The Creeping Shadow (Lockwood & Co. #4) by Jonathan Stroud

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The Creeping Shadow is the fourth installment in the Lockwood & Co. series.

In the previous book (The Hollow Boy), we left Lucy deciding to leave Lockwood’s agency to protect her friends, so in this novel we follow Lucy as a freelance operator, at least until Penelope Fittes asks for her to help Lockwood & Co in a particular case.

In the meanwhile Lucy discovers that some ghost sources are sold in an auction instead of being destroyed, and she soon finds her life at risk, ending up asking Lockwood for help.

The whole group begins investigating the creeping shadow, a mysterious gigantic ghost appearing in a town far from London, but very near to a branch of the Rotwell’s agency.

The novel is as always nice and engaging, however it’s a bit disappointing with respect to the preceding one that was much more emotional. The big twist here it’s at the very end, and only in further novels we will see how this news turns out for the Lockwood & co. team.


The Creeping Shadow by Jonathan Stroud ★★★☆☆½

*I read this book in english

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The Hollow boy (Lockwood & Co. #3) by Jonathan Stroud

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The Hollow boy is the third book of the Lockwood & Co. series (The other two are: The Screaming Staircase and The Whispering Skull).

Lucy, the narrating voice, Lockwood and George are still working as an agency to catch the spirits haunting London, and they sill want to be involved in some major case, in order also to promote better their agency.

The numerous – small – works force them to work separately, and from this derives the decision to hire an assistant to help them in sorting out their activities: Holly Murno, who is however not liked by Lucy, also due to their character differences.

Lucy is more than ever the main character of the novel, and, her being the narrating voice, we see her bein uncertain, torn between wanting to test her listening skill and restraining to avoid unnecessary risks.  She always doubts her role in the agency, also because she is jealous of Holly, who seems to her as perfect and insufferable.

In the series The Hollow boy is the most well-built novel, or the one I liked more, thanks also the availability of two novels before to set out world and characters build; here we face more delicate aspects of the characters (Lockwood and her sister death, Lucy and her uncertainties). The novel ends with a shocking event, and so I’m already waiting for the fourth book to come out.


* The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud ★★★★☆½

*I read this book in english

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

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I always like novels that takes form from some myths or particular traditions both for the magical settings, both for the interesting things I learn from them.

A recent example is The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo where everything begins from the ritual – not so common however – diffused in the China English colonies (Malaysia, Singapore etc..) to marry also ghosts. The marriage could unite in the afterlife two young lovers both dead or to bound a concubine to her dead lover. Yangsze Choo builds the novel on this premises but makes some changes to make it more engaging.

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The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co. #2) by Jonathan Stroud

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In The Screaming Staircase we met the three main characters of this series of novels: Lucy, the narrating voice and unique POV, Lockwood and George, three agents able to deal the issue of ghost apparition.

In this second novel they will carry on an investigation in parallel to some Fittes agents in order to find which group of agent is the best on, the small Lockwood & Co. or the bigger and more organized Fittes; the investigation has the aim to find a mirror stolen during the recovery of the coffin of Edmund Bickerstaff, a mysterious evil man who was interested in making contact with dead people.

While searching for the mirror Lucy will have the chance to meet old Lockwood friends and to test again her skill to communicate with the skull preserved in a jar within the Lockwood agency, a mostly unique talent that will provide some useful information.

Here the plot is more linear with respect to the previous one, nevertheless the story is engaging and well-built; it is introduced the theme of relic theft and market, a new element that composes the worldbuild of this alternative England subjected to ghost apparition.


* The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud ★★★★☆

*I read this book in english

How to say goodbye in robot by Natalie Standifod

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Beatrice, due to her father work, him being a researcher and a professor, has moved to a new town. The change brought some side effects: Bea’s mother is more strange, emotional and unhappy.

Bea instead integrate herself well in the new school where she meets Jonah, or ghost boy for his detachment to everything that interests his peers. Bea and Jonah become friends and good listeners of a night radio show that reunites some peculiar loners.

The novel cover the whole last year of high school before college, during this time Bea understands the reason of Jonah’s strangeness and her own’s mother too.

I found difficult to empathize for the main characters, first of all because the emotions they feel are written but quite unbelievable taking in consideration time and situations: Bea’s struggle for her friendship with Jonah aren’t supported by the few meetings the reader actually see described and the lack of confidence from Jonah; Jonah seems mostly emotionally unstable for his behaviour, instead he ends up being a practical and rational character. Bea, thinking about herself, appears to be a totally egotistical character, this supported by her being uninterest in understanding her mother’s situation and issues..

In the end a nice read but not very deep.

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* How to say goodbye in robot by Natalie Standifod ★★★

*I read this book in English

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. #1) by Jonathan Stroud

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The England where the novel is set has to face from some years a great problem: ghosts apparitions that can kill with their touch.

The best in spotting and fight them are child and young adults, in fact they possess a certain sensibility that adults have no more, and they are able to locate the ghostly presences, someone by spotting some light effects, someone by hearing cries and voices.

The agency protagonist of the novel is the Lockwood & Co. formed by three children: Lockwood, who has a mysterious past, George, skilled in tracing historical information and Lucy, able to hear faint voices and the narrating voice of the novel. They have to deal with a murder case happened decades before and with the most terrible hunted house in the London area.

The novel is very engaging and well written, the events compose an interesting puzzle and some ghost apparitions are quite creepy; I will read for sure the following novel of the series.


* The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud ★★

*I read this book in english

[ARC] Dream Thief vol. 1 by Jay Nitz

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In this first volume we meet John Lincoln who, once stolen an aboriginal mask at a museum, become aware of unexpected and peculiar powers: his body can be possessed by the ghosts of murdered people and moved to gain revenge.

Once revenge is obtained the ghost flees but his memories and abilities stay, John so becomes a skilled soldier, a gambler and so on.

The series contains some violent elements – let’s say obviously, John is an avenger – it’s well structured and leaves some mystery elements to be discovered in the next issues.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.

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* Dream thief vol. 1 by Jay Nitz ★★★☆☆

*I read this book in English