Lockwood & Co – The Screaming Fangirl

OK, so, I actually really enjoyed writing my last post all about books. I especially enjoyed writing about Lockwood & Co, which is my third favourite book series in the whole world. Given this, and given that the fifth and final Lockwood & Co releases TOMORROW, and given that I really like its publicist (hi Jasmine), I figured WHY NOT DO ANOTHER POST? A longer post! A review post! A news post! A shitpost post! This is all of those, and more.

SO. Lockwood & Co. As I touched on in my last post, it’s kind of a YA Sherlock Holmes meets Ghostbusters fantasy mash up. It takes the deliciously creepy bits of horror and the genuinely funny bits of snark and the obsessively teenage bits from every fandom ever, and it combines them into five utterly magnificent and bloody brilliant books that you need to add to your collection RIGHT NOW. You know the way literally everyone (OK, mostly me) talks about Harry Potter? With a slightly crazed look and fast words and flapping hands and lots of intermittent screaming? Well, that’s the way I also talk about Lockwood & Co, and the way that Lockwood & Co deserves to be talked about. Non, Darran, Robin and a whole crew of genuine actual book writers/critics on twitter have not scoffed at this comparison. It is not one to scoff at. I do not take comparisons to Harry Potter lightly. Lockwood & Co is a BIG DEAL.

It’s weird, I admit, to ‘join’ another fandom as an adult after growing up belonging to the biggest one of all. (Of course, when I said ‘join’, I meant ‘wholeheartedly throw myself into and become Agent trash for life’.) But that’s the best bit about Lockwood & Co. That unique feeling – that pure, brilliant obsessive feeling – you get about a fictional world that you wish more than anything was real. THAT’S in Lockwood & Co. In spades. And it’s rare! I’ve loved other books since Harry Potter, obviously. Some of them have even become favourites. Others are as battered and dogeared as my treasured copy of Prisoner of Azbakan. But none of them, honestly, have made me feel like a high functioning fangirl in quite the same way as this series does. 35 Portland Row is the new 4 Privet Drive.  The Strand is the new Diagon Alley (or probably Knockturn Alley, if we’re being facetiously accurate). Anthony, George and Lucy are the new Harry, Ron and Hermione. (I can’t say what Fittes and Rotwell are the new anything of, because SPOILERS, but you get the general gist).

Saying all that, I don’t want to give the impression the story is anything like the same as Harry Potter, because it isn’t (except for common fantasy tropes). It just makes me FEEL the same. I’ve spent over 16 years wishing I was a wizard, and now, at almost 27 years old, I also wish I was a teenage ghost hunter with a murderous pet skull. I WANT TO BE LUCY CARLYLE. Lucy Carlyle is an absolute badass, and for anyone watching BBC1’s Strike, think Robin Ellacott 10 years younger. George Cubbins is the series’ Cinnamon Roll who might kill you (maybe by accident, maybe not). Anthony Lockwood is the moody, brooding and devilishly attractive orphan who will actually kill you.

I was intending to stick a review of the the final Lockwood & Co (The Empty Grave) in here somewhere, but I’ve realised I can’t really do that without reviewing each of the previous four in turn, and I can’t really do that all in one night if I want to get any sleep at all. All I can say (and all I will say, because again, SPOILERS) is that it is everything I ever wanted from it. All my fangirl hopes and dreams and then some. Every thread I needed resolving was tied up, every niggle I had was fixed, every theory I had proved wrong (except the one I wanted most of all to come true, WHICH ACTUALLY KIND OF DID.) It went further than I imagined and got darker than I expected. I actually read it a month ago (publisher perks) on the train up to Edinburgh, and at one point I physically threw the book away from me in shock, whereupon in landed in the aisle and the very kind man next to me had to go and retrieve it from about 6 feet away (I was in the window seat, silently screaming).

So yeah. I’ve waited a whole month for tomorrow, even though I already know what happens. I’ve waited because I need every single person on Earth to read it, and I NEED to talk about it. I’ve been lurking in the fan community online, wanting so badly to reply to theories and speculations and such by yelling HAAAA YOU’RE SO WRONG and WAIT AND SEE and OMFG YOU’VE GOT IT at the screen. (As an aside – I know it gets a strange rep sometimes, and for good reason, but the tumblr fandom for Lockwood & Co is brilliant. They do shitposting like no other. I have laughed until I’ve almost choked at jokes and role plays and sketches and mock scripts. When you get them, get on there.)

Final confession: I actually only started reading Lockwood & Co myself two years ago, because Jasmine (hi again) gave the first one to me with a note saying ‘YOU WILL LOVE THIS’. Well, I did. I do. AND NOW I’M PASSING IT ON TO ALL OF *YOU*.

*If you’re actually planning to read them (and I’m assuming if you’ve made it this far, you will) then do so in this order:

The Screaming Staircase (Haunted houses, blood dripping down walls, tragic accidents and spooky sleepovers)

The Whispering Skull (JOKER SKULLS IN JARS) (well just the one) (but he’s badass and hilarious as hell) (where he probably came from)

The Hollow Boy (Deathly parkour, bloody footprints, jealousy and an unwelcome visitor)

The Creeping Shadow (Broken hearts, cannibalism, black marketeers and double agents)

The Empty Grave (I’M STILL CRYING)

Please come back and tell me you’ve become an Agent too. Tell me you ship Locklyle and crave donuts all the damn time. Tell me you want to ask for a rapier for Christmas, and tell me you’ve started hoarding table salt. Tell me you didn’t almost combust when it was announced the series has been optioned for TV (yes, that happened this week too. My poor soul almost can’t take it.)

I also realise I’ve written this post as if I’m only talking to those who haven’t read it yet. If you actually have, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. Let’s fangirl and sob and scream together.


(Mine’s the Skull.)

Sarah x

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