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Phantoms and Friendship: A Close Look at “Lockwood & Co.” Series

book review


Jonathan Stroud’s “Lockwood & Co.” series is an intoxicating blend of supernatural horrors and teenage camaraderie. This chilling yet heartwarming series unnerves you with ethereal dread and warms you with the glow of unlikely partnerships. Positioned between the realms of children and young adult books, the series floats between playful charm and understated maturity.


Set in an alternate England where ghostly apparitions are common lethal occurrences, creating a thriving business of ghost hunting agencies. Among them is Lockwood & Co. run by the roguish yet charismatic Anthony Lockwood. Teamed with the practical Lucy Carlyle and the erudite George Cubbins, they plummet into a series of ghostly encounters and unravel deadly conspiracies.

Notable Quotes:

“‘Of course I make everything up. But it’s all based on reality. You’ve got to get reality correct before you can distort it convincingly.'”


The “Lockwood & Co.” series is a tantalizing cocktail of spectral chills and delightful banter served in a tale laden with captivating lore. Each installment unveils specters and secrets, facilitating both episodic ghostly encounters and the gradual progression of a larger narrative arc. Stroud’s expertise in weaving chilling scenes sprinkled with disarming witticisms gives the series its unique flavor. The characterization is subtle yet solid, allowing the trio of Lockwood, Lucy, and George to evolve charmingly over the course of the series. These are not poster children for heroism but resilient, maverick souls bearing their flaws and fears while facing ghastly apparitions. The world-building is skilled, effortlessly constructing an alternate England swarming with phantoms and a rich background lore that adds texture to every spectral encounter. However, there are instances when the storylines can feel disjointed, focusing more on standalone ghost hunts than the broader narrative. But even there, the thrill of these spectral encounters and the sharp chemistry among the characters makes it a thrilling ride. Overall, “Lockwood & Co.” is a hauntingly hilarious adventure that balances spectral thrills with the warm glow of friendship.



Author Bio

Jonathan Stroud is a best-selling English author known for his fantasy novels, most notably the “Bartimaeus” series and the “Lockwood & Co” series. Stroud’s ability to blend whimsy with darker themes has garnered both critical praise and a broad fan base.

FAQs/Study Questions:

1. How does Stroud intertwine humor in his chilling ghost-ridden narratives? 2. How is friendship depicted in Lockwood & Co versus more typical depictions in other young adult novels? 3. How does the alternate England of Lockwood & Co reflect on real societal issues?

Where to buy

Prepare to be afraid of the dark and fall in love with this spirited trio, fetch the “Lockwood & Co.” series from Amazon. Steel your nerves for a honking good read spiced with specters and humor.

The “Lockwood & Co.” Series (In Order)

1. “The Screaming Staircase” (2013) 2. “The Whispering Skull” (2014) 3. “The Hollow Boy” (2015) 4. “The Creeping Shadow” (2016) 5. “The Empty Grave” (2017) Each book in the series takes our young ghost hunters deeper into the ghost-infested England, unraveling secrets about the spectral epidemic and their own tumultuous pasts. Stroud’s imaginative storytelling takes new heights with each installment, enhancing the stakes and the banter with equal gusto.

TV Adaptation

“Lockwood & Co.” blossomed from the pages onto the small screen as a supernatural detective thriller television series. Developed by Joe Cornish for Netflix, the series is drawn from the plots of the first two books in the series, “The Screaming Staircase” and “The Whispering Skull.” Premiered on 27th January 2023, the series consisted of eight episodes, immersing the viewers into the ghost-infested alternate London. However, despite its promising premise and rich source material, the series suffered cancellation after just the first season in May 2023. As for the cast, they breathed life into the characters remarkably: – Ruby Stokes played Lucy Carlyle, a gifted ‘Listener’ burdened by tragedy and scapegoatism, who found solace and camaraderie in Lockwood & Co. – Cameron Chapman portrayed Anthony Lockwood, lending charisma to the unsupervised proprietor of the psychic investigation agency. He brought to life Lockwood’s solitary charm and relentless courage. – Ali Hadji-Heshmati took on the role of George Karim, illuminating the screen with the researcher’s intelligence and culinary prowess. Despite its short-lived run, the TV series “Lockwood & Co.” aimed to capture the spectral thrills and youthful camaraderie central to the original books. Although it ended prematurely, it offered a visual interpretation of Stroud’s world and endeavored to bring his spectral England to life.

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