Review: The Whispering Skull

The Whispering Skull
The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ZOMG WHY IS BOOK 3 NOT OUT UNTIL SEPTEMBER!!?!

*clears throat* Sorry.

In case you couldn’t tell, I enjoyed this book. In case that’s not enough, keep reading.

Prose – Strong, elegant, consistent, and far more efficient than in book 1.
My only gripe with the writing in ‘The Screaming Staircase’ was a few instances of over-describing. That doesn’t happen in ‘The Whispering Skull’. The writing is exceptional. I find several supporting characters more interesting than the MC, though. She’s consistently written, and quite funny in a sarcastic, dark way–which I enjoy–but for some reason, I like George (the researcher of the team) more.

Story – (This paragraph is pasted from my review of ‘The Screaming Staircase’) In a world where “Visitors” (ghosts) are a publically-recognized threat, children–who are the only people who can see the spirits–risk their lives to put the ghosts to rest. The story is told by Lucy, the newest member of the London-based ghost-fighting agency, Lockwood and Co.

The story is set a short time after the events of ‘The Screaming Staircase’, and focuses on the hunt for a magic (and wonderfully evil) mirror that allows you to see through to “the other side”. We also get some nice expansion of the world, learning a lot about the dangerous relics black market.

The author has a knack for creating real feelings of dread and danger through his use of atmosphere (a cemetery catacomb seems like a terrible place to be after dark) and the creative designs of his ghosts. Several of those blew me away (I’m looking at you, rat-ghost-guy). I was disappointed with one element of the ending, though, as it seemed like the author painted himself into a corner and had to cheat to get out, but it was nothing major. All in all, the story is very satisfying.

Favorite thing – Easily rat-ghost-guy.

Least favorite thing – I’ve sat for ten minutes straining to come-up with something I didn’t like (other than the afore-mentioned ending cheat). I’ve failed, and am going to stop thinking about it before I give myself an aneurism.

Overall – Strong recommend for creepiness and splashes of dark humor.

View all my reviews

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