Book Log – Lockwood & Co., Book 2 The Whispering Skull

Lockwood & Co., Book 2 The Whispering Skull by Jonathon Stroud

Stroud writes really good young adult fiction, that works for adults as well.  He’s just one of those writers that just writes incredibly well, and has good ideas to back up his technique.

Lockwood & Co skews a little younger than the Bartimaeus series, I think, but I didn’t mind. The world building he does about teenage British ghostbusters is immaculate and engaging.  And just creepy enough for me.

The second book builds on the supernatural conventions very well, adding pieces to the puzzle of why ghosts began appearing 50 years before the time of the story, and what the ghosts are.  The whispering skull itself is the second incident in recorded history of one of the spooks communicating with the living, and his dialog is reminiscent of the snarky Bartimaeus character I enjoyed so much.  I enjoy a good sarcastic demon character.  Call it the Betelgeuse Effect.

This is another series I’m trying to get into RocketBoy’s hands, but we left the first one in New Jersey this past summer, so it won’t be retrieved until Xmas.  Alack, alas.

Book Log – Stardust

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

This is the first book I’ve read that was culled from our Little Free (Monster) Library out front of our house.

Looking it up on Amazon just now, I see that it’s a movie from 2007 with a bunch of movie stars in it… Robert DeNiro, Claire Danes, bunch of others.  I had never heard of it, but the visuals look pretty spectacular.

But, the book.

The book is a very Neil Gaimenesque wonky tale with plenty of eccentricity.  If Gaimen does anything well, it’s invent new fantasy elements.

In fact, my only issue with this book is that it feels like a clever bunch of fantasy elements strung together on a thin plot.  The ideas are entertaining and stick with you… perhaps that’s enough to call it a good book.

An ordinary town called Wall is near a wall between the fairy land and the regular old world.  A boy is with a parent from each side is raised on the dull side, then begins a quest for a girl’s love through the never traveled fairy land.  And fantasy elements ensue.

It’s a good read, and I’m passing it on to my son, so he can read it before we watch the movie.