Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Screaming Staircase

The Screaming Staircase
by Jonathan Stroud
Disney Hyperion, 2013. 390 pgs. Mystery

   Just in time for Halloween, a scary, SCARY story from the creator of the Bartimaeus trilogy. First in the Lockwood & Co. series, The Screaming Staircase is set in London at a time (in a modern enough era to have televisions) when The Problem is at its peak.  The Problem?  The country is infested with ghosts--Dark Specters, Cold Maidens, Gibbering Mists, Lurkers, and Stalkers, to name but a few. Among the agencies which have sprung up to deal with the threat is Lockwood & Co., three young people with gifts of discernment and warding. Lucy narrates, telling tales of minor hauntings and then the major disaster which almost brought down the House of Lockwood and certainly burned down the client's house. A mysterious locket, a dead girl's rage, a surprise offer of redemption from an eccentric tycoon in the iron-mongering business, all lead to a terrifying confrontation in an aged monastery, haunted by a nameless but powerful evil in the Red Room and on the Screaming Staircase.  Lucy, Lockwood, and George are splendid companions and skilled exorcisers.  Give this book to stout-hearted tweens not given to nightmares.

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