Customer Reviews


37 Reviews
5 star:
 (28)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just brilliant!
In trying to articulate my excitement for wonder that is The Screaming Staircase, I was going to write my shortest ever review and leave it at that, because it summarises the book so well: freaking brilliant. (Well, freaky and brilliant, really).

Then I thought it might help to elaborate. My expectations were set extremely high when I first heard about this...
Published 10 months ago by Daphne (Winged Reviews)

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit heavy for 10 year olds
bought this for my son as he had completed reading all the David Walliams books. He read this for a while and got to about 150 pages in, but lost interest as its quite heavy going
Published 2 months ago by David C


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just brilliant!, 29 Aug 2013
In trying to articulate my excitement for wonder that is The Screaming Staircase, I was going to write my shortest ever review and leave it at that, because it summarises the book so well: freaking brilliant. (Well, freaky and brilliant, really).

Then I thought it might help to elaborate. My expectations were set extremely high when I first heard about this book. It ticked all the right boxes for me--great author, alternative London setting, a cavalier hero, smart female narrator. Plus, actually having Jonathan Stroud there demonstrating how to fight ghosts with a rapier, salt, chains and a teapot was pretty perfect.

In this version of England, there is a Problem--ghosts are everywhere and their touch can kill. You can feel them, but you eventually can't see them. As people grow older, their ability to see ghosts fades away. Enter Lockwood & Co., a small agency founded by teenager Anthony Lockwood to help those with a Visitor problem. Unlike the big corporations with legacy adults running the show, Lockwood & Co. is solely run by our three young protagonists.

Our narrator is Lucy Carlyle, a trainee who possesses superior ghost `empathy'. She moved down to London due to an incident where she used to work and after countless applications (at other firms), ends up as the newest employee of Lockwood & Co. As luck would have it, one Lucy and Lockwood's cases...goes up in smoke, which leads to the little company owing a lot of money and having to risk all by taking on a huge case potentially out of their depths.

This book had some seriously chilling moments. These are not friendly ghosts Lockwood & Co. deal with--they are vengeful, dark spirits that cause extreme terror and harm. When our heroes eventually face the titular screaming staircase, I was truly frightened, not to mention a certain encounter with a floating head (yes, I am a scaredy cat, but just wait until you read it).

That said, the book's tone is generally light (yes, it's light and scary, I don't know how Stroud manages this brilliance). The banter between Lockwood, Lucy and the third member of the trio, the cynical researcher George Cubbins is extremely fun to read, especially as they live together and have to get used to each other's odd habits. I love the humorous understatements in the face of true danger, something I've come to know and love from Stroud's writing. Of course, there are the required tea and biscuit breaks, which adds to the British charm.

My only gripe about reading this book early is that I now have to wait even longer for the sequel. I'm excited to see the world-building get even deeper, learn more about Lucy's abilities and discover the cause of the true mystery behind the Problem. Recommended for absolutely everyone, kids and adults alike will be enthralled by it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a great read, 6 Feb 2014
By 
Sussman "Sussman" (London CA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you have read any of Jonathan Stroud’s other works such as the books in the Bartimaeus Sequence you know you are onto a winner. If you are new to his work then you’ll find in this offering that there is Ghost hunting, - where Ghosts kill, cause murder and mayhem. From the get go the book is great read, and once again the Mr Stroud’s abilities to generate some quirky but always well rounded and interesting characters is amazing. Really what is there not like about this book? In short this very good story telling and please do not pigeon hole yourself over which age group may read it, whether you in your teens or your sixties this book covers all.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars simply genius!, 22 July 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I totally fell in love with this book. I loved the whole concept of ghosts being the Problem (with a capital P)it was almost like pest control but for ghosts rather than bugs and a bit more death involved.

I was wondering how the author would top his last series but this is just as funny, and though there's still huge mysteries surrounding Lockwood, I totally love Lucy as the main character and even George has grown on me.

Lockwood's wit reminded me heavily of Bartimaeus the Djinni which was awesome because I was worried it wouldn't live up to the standards of humor Mr Stroud had already set.
This is somewhat darker in one sense and creepier and the premise is very original. Ghost stories have been done so many times it's hard to find something that jumps out, yet this does and with great clarity.

