Book 42 The Screaming Staircase
The Screaming Staircase, Lockwood & Co Book 1 by
Jonathan Stroud fulfilled the category “Book with a Character with a Vision Impairment or
Enhancement (a nod to 20/20 vision)” for the PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge.
Wow, that sentence was a mouthful.
The Screaming Staircase is a post-apocalyptic
middle grade/young adult novel about a ghost invasion. They call it “The Problem.” In this new world, something has awakened
spirits who prey on humanity. Scary stuff, right? To make it worse, only
children up to a certain age can see the spirits. Young teens with the sight work
in teams with adult supervision to help combat the supernatural menace. But
Lockwood and Co is different as Lucy Carlyle soon discovers.
Lucy is out of work. She left her position at another ghost hunting company due to
circumstances beyond her control. People lost their lives, and she is wracked
with guilt. Now the only place that will hire her is Lockwood, run by Anthony
Lockwood, a teen himself. Lucy can’t imagine how he, along with George and she,
can handle the job, and that’s before Sir John William Fairfax challenges them
to rid his home of spooks.
Together, the three combine their powers of empathy
touch, sharp sight, and supernatural hearing. They plan to spend the night in
Combe Carey Hall, solve the mystery of the screaming staircase, and make the
reputation of Lockwood and Co as the premier ghost hunting outfit in London.
Will they survive?
I know that sounds like a book blurb, but man, this story
deserves it. It’s got
all the best haunted house tropes, horror traps, and young adult problems. They
are a bunch of unsupervised kids working to save the town. Check—independent
kiddos. The world (or maybe just England) is swallowed up in this Problem, where
the ghosts roam the night, and no one can go outside, much less have a window
open. Check—post-apocalypse setting. And the horrors are the worst around. None
of the agencies are able to discover what happened in that house, much less
calm the ghost and vanquish them. Check—uber haunted, and they are the chosen
ones. It’s a perfect mix of horror and YA. The scares are real, the feelings of
the characters are real, and the angst is real.
The book reminded me of A Series of Unfortunate
Events. I enjoyed those tales of the three siblings against the world,
fighting their way to survive, not just perils but the adults who caused them. The
Screaming Staircase has those same elements, including some of the doom and
gloom. And of course, as I read, I see the actors from both the TV series and
the movie of ASOUE playing the roles (not to mention someone from Umbrella
Academy playing Lockwood). The novel/series would make a wonderful Netflix
project, especially with the themes of horror, YA, and unconventional humor.
I give The
Screaming Staircase Lockwood & Co Book 1 by Jonathan Stroud Five