Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud (and a quick remembrance of 9/11)

So this review was written awhile ago, but it's being posted today, for MMGM. I'd just like to take a moment and remember about the people who tragically died in the terrorist attacks of September 11th, including the numerous firefighters and other help risking their lives to save others. I'm hoping you're not completely teary-eyed right now, but I just really want to make sure that we never forget.

Genre: Horror
Age Group: MG
Publishing Date: August 29, 2013

“It was one of those moments when a great Don't Care wave hits you, and you float off on it, head back, looking at the sky.”

Fifty years ago, The Problem arose in London. Ghosts were everywhere. Agencies began to pop up, to rid the city of the problem. These days, there are many small agencies scattered throughout England. Lucy Carlyle is a young agent from Northern England who is looking for a job in London. After failing many interviews, she finds herself at Lockwood & Co., a small agency looking for another member. A few months after she joined, Lockwood and Co. falls on hard times after a case went wrong. They need to get a lot of money in not a lot of time, and they find themselves taking a job that involves them staying in one of the most haunted houses in England. Will they make it out alive?

What I Liked:
The characters in this book are awesome. First you have Lucy, a ghost hunter from North England, trying to get a job in London. Sensitive with Touch and Listening. Then you have Lockwood, a mysterious boy running his own agency. Charming? Yes. Sarcastic? Yes. Sensitive with Sight. Last but not least, George, the chubby researcher and experimenter. I’m not sure what he’s the most sensitive to, because he doesn’t go out into the field that much, and when he did, he took the temperature. He has Sight, though, which is common. They all have their strengths and flaws, backgrounds, and secrets. Together, they make an elite group of agents. They work for Lockwood & Co., an independent organization (no adult supervision).
The world that was made by Stroud was believable. It is a London that went on a different path. Instead of having a lot of the technology that we use today (that you’re viewing this post on!), London is full of The Problem (the Visitors, the supernatural). Ghosts, iron, lavender, and agents with rapiers are very common to see.
Another thing that I enjoyed was the way that the book was written. I don’t usually read horror novels, but this is one of my favorite books and series. The narrator (Lucy) was witty. She combined humor and horror in the book, and the end result was not disastrous, as it might have turned out.

What I Didn't Like:
In this book, although the case gets wrapped up pretty well, I have some other questions. They would spoil the book, so I won’t say them, but this book did leave me hanging, in more ways than one. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just the worst thing I could think of.
The other point that could be negative is that I don’t really know what genre it’s in. It is horror, so there is death and blood, but I think that it's MG. There was no romance.

Rating: 9.999...=10

The author wrote this book very well, and I enjoyed it. It's one of my favorites, and is also in a genre which I don't read in very often, but I enjoyed it. I gobbled it up and was begging for more.


  1. Sounds like a great read for the upcoming spooky season of the year. Thanks for featuring. I've added it to my list of books to read.

  2. I don't normally do horror either, but the English setting and the agency sound really intriguing. Thanks for remembering 9/11.