Lockwood and Company is back! Up against some spectacularly scary phantoms (ghost rats, anyone?), grave robbers, and a rival agency with a bet to drive them out of business, Lucy, George and the indomitable Anthony Lockwood are on the case of a missing artifact. The item in question is a mirror that shows its viewer “the other side.” What that looks like, however, is a mystery because those who gaze into the mirror die.
The Whispering Skull is the second book in the Lockwood and Co. series by Jonathan Stroud, which began last year with The Screaming Staircase. I absolutely fell in love with that book. You can read my gushing review here. Happily, book two continues the ghastly adventures of this cool and courageous trio, who boldly go about their spectral business with a dash of humor and a spot of tea. Be warned, there’s enough references to jam donuts that readers may develop a craving. . . this one sure did!
Like the first book, Lucy narrates the derring-dos of the group. The personal stakes are high when Lockwood bets a rival agency that he can be the first to recover the mirror that Scotland Yard is seeking. While the swords are sharp, the amusing dialogue is even sharper. There’s also the titled whispering skull, a nasty piece of work that was stolen long ago by George but which seems to have developed a psychic link to Lucy and which, surprisingly, seems to know quite a bit about their latest case.
In addition to the requisite old abandoned house, there’s a classic creepy-catacombs-hidden-beneath-a-church setting. And lest readers think that my mention of donuts and humorous dialogue mean this is light on scary moments, rest assured that the author has included plenty of suspense and horror and gore (ghost rats, remember?).
Best of all, The Whispering Skull ends with a teaser that promises a peek into the mysterious Anthony Lockwood’s past. The only downside is waiting another year for the next book!
If you haven’t yet been introduced to Lockwood and Company, run to your nearest library branch and check out Jonathan Stroud’s The Screaming Staircase and place a hold on The Whispering Skull. Then, immerse yourself in a fantastic world where ghosts walk among us and young warriors keep us safe.