Book Review

Book Review: The Empty Grave (Lockwood & Co. #5) by Jonathan Stroud

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Mystery/Horror
Length: 427 pages
Author: Jonathan Stroud
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Release Date: September 12th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Five months after the events in THE CREEPING SHADOW, we join Lockwood, Lucy, George, Holly, and their associate Quill Kipps on a perilous night mission: they have broken into the booby-trapped Fittes Mausoleum, where the body of the legendary psychic heroine Marissa Fittes lies. Or does it? This is just one of the many questions to be answered in Book 5 of the Lockwood & Co. series. Will Lockwood ever reveal more about his family’s past to Lucy? Will their trip to the Other Side leave Lucy and Lockwood forever changed? Will Penelope Fittes succeed in shutting down their agency forever? The young agents must survive attacks from foes both spectral and human before they can take on their greatest enemy in a climactic and chaotic battle. And to prevail they will have to rely on help from some surprising–and shadowy–allies. Jonathan Stroud once again delivers a rousing adventure full of danger, laughs, twists, and frights. The revelations will send readers back to Book 1 to start the series all over again. 

SOLID ENDING AS A WHOLE.

At last. I have finished the Lockwood & Co. series. And it was a fun ride! I love how light-hearted, yet totally sinister these books are.

I’m going to miss Lockwood, Lucy, George, and Holly (even Kipps). They were a tight-knit bunch that truly had each other backs. I love that there was no back-stabbing or run around with their friendship. They fought ghosts together and hung out at 35 Portland Row. Exactly how it should be.

Very happy that the whole initial problem was resolved. Things weren’t left open-ended (well maybe one part was, but I’ll address that in a second). I was finally able to know where all the ghosts were coming from, who the villains were and how they saved London from more ghost-related issues.

The only open-ended story line was clearly Lockwood and Lucy. While these books never contained any romance, there was clearly a vibe between them and I love the run off into the sunset vibe that this gave off in the end. It seemed perfectly appropriate without over-shadowing all that Lucy and Lockwood have already been through together. They are the true dynamite duo.

I definitely would recommend this to younger audiences that are okay with creepy ghosts, and plot lines. These tended to feel like a younger (maybe even more true) young adult series. It was a nice bit of escapism every time I picked one of these books up.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult mystery/horror
  • Language: none
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: swords, explosions, physical

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Book Review

Book Review: The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy / Horror
Length: 352 pages
Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Release Date: September 24th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves. 

A BIT SCATTERED.

That’s what I remember about the plot. I was 3 hours into a 9 hour book and wasn’t sure where I was supposed to even look. I’m glad that by halfway I was finally pointed in a direction that made sense and I could actually follow along.

Audio info: I didn’t have any issues with the audio. Was able to listen to it at x1.75 speed and the narrator did a great job.

Alright, here we go. I had a very close bookish friend give this 2 stars and I was wondering why because this had been so high on my releases this year! Lo and behold I get it. I did like it better than her, but I see the issues. Namely, the first one I mentioned, the plot. I didn’t know if the focus was about Ellis, or Ryn, or the Bone Houses, getting rid of them, saving Ryn’s house, finding Ellis’ family. So many things trying to happen at once in a standalone book. I will say these things all did come together and made sense by the end, but it took a folklore tale side story to connect all of the dots.

The romance between Ellis and Ryn was cute. I liked that it didn’t go past what it should have for a small time together. It made it a thousand times more believable. The slow to warm up to each other style is usually a winner and it worked out here too. It added an extra touch to the happy ending.

I thought the bone houses were definitely creepy. I liked this play on what a zombie is. They were a sinister bunch with ulterior motives and yet weren’t all at the same time. They were probably the most complex beings in this story.

Aside from the goat, who honestly felt like a Disney movie animal sidekick (Pascal, Pua, Mushu, etc.). Goat brought a lighter touch to the story, but at the same time, wasn’t necessary to much of anything.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy / horror
  • Language: maybe a word
  • Romance: a kiss
  • Violence: zombie attacks/reanimated corpses, murdered animals, physical

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