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The Screaming Staircase

Stroud, Jonathan (Book - 2013 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Screaming Staircase

Item Details

Follows three young operatives of a Psychic Detection Agency as they battle an epidemic of ghosts in London.
Authors: Stroud, Jonathan
Title: The screaming staircase
Publisher: New York :, Disney-Hyperion Books,, [2013]
Edition: First edition
Characteristics: 390 pages :,illustrations ;,22 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Summary: Follows three young operatives of a Psychic Detection Agency as they battle an epidemic of ghosts in London.
ISBN: 1423164911
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Report This Feb 27, 2014
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I was quite excited to see Stroud is writing a new series, because there are certain things that are going to be givens about anything he writes: depth, quality, excitement, suspense, humor, realistically developed characters, and detailed world-building. This was no exception. You might have noticed that I "shelved" it as adventure, fantasy, horror, and mystery, and I debated a couple of others. It is all those and more. He has an extraordinary ability to take his time developing his setting and characters in detailed ways that have the potential to feel slow, while creating--and maintaining--excitement, energy, and lightness so that the the story never lags. Yes, this is one of those books with a glossary at the end to help explain all the things the author has invented, but I didn't realize it was there until I reached it since I felt no need to look for it, as everything made perfect sense as it occurred in the course of the telling. This is fun, escapist reading that doesn't require work, yet is weighty and filling as well. ----- The world Stroud has created in Lockwood & Co. might be summed up as one featuring teenage British ghostbusters. The characters are proper, mannered, and sardonic even as they're having near death brushes with dangerous "visitors," jumping out the upper windows of burning buildings, and rebelling against social customs and adult authorities. Narrator and primary protagonist Lucy is a bit of a Watson to Lockwood's reckless, confident, charismatic Holmes. While contrasting personalities, both prefer to rush into action, trusting in their talents, abilities, and intuitions, rather than cautiously researching the histories of their ghosts like the gruff George, the third member of their agency. None of the three fit in at the more established agencies, and, while they are out to make a living, they want to make a name for themselves in the process. Not all of their risks pay off, however, and there's real suspense about the success of each case they accept. I can't wait to read the next one and see what other secrets we'll uncover about the strange ghost infestation that has transformed Stroud's England from the one we know.

Report This Feb 18, 2014
  • MissNatalie_ rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I loved this ghostly read! It's the perfect blend of eerie and mystery. All three of Jonathan Stroud's protagonists-Lockwood, Lucy, and George-have depth and contribute to the rhythm of the story. His villains are just the right amount of creepy and believable. I'd recommend this book to a middle grade reader. By the way my eager readers: Book two-The Whispering Skull-should be here August 2014.

Report This Feb 13, 2014
  • JCLHilaryS rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Jonathan Stroud’s latest book is a thrilling fantasy set in England, in which ghosts roam the nights. Only the very young can see, hear, or otherwise sense spirits. As children near puberty, abilities to see or hear spirits surface, and they are thereby trained and employed by businesses whose sole purpose is to identify and detain or destroy the spirits. As teenagers age into young adulthood, their powers of detection fade, leaving whole corps of preteens and teens to carry out the work, risking their lives in the process. Anthony Lockwood has no intention of toiling away for a company, barely scraping by. Orphaned, rich, and extraordinarily talented, Lockwood has joined up with George Cubbins to start his own firm, Lockwood & Co. Having recently relocated to London, Lucy Carlyle joins his agency, adding a rare talent neither of the boys possesses. They set out to make their name by solving run of the mill hauntings. A bit of luck, both good and bad, lead the troupe to Combe Carey Hall, the most haunted place in all of England. Striving to make a reputation that allows him to compete with well established, larger institutions Lockwood agrees to the job, despite serious reservations of his cohorts. The threesome quickly realizes more than the supernatural is at work in trying to bring about their demise. At times thrilling, scary, and funny this is an entertaining new series. I’m eagerly awaiting a second book in the series.

I will read (or listen to) anything with Jonathan Stroud's name on it. Kids who run their own business, ghosts and a mystery-- what's not to love? The narration on the audiobook is excellent and pulls you right in. This is the first in the best kind of series: this story has a definite end, but the characters will come back for another adventure and there's a larger story arc.

