by Jonathan Stroud
Narrator: Miranda Raison
Published by Disney Hyperion on September 17, 2013
Genres: Middle Grade Paranormal
Length: 10 hours and 10 minutes
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble
When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in . . .
For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.
Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest, most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.
Set in a city stalked by spectres, The Screaming Staircase is the first in a chilling new series full of suspense, humour and truly terrifying ghosts. Your nights will never be the same again . . .
The Screaming Staircase is an exciting paranormal adventure with mystery, suspense and a heroic cast of characters. This is a must read for readers of all ages! England is suffering from an outbreak of paranormal activity which they call “visitors”. To save the day (and country) teams of gifted children battle these visitors and exorcise them to “the other side”. Lucy Carlisle is one of these gifted children. At 15 years old she has the gift of hearing visitors. Her gift makes her a valuable member to a team but unfortunately her adult supervisor doesn’t listen to her warnings. This leads to deadly results and Lucy leaving her home to find a new team. Lucy arrives in London and joins Lockwood & Co, which consists of Anthony Lockwood and George. As the smallest agency in London the team has to prove to the city they are just as talented and capable as the larger agencies. In The Screaming Staircase they take on their first case together that is dangerous and frightening.
I absolutely love author Jonathan Stroud’s writing. The story was exciting, suspenseful and creepy. This was so well written I can clearly imagine all the scenes, especially the scary moments with the visitors. I felt chills and jumped in fright at the spooky encounters Lockwood & Co. had to deal with. I also enjoyed the characters. I thought they were well developed and a surprisingly mature group of kids set to save the world. Anthony Lockwood is the fearless leader who has the gift of sight (more aware compared to other agents) and his awareness of fine details reminded me of a young Sherlock Holmes. Lucy Carlisle is smart and a fierce fighter and with her gift of hearing she helps to keep the team safe. Finally there is George who is their researcher and his inquisitive nature provides useful information to help solve the cases. George is sarcastic and adds comic relief to the story which makes this series so much fun to read. Together they make a really great team even though they still are newly formed but already in sync with each other.
I’m not a huge fan of ghost stories but this was a level of scary that I can handle. The Screaming Staircase is a great start for this series and I can’t wait to read more from this author. If you are a fan of Harry Potter then you will love Lockwood & Co. for the excitement and the characters.
This is my first time listening to narrator Miranda Raison and I loved her performance. She created distinct voices for all the characters that were perfect for the character images in my mind. I especially loved the sarcasm of George that was spot on and hilarious. And her voices for the visitors were spooky and gave me chills.
Miss Raison’s voice sounded familiar to me so after an internet search I found her biography on IMDB. I was excited to see her voice acting roles on my favorite video games Dragon Age: Inquisition and Dragon Age II. She also appeared on the BBC series Merlin.