Monthly Roundup

Monthly Roundup: October 2014

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Every first Wednesday of the month, I’ll be posting a roundup of the month just gone, and writing about what’s to come in the next few weeks.

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Last month I read a total of eight books: Debating the Archaeological Heritage by Robin Skeates, The Shunned House by H.P. Lovecraft, A Very British Murder by Lucy Worsley, Miss Peregrine’s School For Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine #1) by Ransom Riggs, TimeBomb (TimeBomb #1) by Scott K. Andrews, An Introduction to Museum Archaeology by Hedley Swain, The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co #2) by Jonathan Stroud and The Martian by Andy Weir.

Better than last month, although two of those were for university and one was a very short story! My plan was to read loads of science fiction for Sci-Fi Month, but obviously that didn’t happen… My stand-out book of the month is definitely The Whispering Skull, I really love that series! It’s like Sherlock with a dash of Supernatural, if the protagonists were in their teens. What’s not to love?

 

Challenge progress:

  • I read three books towards the Avengers vs. X-Men Challenge. November’s villain is Apocalypse, hopefully I can defeat him this time!
  • I have currently read one hundred and seventeen books towards my Goodreads goal.

 

Currently reading:

The Time Roads 2495562

 

How was October for you?

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Review

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

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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.