The Captain’s Log – down among the sticks and bones (Seanan McGuire)

Ahoy there me mateys!  When I read the first novella in this series, every heart a doorway, I had no words to do that story justice.  Then I read this one.  Words fail me again, but I will try.  So basically this novella was as stunning as the first.  This second book gives us the story of what went before – a prequel if ye will.  Getting the new perspectives on two characters from the first book changed me perception of book one in an awesome way.  If I had time I would have immediately picked up the first book again to read it with me new insights.  Another time mehaps.  I just utterly adore this series and am so glad me crew recommended it over and over and over again until me noggin finally caught on and listened.  If ye haven’t read the first novella then do yerself a favor and grab it.  Do read them in order.  I also didn’t read the blurb  before reading this one which I highly recommend.  I still included the blurb below, however, so be forewarned.  I want the next book in the series.  Something to look forward to in 2018!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you’ve got.

They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Seanan McGuire – Author

To buy the book go to:

down among the sticks and bones – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

every heart a doorway – book 1 (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Fantasy)

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The Captain’s Log – the empty grave (Jonathan Stroud)

Ahoy there me mateys!  Reach fer yer grog!  Day five with book five of the Lockwood & Co. series done.  Challenge Completed!  I give meself a pat on me back!  Arrr!  As usual if ye haven’t read the first book in this series, the screaming staircase, then ye might want to skip this post and go read the first book.  Worth the read.  No spoilers ahead but if ye keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . .

So this bleary-eyed but happy Captain managed to read all of the books of the series in one week by the skin of me teeth.  The last book cannot be dealt with in any major way due to crazy spoilers but I will share me overall impressions with ye.

So while book four continues to be me favourite, this book was a highly pleasing conclusion to the series.  There were a couple of major plot points that I did not expect in any fashion and I LOVED them.  The good guys win which is always nice but there were some unintended consequences to the win which I also loved.  I am hard pressed to pick a favorite character at this point.  Lucy was the narrator throughout and it was excellent seeing things through her somewhat persnickety personality.  Flo, George, Kipps, really the whole gang, were lovely to read about.  I am so very glad that this series was brought to me attention and that I experienced it.  Especially during Spooktober!  I think no matter what be yer age, there is something to enjoy in following the adventures of Lockwood & Company.  Do it!

Now some general thoughts of reading a five book series in a condensed timeframe:

  1. I haven’t done this in so long that I now realize that I am not likely to repeat the exercise anytime soon.  While I may occasionally still do a 3 bells segment, in general I really do prefer some time in between the books of a series.
  2. Reading five books in five days does tax me brain slightly.  In between fighting off sharks, burying treasure, and sailing the high seas (i.e me real life), every spare moment was spent readin’.  While that is always fun, the pace did mean that other things like shut-eye and grub sometimes got forgotten.  Me stummy is still grumblin’.  I need some victuals.  Three books in five days is slightly more palatable.
  3. So many unfinished series.  Other members of me crew have been discussing this one recently and writing this Log post sent me a ponderin’ this question as well.  The answer – I have no real idea.  I don’t know how many series I have unfinished or even which ones I want to finish.  I can, however, more easily recall some series that I want to start.  So at some point in the near future I may be making meself a more concrete list.

So now it be on to the next great adventure.  I have no idea what port I will plunder next . . .

I normally put a blurb here but the blurb is soooo very spoilery that I shall not this time.  So there!

To visit the author’s website go to:

Jonathan Stroud – Author

To buy the book go to:

the empty grave – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

the screaming staircase (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Fantasy e-Arc)

the whispering skull (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Fantasy)

the hollow boy (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Fantasy)

the creeping shadow (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Fantasy)

The Captain’s Log – the creeping shadow (Jonathan Stroud)

Ahoy there me mateys!  Day four with book four of the Lockwood & Co. series completed.  One more to go!  Arrr!  If ye haven’t read the first book in this series, the screaming staircase, then ye might want to skip this post and go read the first book.  Worth the read.  No spoilers ahead but if ye keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . .

This Captain is one happy reader.  Ye see  me hearties, yesterday I thought book three was me favourite.  Now it is definitely book four!  Mr. Stroud ups the ante with this one and while I want to rant and rave about how wonderful this book is, I can’t.  Because spoilers.  The spoilers would abound.  Book three sets up book four and so I can’t talk about this one without ruining elements of book three.  And I would never do that to me crew.  So let’s just say that the friendships, ghosts, characters, and plot rock.  The writing style is awesome.  The ending was fierce.  I want more!

I am so very glad that I accepted this challenge am looking forward to reading and finishing the last book tonight!  I will succeed!  Arrrrr!

I normally put a blurb here but the blurb is soooo very spoilery that I shall not this time.  So there!

