Reading Level: Middle Grade
Length: 400 pages
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Lockwood and Co series
Source: ARC from Amazon Vine
Rating: 4/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through the Amazon Vine program. I really enjoyed Stroud’s Bartimaeus trilogy and was excited to read another middle grade fantasy by him. This book is more of a paranormal/horror read and I really enjoyed it.
This book is set in a London where ghosts have become deadly. The main character, Lucy, helps to investigate and eliminate hauntings. This is something only kids can do because people lose the power to see ghosts as they get older. Lucy ends up as part of a three person team whose job it is to take care of these ghostly problems. Since all kids see ghosts better than adults most of the characters are preteen or in their early teens.
This is a very interesting world with some interesting implications for society…society is basically completely dependent on kids or young adults to neutralize all ghostly threats. This puts a number of young kids in positions of power and gives them the ability to run their own businesses, as in the case of Lockwood.
Lucy is an interesting character, she has been in some bad situations and constantly doubts herself. She has some very strong supernatural abilities and the ability to Listen to ghosts. However Lucy is a survivor and does what she needs to survive.
Lockwood is a deceptively upbeat and plucky character. He is a bit rash at times, but there is more to his character than there first seems. He cares about his employees and, despite his rashness, does his best to give his employees a good place to live. He’s always looking for the next big thing that will make Lockwood and Co successful.
The plot is well done. What starts out as a fairly typical seeming haunting unfolds into a large mystery. Our characters end up in a truly terrifying haunted mansion where they have to use all of their abilities and wits to survive.
Some of this book is very creepy and these parts made the book very hard to put down. I didn’t like this book quite as much as the Bartimaeus Trilogy, but it was still very well written and very entertaining to read.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. I will definitely be reading more books in this series. It was a wonderful start to a new series and I really loved the world and enjoyed the characters. I recommend this to those who love creepy supernatural reads.