Saturday, August 5, 2017

Review: The Whispering Skull

20819657 The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the six months since Anthony, Lucy, and George survived a night in the most haunted house in England, Lockwood & Co. hasn't made much progress. Quill Kipps and his team of Fittes agents keep swooping in on Lockwood's investigations. Finally, in a fit of anger, Anthony challenges his rival to a contest: the next time the two agencies compete on a job, the losing side will have to admit defeat in the Times newspaper.
Things look up when a new client, Mr. Saunders, hires Lockwood & Co. to be present at the excavation of Edmund Bickerstaff, a Victorian doctor who reportedly tried to communicate with the dead. Saunders needs the coffin sealed with silver to prevent any supernatural trouble. All goes well-until George's curiosity attracts a horrible phantom.
Back home at Portland Row, Lockwood accuses George of making too many careless mistakes. Lucy is distracted by urgent whispers coming from the skull in the ghost jar. Then the team is summoned to DEPRAC headquarters. Kipps is there too, much to Lockwood's annoyance. Bickerstaff's coffin was raided and a strange glass object buried with the corpse has vanished. Inspector Barnes believes the relic to be highly dangerous, and he wants it found.
The author of the blockbuster Bartimaeus series delivers another amusing, chilling, and ingeniously plotted entry in the critically acclaimed Lockwood & Co. series.

I was excited about this one, because I loved the ghost jar Skull in the first book, and getting to have a story where the ghost was important to the plot! Yes! And I'm so glad I was right, and he was one of my favorite characters throughout this book XD I also love this cover, but then again, I love all the covers for this series!

While this one wasn't the emotional roller-coaster the first on was for me, I did enjoy it. Plenty of new surprises and twists! The characters seemed to grow up some, and even made a new friend or two. I loved the ghost in the jar almost as I enjoyed Lockwood and Co. themselves! Such a fun character! I also surprisingly started to like Kipps and his team, not nearly as much as I like Lockwood & Co. but they were a nice addition to the story. I also enjoyed another acquaintance of Lockwood's but I'll leave them a surprise!

In this one, Lockwood & Co. find themselves faced off against Quill Kipps and his team. The mystery? An artifact that can kill anyone who looks too close! The teams take turns outsmarting each other right up to the end, and it's fun to more characters from this world as he stakes start to rise.

I enjoyed this story overall, but it wasn't as personal or emotional for me as the first. In the first Lucy had the necklace, this one it's George an his ghost jar, and while I loved the ghost jar, this one didn't keep be as entertained as the first. It's still a good read, and I can't wait to read the next book, but this one seemed to be more about George and his ghost jar, and Lockwood's rivalry with Kipps, and less about Lucy than the first, which I assume is why I didn't love it the way I did The Screaming Staircase.

I enjoyed the narrator Katie Lyons, and will gladly listen to more of her work. She did a great job with the voices, and I loved how she played Lucy and Lockwood.

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