It sounds so scientific at the same time too, which I was kinda impressed with. Not to mention I was reading the scene with Lucy in her bedroom at night and I was thoroughly glad I was reading it in daylight. And I was even more glad I was reading it during the day when I got to the end of the novel. My next challenge is to read the sequel in the dark by light of my kindle.

I'd like to conclude this review by saying that if you're on the fence as to whether you should read this then take my advice and read it. Yes, it's aimed at children and teens but it's so funny, scary and really adventurous. Bring out that inner child. You know you want too!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The start of a great series, 23 Sep 2013
By 
Brida "izumi" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Jonathan Stroud is a great writer. Although his books are aimed at young adults, readers of any age should be able to find much to enjoy from his work. THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE is the first book in his new series, Lockwood & Co.

Stroud's new series is set in a time when there is a real problem with ghosts. Because of this, agencies have been set up to tackle the problem. Lockwood & Co is one such agency. Our narrator, Lucy, is a young girl who has recently left a rival agency. A job she was on did not go well, so she feels she has to redeem herself in her new job. Lockwood & Co is a small agency; only three make up the team. In various ways, they all seem to think that they have a lot to prove, both as a team with no adults involved, but also as individuals. Each character is expertly drawn; they all have positives and negatives and features of their personality which makes them all unique. There is also the suggestion of each character's backstory too, making them feel more real.

I won't go into any more of the story as I don't want to ruin this brilliant book for anyone who decides to read this for themselves. As the first in a series, THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE has a fair bit of foundation laying, but this does not detract from the main story. Stroud has done a marvellous job at getting the balance for this novel just right. The story is scary, funny, intelligent and engrossing. Having finished this, I am now eager to read the next instalment.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, witty and ghostly, 16 Oct 2013
By 
Cheryl M-M (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
You know they say that most real bookworms start reading at a young age and they tend to end up devouring books. (My bad, that description fits me perfectly) They also tend to remember certain books that started their path into specific genres or remain vivid in their memories for decades.
I think this might be one of those books that imprints a taste for a certain type of genre on young readers. It is witty, slightly dark and doesn't patronize the younger readers intellect or understanding. Stroud has fun with the characters and still manages to keep them at a level that the reader can relate to.
It is my first Stroud, but it certainly won't be my last.
The book is well-written with flamboyant characters and Stroud sets the mood for a suspenseful read.
It is an interesting mixture of horror, fantasy, mystery with wisps of paranormal. The characters are funny without being ridiculous and smart without sounding overbearing, which is of the utmost importance in a book aimed at 11+ readers.
After reading this I bought the Audiobook because I wanted to know how the story would sound as a narrated story. Definitely worth adding to the collection I share with my children.
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect., 15 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As usual, Stroud delivers an excellent book. It is almost perfect and I am sure he will not disappoint when the rest of this series comes out.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good old-fashioned fun, 20 Sep 2013
By 
hugh (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A great old style adventure with classic scary ghosts a bit in the style of m r james. Refreshing to have a book without any underlying message or moral, just great character interaction and and humour.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 8 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Only quarter of the way through this but i love it so much. Wether it was the book on its own or being read with creepy soundtrack in the background it managed to scare me and can't wait to read more! Also the cover art is wonderful
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely loved this, 7 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As an avid fan of the Bartimaeus books I was looking forward to another good sequence from Jonathan. I'm happy to report that I was not disappointed! Mr Stroud does atmosphere superbly. It's now a long agonising wait for the next instalment. I don't do plot synopsis or spoilers, so just buy and enjoy!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spell-binding and wonderful., 31 Aug 2013
Let me begin by saying that this isn't really a review. However, since it's an Amazon requirement to write something in order to leave your rating I'll go ahead and give you all a little something that I hope will help in convincing you to read this book.

Jonathan Stroud has created one of the most believable worlds, brimming with it's own rules and deadly threats, since that of the Harry Potter world of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As well as the world, the characters are an absolute delight to get to know and have a wonderful chemistry together with their interactions often being laugh out loud funny.

The Screaming Staircase is not only one the best children's book I've read this year, it is the best book of any kind I have read this year. It's gripping, tense, genuinely creepy and has set the foundations so solidly that I can't wait for the next book in the series. Superb stuff.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews