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January 2019 - Posts

Readers' reviews

Review of 
"The Creeping Shadow" by Jonathan Stroud

Review by Aidan O.

This review was written by a volunteer teen book reviewer and may contain spoilers of the reviewed novel.
For more information on how to become a teen book reviewer, email libraryoutreach@auroragov.org.


Overall rating: 4.5/5 stars

The Creeping Shadow is the fourth book in Jonathan Stroud’s New York Times bestselling pentalogy, "Lockwood & Co." It is set in modern-day London, in a world very similar to ours, but with one key difference- the Problem. The Problem is that the dead are coming back as ghosts to plague the living, and they are very dangerous. To fight the restless dead, agencies have sprung up around the city. People pay agencies to exterminate ghosts. Each ghost is a new case. However, only the young are capable of seeing and interacting with the dead, so they are the agents.
The book follows the story of 15-year old agent Lucy. Having recently left her agency, Lockwood & Co., Lucy is a freelance agent who agencies hire to help them on cases. Partner to her is a ghost contained in a jar with the rare quality of being able to speak with the living. Ironically, her former agency needs help and hires Lucy for a case. Returning to her apartment afterwards, Lucy discovers she has been robbed of her partner in trade- the ghost in a jar. She has a suspect and seeks him out. There, she gleans the information that he wasn’t the thief, but he told some anonymous men of the jar’s whereabouts for money. Lucy teams up with her former colleagues from Lockwood and Co.(Anthony, George, and Holly) to find the ghost. As a form of advance payment, Lucy agrees to help them with a case. They discover the source of the ghost to be in a facility owned by the prestigious Rotwell agency. To eliminate a ghost, you must eliminate its source. Lucy and her companions sneak in and discover a group of many different sources together, among them Lucy’s stolen ghost, which she retrieves. As a source is a link between the worlds of the living and the dead, a cluster of them forms a hole to the other side. Exploring the other side is extremely dangerous and very illegal; Anthony alerts the authorities and the Rotwell agency is shut down. Lucy rejoins the company. While taking on the case, Lockwood & Co. learns a few things about the other side, and discovers a dark secret of Penelope Fittes, head of the largest agency in London…

  I thought The Creeping Shadow was a worthy addition to the series. Its suspense and mystery are very alluring and balanced out by witty humor and fascinating tidbits about a world with the Problem. It summits with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger that makes me want to read the next book.

  I would recommend this book to young adult readers who are fans of fantasy, action packed novels and imagination. The Creeping Shadow not only tells a story but introduces the reader to an imaginative, creative, intriguing world. It has a creepy edge, but this is balanced out by dry humor.

Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Jan 24, 2019 at 3:06 PM