The adventures continue for Lockwood & Co, related to the teaser at the end of The Screaming Staircase. It involves murder, theft, old uncontained relics, a black market ring, and leaping off buildings. I don’t want to say anything more than that, and give away spoilers for either book.
This is a really fun series, and perfect for RIP. I’m hoping it stays a series, rather than a trilogy, especially as there doesn’t yet seem to be any particular arc-story that would connect the books so far. I’d rather just keep going with the adventures of Lockwood & Co. for as long as Stroud wants to write them. They read as episodic – each a closed story with a teaser for the next – rather than pieces of a larger story. I like that, and would love to just keep going with these characters.
The Whispering Skull wasn’t quite as good as The Screaming Staircase for me, but I think that’s less to do with the book itself and more to do with media. I listened to the audio of The Screaming Staircase, and it was fantastic. Listening made the story incredibly creepy in places, goosebumps running up and down my arms. I really wanted to get this second book in audio as well, but my new library system doesn’t own an audio copy. I didn’t get that same creeped-out feeling reading in print, but I could tell that if I’d listened to it, I would have. I can’t say how the books would compare if I’d listened to both.
I don’t want to sound negative about The Whispering Skull, however. It was definitely a solid book, with lots of fun twists and creepy moments. My favorite part was that the villain wasn’t such a black-and-white villain, but a victim as well. That always makes me look on a book more favorably, and given that this is a middle-grade book, I’m particularly impressed. I’m also very much looking forward to the next book – the teaser was excellent!
Reread via audio in May 2016: Audio narrator is Katie Lyons, who does a good job, though it was strange to have different voices for each of the characters than in the last audiobook.