Theres a lot to be said for reading
childrens literature, especially when its this good! I enjoyed The
Screaming Staircase immensely, and I found The Whispering Skull
to be if anything, even better than its predecessor. Theres less need to explain
whats going on in the second novel of a series and so theres more space for
story. And its an engrossing and exciting story, a real page-turner. It begins when
something is stolen from a coffin - a very dangerous artefact; that has a nasty habit of
killing anyone who looks into it. Lockwood and his friends are assigned the job of finding
this missing object, which means finding who stole it, and what theyve done with it.
This brings them into contact with some interesting characters at both ends of the social
spectrum of Strouds alternative London, not all them alive in any sense of the
Our ensemble of lead characters grow quite a lot in this novel, especially the
nerdy George. In some ways this novel belongs to George more that it does to either
Lockwood or Lucy (or the eponymous Skull, for that matter). He gets a lot of good lines.
Mind you, the book is full of great lines; Strouds humour and skill with words is a
wonderful thing. Some may question the validity of a world where circumstances place young
people at the forefront of a war against menacing undead spirits, but theres a long
tradition of those meddling kids defeating adult treachery throughout childrens
literature. Children love to read about other kids in heroic roles
empowerment thing, and that cant be at all bad.