Thanks to NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for providing an ebook in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Available Now
Synopsis: A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city, and they aren’t exactly friendly. Only young people have the psychic ability required to see—and eradicate—these supernatural foes. Many different Psychic Detection Agencies have cropped up to handle the dangerous work, and they are in fierce competition for business. In The Screaming Staircase, the plucky and talented Lucy Carlyle teams up with Anthony Lockwood, the charismatic leader of Lockwood & Co., a small agency that runs independent of any adult supervision. After an assignment leads to both a grisly discovery and a disastrous end, Lucy, Anthony, and their sarcastic colleague, George, are forced to take part in the perilous investigation of Combe Carey Hall, one of the most haunted houses in England. Will Lockwood & Co. survive the Hall’s legendary Screaming Staircase and Red Room to see another day?
I’ve had this series on my tbr for what seems like forever, but somehow just never seemed to find the time to start it. So, when the first book, The Screaming Staircase, popped up on NetGalley as a Read Now offer, I immediately jumped, and now I’m left asking why I waited so long.
I have to be honest and say that Lucy, who’s the narrator is a little on the dull side. Her personality is well developed, but she’s very reserved, especially when compared to the gallant Anthony and amusing George. I liked her, but she seemed to be missing a certain spark. The relationship between the three is at the heart of this book and I liked that they weren’t copycat characters of others from series like Harry Potter. They’re engaging and work well together, and I was fully invested in seeing what happened with them
I loved the world-building which is set around an alternate current day London, which has an almost Victorian age feel. There’s a bit of an info-dump which does slow the pace somewhat, but it still makes for a suspenseful and at times, humorous read.
Despite the couple of issues I had, overall I thought The Screaming Staircase was an enjoyable beginning to the Lockwood & Co. series and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the books. I think middle-school age kids will gobble this creepy tale.