Edition: Doubleday ARC/Proof
Released: 29th August 2013
Series: Lockwood & Co. #1
Pages: 440 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book!
I am ashamed. So deeply, deeply ashamed. This book (or should I say, proof copy of this book) came through the post to me sometime last year. It was completely unexpected, a complete surprise and I hadn't given it much thought. I hadn't heard too much about it nor did it instantly appeal to me. Last night I picked it up on a whim, more or less due to the UKYA readathon and all I can say is that I'm very glad I ended up doing so, because it was rather incredible - I adored it.
It wasn't what I was expecting. At all. I didn't know I was in for a story that would complete transport me into another world. Nor did I imagine I would fall head over heels in love with the characters. It was just such a unique, refreshing and completely unexpected gem of a book. I seriously hadn't realised how much I was craving something different until I read it. It was a real adventure that locked me in and kept me hooked.
The world. That was the thing I was probably the most surprised about. I was expecting some world-building, not the exceptionally well-developed world I got. I'm not complaining though, it's probably one of my favourites in terms of setting development. I easily got lost in the sinister London Stroud had created and didn't want to leave. The world-building is extremely admirable and definitely worthy of applause (or a good cup of tea and a sugary doughnut - whatever floats your boat).
The characters, oh my, the characters. At first I thought Lucy (our narrator) was going to be slightly pretentious and overly mature but, luckily, this didn't turn out to be the case. She ended up being a relatable teenager, someone strong who could handle herself but someone you would want to look out for anyway. Her relationship with George was entertaining and definitely lightened up some gloomy situations in the book - when they were together I couldn't help but smile. Lockwood, well, he's another story. He's sure as heck different from any other male character I've ever come across before. He's eccentric, unusual, deviously charming and maybe a little impulsive and I'm just a little bit in love with him. He's nothing like the male leads I usually fall for yet... I just couldn't help but fall for him in this book.
To conclude, The Screaming Staircase ended up being a great read and definitely one of the best UKYA books I've ever read. It was different and intriguing and I ended up adoring it. A lot. A whole lot. If anything, I would say that at some points, and these were few and rare, I questioned the solidity of the plotline and the mystery but this book ended up shaming me because I had cast it aside so quickly without giving it a chance. It really was a brilliant read and I recommend it if you're looking for something different and exciting. The world building and diverse array of characters make it one you'll be sorry you missed out on!
FOUR AND A HALF TOADSTOOLS FOR THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE!
Huge thanks to Random House for sending me out a copy of this book!
PS: I'm even more ashamed that I never realised the talented author had signed my proof and there was a letter (addressed to me, with my name and everything!) inside from Mr Lockwood himself. Not only that, but after I downloaded the Totally Random Book app and pointed the camera at the cover of the book and a photo of the author on the back, both came to life! I will now treasure these precious gifts and profusely thank the author and Random House!