"Out of all the agencies that protect the citizens of London from deadly spectral Visitors, Lockwood & Company isn't exactly the most professional. In fact, they messed up their last job so badly that they set a house on fire. Now, to save the agency from bankruptcy, teen ghost hunters Lockwood, Lucy, and George agree to take a risky job at an eerie old manor which is rumoured to be haunted by the most hostile spirits in England. If you prefer horror stories mixed with sly humour and bloodcurdling paranormal action, this deliciously creepy series starter is for you - just don't read it after dark!" Kids' Books November 2013 newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=705794

I liked the book a lot. It had good characters and a realistic plot. I find that the ending was okay but lacked any detail on anything probably just a bit rushed but overall I liked the book

Report This Nov 01, 2013
  • rubymoon4559 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This book was very well-written. The narrator was fairly likeable. To be honest, I wasn't crazy about her but she was just fine, not too annoying nor too perfect. I can understand why this novel would appeal to younger readers and to readers who enjoy reading about ghosts and mysteries. As for the ending, it was a surprise but it lacks a certain something.

Report This Oct 16, 2013
  • m2 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Jonathan Stroud got his mojo back! What a great book! I want to read it again! I want to read the next one! Write, Jonathan, write! A murder mystery, ghost story, a terrific fantasy, and with fun and intriguing characters that make up a great ensemble "cast". Read it THIS Halloween -- or anytime.

Report This Sep 08, 2013
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Howsoever you feel like labeling it, there’s one thing you can certainly label the book: good. It’s a delight from start to finish and after you’ve devoured it you find yourself craving more more more. For everyone then. Child, teen, adult, or slow shuffling specter, this is a book for you. Try it on for size.


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Report This Mar 03, 2014
  • navy_wolf_171 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

navy_wolf_171 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Report This Sep 08, 2013
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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Report This Sep 08, 2013
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

It all began with The Problem. One day, for no apparent reason, the dead started to walk amongst the living. Not just walk, but really wreak some serious havoc. Here are the facts of the matter. 1. If you see a ghost, run. 2. Don’t let a ghost touch you, or you’re dead. 3. Only kids can see ghosts. What are we to make of these facts? Well, it’s no surprise when ghost-busting operations hiring children start cropping up. Enter Lockwood & Company. Run by the charming Anthony Lockwood alongside his two compatriots Lucy and George the ramshackle operation is barely scraping by. Enter a job that goes particularly wrong when the kids accidentally burn down their employers’ home, and it would take a miracle to save the agency. Fortunately, a miracle shows up in the form of a very rich and powerful man. He’s hiring the three to take on the most haunted house in all of Britain. The catch? No one’s ever gotten out of it alive. Will our intrepid heroes take on the job, or is there more at work here than meets the eye?


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Report This Feb 27, 2014
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Just because, a sample of Stroud's fluent, eloquent writing: "The caretaker was certainly very ancient, a tight and desiccated thing from which all softness and moisture had long since been extracted. Where Mr. Fairfax had been bullishly vigorous despite his age and infirmity, this man was more like the ash tree by the house: gnarled and twisted, but holding tenaciously to life. He had a shock of gray-white hair, and a narrow face that disintegrated, as he drew near, into a web of lines, a limestone surface with bumps and fissures. His clothes carried an air of somber correctness: he was dressed in an old-fashioned tail coat of dark black velvet, from the sleeves of which gray, liver-spotted fingers protruded. His striped pants were incredibly thin, his shoes as long and pointed as his nose."

Report This Sep 08, 2013
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

“Of the first few hauntings I investigated with Lockwood & Co. I intend to say little, in part to protect the identity of the victims, in part because of the gruesome nature of the incidents, but mainly because, in a variety of ingenious ways, we succeeded in messing them all up.”

Report This Sep 08, 2013
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

“In fact, it wasn’t at all an ugly hallway; in bright sunlight it might have looked quite pleasant. But not so much now, with the last light from the door panes stretching out like skewed coffins on the floor in front of us; and with our shadows neatly framed inside them..”

Report This Sep 08, 2013
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"With his glasses off, his eyes looked small and weak – blinky and a bit baffled, like an unintelligent sheep that’s taken a wrong turn. But when he put them on again, they went all sharp and steely, more like the eyes of an eagle that eats dumb sheep for breakfast.”

Report This Sep 08, 2013
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

“..George Cubbins, handsome as a freshly opened tub of margarine, as charismatic as a wet tea towel lying scrumpled on the floor.”


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Report This Sep 08, 2013
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Book Trailer for The Screaming Staircase

The official British book trailer for Jonathan Stroud's latest series.

Find it at SCCLD