In the six months since Anthony, Lucy, and George survived a night in the most haunted house in England, Lockwood & Co. hasn’t made much progress. Quill Kipps and his team of Fittes agents keep swooping in on Lockwood’s investigations. Finally, in a fit of anger, Anthony challenges his rival to a contest: the next time the two agencies compete on a job, the losing side will have to admit defeat in the Times newspaper.
Things look up when a new client, Mr. Saunders, hires Lockwood & Co. to be present at the excavation of Edmund Bickerstaff, a Victorian doctor who reportedly tried to communicate with the dead. Saunders needs the coffin sealed with silver to prevent any supernatural trouble. All goes well-until George’s curiosity attracts a horrible phantom.
Back home at Portland Row, Lockwood accuses George of making too many careless mistakes. Lucy is distracted by urgent whispers coming from the skull in the ghost jar. Then the team is summoned to DEPRAC headquarters. Kipps is there too, much to Lockwood’s annoyance. Bickerstaff’s coffin was raided and a strange glass object buried with the corpse has vanished. Inspector Barnes believes the relic to be highly dangerous, and he wants it found.
The author of the blockbuster Bartimaeus series delivers another amusing, chilling, and ingeniously plotted entry in the critically acclaimed Lockwood & Co. series.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Do you ever look at your child and wish that they could see the magic in reading a book the way that you do? This might actually make them do it. It is very rare that I rate a book intended for youths with five stars. Honestly, most of them seem to be lacking any real plot, world or character building, etc. That is not the case with this series.
“The Whispering Skull” begins a bit after the last book ended, and continues to frighten and please with the sarcastic humour, most excellent descriptions of the setting and characters and leaves the reader wondering the entire book what is about to happen next. This book is full of surprises and twists and the pace is quick, so there is no time to lose interest.
If you were to take all the best ghosts from all the classic stories (think Charles Dickens) and put them into a modern tale, you might get a general idea of how cool the haunts in this book are. I loved that the author was so inventive in his spooks and the way they behave (or misbehave as the case may be.)
I can’t imagine a child picking this book up and not falling in love with it. The quality of writing is good enough to keep an adult entertained, but kids are sure to enjoy this. Jonathan Stroud has a unique knack for figuring out what terrifies us and makes us laugh and how to combine the two in equal measure.
I love this book, and this series. My highest recommendation.
This review is based on a complimentary copy from the Publisher, Disney Book Group, and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.