Friday, October 20, 2017

Series Salute: Lockwood & Co. by Jonathan Stroud

For the last several years I've had this lovely tradition of reading the newest Lockwood & Co. for Halloween. As far as Halloween reads (or really anytime of the year reads) go, I cannot recommend a series more enthusiastically. I love it. I don't know that I can adequately express how much. I'm currently rereading the whole series, and I cannot tell you how long it's been since I did any rereading, let alone a whole series in one go. (So many books. So little time.) But I am loving this reread. These books make me so happy. I find myself foolishly grinning and terrified all at once. (Kind of like Lucy and Lockwood on a case.) If I could have my way, the series would go on forever so that I could continue my favorite Halloween tradition.

About the Books


Lucy Carlyle is the newest agent on the Lockwood & Co team. Anthony Lockwood and his associates hunt and contain ghosts, and they have a lot to prove. Although Lockwood, Lucy, and George are extremely talented, they are also the only Psychic Investigation Agency in London without an adult at the helm. You see, only a few talented young people can see or sense ghosts, and as one ages one's talents lessen. Thus the young, by necessity, are on the front lines. The series takes the reader through Lockwood & Co.'s ever-intensifying string of cases. Terrifying it may be, but the series also is wildly funny and filled with characters who have wormed their way into my heart.


Why I Love Them


1. Lucy

Lucy is a fantastic narrator. She has emotional scars, a bit of a temper, and is, honestly, a complete mess at times, but that all feels very real to me. And, on the other hand, she gains confidence throughout the series and has a fascinating talent.  

2. Lockwood

Lockwood is the brash and confidence team leader. Quick with a smile and adept and making others feel they are important, Lockwood also can be secretive and brooding. Like Lucy, the reader loves him, but desperately wants him to open up a little. The tension between those two is thick.
 

3. George

On my second read of the series, I find myself loving George more and more. I think I'm developing a bit of a soft spot in my heart for George Cubbins. Untidy he may be, but he is also smart and funny, and what can I say, I love a good nerd. Honestly, I think George may be the glue that holds this team together. 

4. The Ghosts

These ghosts are terrifying. Jonathan Stroud really knows how to turn the creepy up to full blast. I think the episode in the department store in the third book is the scariest. I listened to the audio books and, while the narration is just lovely, I cannot condone nighttime listening, unless you want to be totally creeped out. I did not listen to my own advice and was lying awake in my bed on more than one occasion. 

5. The World

The world that Stroud creates is spectacular. "The Problem," as it is called, has been afflicting folks for about fifty years now, and there are whole industries built up around ghost control. The scenes are so atmospheric and vivid. While reading, I feel fully immersed in this alternate London.

6.  The Skull

Oh, I love The Skull. It is such a delightful, snarky much-needed dose of comic relief. This series wouldn't be half as great without this cheeky ghost. He has some real zingers, and he just makes me laugh. (And, spoiler: I was so worried for him in the fourth book.)

7. Quill Kipps

I know what you're thinking, but seriously just give him time. Kipps's team plays a vital role in the series, and I really can't help but like them all. Also, Kipps's interactions with the team are pretty darn hilarious at times. (He's especially great in book 4.)

8. The Adventure

The pacing in these books is near perfection. Sure I love a good slow burn, but it's also so much fun to just move through an exciting plot (especially when there are fabulous characters taking you for the ride), and that's what these books do.  

9. The Larger Mystery

I love how every book is arranged by jobs--all of which lead up to the larger case at the end of each book. And, sprinkled in amongst all that scary stuff are the traces of a larger mystery that runs through the whole series. Rereading the books all in a row, has really given me the chance to put those pieces together in a way I couldn't before.


Lockwood & Co. is featured on as many Highly Anticipated posts as it possibly could be (posts here). And on basically all of my big year-end favorites lists (posts here). That's how much I love this series.

More Halloween recommendations here.  


 

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