Monday 27 February 2023

Lockwood & Co. by Jonathan Stroud - notice and recommendation

I have just read - with great enjoyment - all five novels in the Lockwood & Co. series by the English author Jonathan Stroud

I came across this via watching a recent eight-part Netflix TV series (of which the first three episodes are good adaptations of the first book of the series; the final five episodes a not-very-good elaboration of the second book).

And then discovering that my daughter had an old signed copy of The Screaming Staircase from a decade ago when the author gave a talk locally. This got me started. 

The five-part Lockwood & Co. book-series is recommendable as an exciting story with a satisfying resolution; having particular strengths in terms of alternative-history-type world-building, an interesting and coherent magic system, and a generous helping of humour and high spirits (I frequently laughed out-loud at the quips and comments between the main characters). 

It is essentially 'light reading', and doesn't have any spiritual depth - despite being about death and ghosts; but the author is good at varying the tone between thrilling adventures, and 'cozy' interludes (much as JK Rowling does in the Harry Potter books). 

If I had to say what the Lockwood & Co. series is most like; I would make a comparison with Rick Riordan's modern retellings of Greek, Roman and Norse mythic material (most famously the Percy Jackson series) - which are mostly written for a somewhat younger audience than L&C. Or Brandon Sanderson's 'Young Adult' books such as The Rithmatist published in the same year (but The Rithmatist - a particular favourite of mine - also has subtly-implied but definite spiritual/ religious depths). 

As always when I make a recommendation; the disclaimer: People who like this sort of thing, may find this the sort of thing they like

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