bit of cursing in it. Nothing intense. Just some Lord’s name in vain type exclamations. They do spend their lives dodging poltergeists and horrific shadowy ghosts that can change form– so, I mean, I am willing to give them a little slack.
Read it! For reals! This is the perfect time of year.