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I have enjoyed few series as much and Lockwood & Co - brilliant writing, fast-paced action, interesting characters, and a wonderful series-long mystery. For me, this does for ghost stories what Harry Potter did for wizards - created a very intricate world full of fascinating and distinct characters, with great humor but also pathos, suitable for adults and middle grade at the same time. It's a series I will enthusiastically recommend to anyone looking for the thrill they got from Harry Potter, but with a supernatural twist. My only disappointment is that this was the last book in the series since I wanted more. I can only hope Stroud decides to continue with a new series arc in the future.
Story: With the revelation from the skull that Penelope Fitts IS Marissa, the supposedly dead founder of the powerful Fitts Agency, Lockwood and Co set out to discover if Marissa's grave is empty. This sets into motion the events that will uncover the truth behind the hauntings in London but also puts the crew to the test just to survive long enough against all that is stacking up against them.
As with all the previous books, there is plenty of action and revelations. Stroud nicely ties in the previous books' hauntings and their significance to the big picture. This isn't a series about one big revelation so much as needing to put the pieces together in order to learn exactly what is happening in England and why. Thanks to the events in the previous book with Rotwell being taken out of the picture, Penelope Fitts and the Orpheus Society have closed up the ranks of power and control nearly all levels of natural and supernatural dealings - governments, police, etc. It's a powerful collective that will fight to ensure that Lockwood doesn't change the status quo.
Really, the heart of the book is the brilliant characterizations. From the antics of the skull in the jar (which never fail to put a smile on my face), to George's lackadaisical research, Lockwood's detached leadership, Holly's finicky nature (ah, I was hoping she was evil, darn it!), to our narrator Lucy. I love that our narrator was female and not the leader of the group - she gave a very grounded and very unique and distance perspective on the story throughout. She wasn't perfect but had a strong will, making for a very nuanced and intricate character. She's one of my favorite in years for that reason.
The story tied up nicely but there are areas left open that could serve for future volumes; I can only hope that Stroud continues the story since there is so much there to love. But for now, this ends the series nicely. Note: I listened to the audible version and the narrator was excellent - really gave distance voices to every characters.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Like I said, finally she can almost pronounce skull instead of school. Almost. Sadly, her narration is equally over the top as it was in the previous 2 books. She has a slight vocal fry that reverberates when she pronounces some words. Makes her sound like Marge Simpson when she gets annoyed. But the real problem with that is that everyone sounds like skull every now and then. Also she did George and Quill Kipps very poorly. George sounds like an 80-year old and Quill sounds like a granny. Lucy sounds as agitated as if she's a 9-year old who ate batteries for breakfast and Lockwood giggles every second sentence even if he's not saying anything funny. But the story is amazing and that saved everything.
Must follow Lucy and Lockwood. Startled Reading as a teen, coming up twenty but undying loyalty to the series. Great read.
Where does Lockwood &amp;amp;amp; Co: The Empty Grave rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
I've read/listened to all of this series, and will continue to do read/listen to any new books in the series, for as long as Jonathan Stroud writes them. His Bartimaeus books were the bomb, no question. But I'm loving this series even more. So let's just hope that these kids don't grow up anytime soon, and remain the same age for years to come so the series continues. Oh, and a special shout-out to the narrator, Emily Bevan, whose work is absolutely first-rate.
What other book might you compare Lockwood &amp;amp;amp; Co: The Empty Grave to, and why?
Harry Potter (series) - but with ghosts rather than wizards.
Any additional comments?
Jonathan Stroud has created a world rich with atmosphere that is the perfect context for the continuing adventures of Lockwood and Co.