Genre: Horror fiction
Author: Jonathan Stroud
Supernatural entities started to stir up over a few centuries and as a result, people have to rely on the ‘agencies’ for the safety. The agency, upon request finds the cause of ghost stirring in the client’s house and eliminates them. Anthony Lockwood owns one of such agencies – Lockwood and Co. and works along with George Cubbins and Lucy Carlyle – their new colleague and helps solve minor ghost cases with the help of each other’s ‘talents’ and ‘skills’. Not every time their mission taste success. Their team makes a mistake and that mistake leads to disaster and that ultimately means farewell to their little unsupervised company. In the end they are forced to take up a mission in one of the most haunted houses in England- the Combe Carey Hall. Will they survive the Hall’s legendary screaming staircase and the haunted red room? This is the plot of the story and the rest of the story give answers to the above question.
The story is set up in an alternate universe where ghosts became a common thing in the streets of London after they got stirred up centuries before. Unlike other novels, each and every person believes in ghost and also constantly protecting their house from ‘visitors’. Since the story has its own world with own logic and own explanations, readers can enjoy the book and its series IF they understood this book, which is the first one in the Lockwood and Co. series. Stroud wrote this book having children and young adults in mind. Even though the genre of this book is horror, it rather sounds like a detective novel with ghosts along. Stroud also wrote a ‘Glossary’ in the back side of the book, for the terms used in the series. For example, There are three types of ‘visitors'(ghosts) Type I is very weak and it will vanish when spraying salt water, while Type II ghosts are strong and plays with emotions and needs a magnesium flare, Type III ghosts are not officially found, but said that they can actually talk and converse with humans, while others cannot.
In my opinion, Lockwood and Co. series are underrated supernatural books for young adults. The characterization of the characters and the visual description of the 19th Century London are on point – not lacking anything and not exaggerating anything. This novel will keep on getting more interesting as you turn the pages.