The Creeping Shadow by Jonathan Stroud

Sometimes, you find a series so great, you wonder why it isn’t the next Harry Potter. Because truly, The Lockwood series has all the things that made Harry Potter great: intricate plot and worldbuilding, intriguing characters, a fascinating story, and excellent pacing/writing. For me, these books do to mild horror what Potter does for high fantasy – they create an immersive experience that you never want to end and an appeal for all ages.

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Story: Lucy has left Lockwood to protect her former employer from himself. But living with the Skull has its own problems, even if she seems to be doing decently in her free-lance work. But she has stumbled upon corruption in the agencies and then the skull is stolen. Lucy will have to team up with Lockwood again – but he appears to be even more reckless than before.

Quite a bit of the large backstory was revealed in this book four – all clearly leading to the finale in the next and final book. The interactions of Lucy and the skull were so well written as to be laugh out loud funny and bone chilling at the same time. Even more interesting, we get a picture of what the skull originally looked like – and it is quite shocking. I am even more intrigued to find out the mystery behind the skull in the jar.

Of course, there are great interactions with Lucy and Lockwood and the Mulder and Ssully type of uncomfortable attraction. Lucy is great at denial and Lockwood is too preoccupied – but darn if it isn’t so well written that you want to lock them into a room together. George and Holly are as distinct and well drawn as ever and the addition of Kipps makes the story all that more engaging. I’m glad that Stroud doesn’t drop characters between books and instead seamlessly incorporates them back into the plot.

This is definitely one of my favorite reads/listens of the year. Extremely well written, exciting, genuinely scary at moments, and laugh out loud funny at others. Note: I listened to the Audible version and the narrator did an excellent job (though I wish the series kept the same narrator throughout).

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This entry was posted in alternate universe, audible, Book Reviews, middle grade, urban fantasy. Bookmark the permalink.

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