Review: The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co #2) by Jonathan Stroud


5 out of 5 stars | Goodreads

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

I first encountered this series at the beginning of the year, the first book being The Screaming Staircase and absolutely loved it. There was no question about whether to request the second book from Netgalley or not, regardless of my ridiculous pile of books to review! And luckily, The Whispering Skull definitely lived up to my expectations.

Set six months after the previous book, The Whispering Skull leaps straight into the action: Lockwood & Co have had a run of successful jobs and things are looking up. More and more clients are approaching them for help and for once they don’t feel like they have to compete with other agencies. That’s until a strange and powerful Source is stolen, and Lockwood, Lucy and George are back in competition with the other agencies, as well as in a race against time, to retrieve it. As before, some scenes were actually genuinely creepy and gave me the chills – but combined with the wonderful sense of humour that I’ve come to expect.

A fast-paced read, the writing just flows off the page – although that may be something to do with the intended younger audience – and the exciting moments just keep coming. I felt that the story was perhaps less atmospheric than The Screaming Staircase, but much of the atmosphere of the first book was created by setting up the story and the changes from the world as we know it.

The publisher describes this book as aimed at ‘middle grade’ readers, but as someone in my twenties I have to say I absolutely LOVE this series. It’s a fabulous mix of ghost novel and detective story, with characters you’ll just love. Lockwood is still an enigma, very much a Sherlock type character, and I can imagine him being a bit of a heart-breaker when he gets older. Lucy is the witty and occasionally sarcastic narrator, with George as the brains but also the comic relief. Were I actually within the age range for this book, I can definitely say that the idea of these teens running their own agencies and living alone, without adults, would be a high point!

If you’re looking for something a little bit creepy, but don’t feel quite ready to delve into some serious horror novels, I would definitely recommend giving Lockwood & Co a try.

6 thoughts on “Review: The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co #2) by Jonathan Stroud”

  1. Oooh see, I got a copy of this when I did my work placement with RHCP, but when I had to move into Dave’s I ended up giving it to a friend since I didn’t think I’d ever read it. It looked good enough, but I think I was put off by that MG label. Regretting that decision since now! >.<

    1. Well you’d definitely need to read the first one, totally sets the tone so you’d have to wait until you got that one anyway 😉

      Maybe you could borrow it back off that friend some time?

  2. I saw this book on Netgalley and was wondering about it actually. It seems like the perfect read for me, since maybe the scary level I can tolerate is Middle Grade. Nevertheless, when you said this book has a wonderful sense of humour and a bit of mystery, I was sold! I’m a sucker for both! If I was intrigued before, I think I’m convinced now.

    1. It IS creepy, but obviously not terrifying as it’s for a younger audience. So yeah, if you’re not into the super spooky stuff then it’s perfect – glad you’re sold! 😀

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