To visit the author’s website go to:

Jonathan Stroud – Author

To buy the book go to:

the creeping shadow – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

the screaming staircase (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Fantasy e-Arc)

the whispering skull (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Fantasy)

the hollow boy (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Fantasy)

The Captain’s Log – the hollow boy (Jonathan Stroud)

Ahoy there me mateys!  Day three with book three of the Lockwood & Co. series completed.  Over half way there!  Arrr!  If ye haven’t read the first book in this series, the screaming staircase, then ye might want to skip this post and go read the first book.  Worth the read.  No spoilers ahead but if ye keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . . . . .

Okay it’s official.  I adore this series.  Book three was absolutely fabulous and me favorite thus far.  Soooo good.  In this tale, Lockwood & Co.’s reputation has continued to improve.  In fact the trio can hardly keep up.  But the high profile cases are still hard to come by.  However, a huge influx of ghosts is keeping the major firms extremely busy which brings a wealthy client to the their door.  The problem?  A set of creepy bloody footprints.  Can the agency solve this case?  What about the massive city outbreak that is threatening to shut down the city?  Can they help with that too?

So many things are great in this book.  There is the usual banter between the trio, the rivalry between the firms, the ghosts, the cases that Lockwood & Co. work on, and characters like Flo and the skull.  Still wonderful.  But the main focus for me in this one was the continuing growth of Lucy’s talent.  This is a book of change and growth for the trio as a whole but Lucy in particular.  This book also brought back some of the tingling feelings of ickiness when reading about some of the situations with the ghosts just like I had in book one.  Add in a new character that adds to both the angst and the humor and I was hooked.  And that ending sheesh!  Totally not expecting that, and I have no idea where the next book is headed.

Just pick up a copy and experience the novel for yerself.  I am looking forward to attempting the fourth book tonight!  Arrrrr!

The author’s website has this to say about the novel:

Phantoms in your attic?
Spectres by your bed?
Never fear – Lockwood & Co. are here!

A terrible new outbreak of ghosts is causing chaos across London. With the authorities baffled, psychic investigators Lockwood, Lucy and George see a fresh chance for fame and glory.

But countless horrors await them: bloody footprints on a spiral staircase, murderous ambushes in the night – and, waiting at the centre of the outbreak, the most fearful apparition of all.

Ghouls and spectres, thrills and tension in this brand-new instalment in Jonathan Stroud’s best selling series.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Jonathan Stroud – Author

To buy the book go to:

the hollow boy – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

the screaming staircase (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Fantasy e-Arc)

the whispering skull (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Fantasy)

The Captain’s Log – the whispering skull (Jonathan Stroud)

Ahoy there me mateys!  Day two with book two of the Lockwood & Co. series completed.  Challenge is going well so far.  Arrr!  If ye haven’t read the first book in this series, the screaming staircase, then ye might want to skip this post and go read the first book.  Worth the read.  If ye keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . . . . .

It was absolutely wonderful to get back to Lucy Carlyle and the rest of the agency run by Lockwood.  The gang survived the big first adventure (cause this is book two – duh!) and about six months or so have passed.  The slightly bumbling but lovable trio has had a slew of successful if mildly routine cases.  Then they are hired for what should be more of the same.  But of course everything goes wrong.  A Victorian artifact goes missing and the bureaucratic government agency wants it found at all costs.  And if things weren’t bad enough, Lucy’s powers are strengthening and a skull is talking to her.  Can the Lockwood agency solve the case?  Will the voices drive Lucy insane?

I loved this book too and read it in one sitting.  The highlights continue to be the relationships and banter between Lockwood, Lucy, and George.  The world building continues to entertain too.  This mystery, must like the one in the first book, I mostly solved early on but there were details in the who-dunnit that I did miss.  This didn’t bother me in book one and certainly didn’t bother me in this one.  I just liked being present for the ride.  We get a couple new characters in this novel that I loved and growth in some of the characters in the previous book.  I also love the rivalry between the two agencies fighting to solve the case first.  I know that’s not a lot of plot information but I certainly don’t want to spoil this story.  This book did not feel as spooky as book one but I enjoyed it almost as much.

Just pick up a copy and experience the novel for yerself.  I am looking forward to attempting the third book tonight!  Arrrrr!

The author’s website has this to say about the novel:

Ghosts and ghouls beware! The smallest, shabbiest, most talented psychic detection agency is back.

Life is never exactly peaceful for Lockwood and Co. Lucy and George are trying to solve the mystery of the talking skull trapped in their ghost-jar, while Lockwood is desperate for an exciting new case.

Things seem to be looking up when the team is called to Kensal Green Cemetery to investigate the grave of a sinister Victorian doctor. Strange apparitions have been seen there, and the site must be made safe. As usual, Lockwood is confident; as usual, everything goes wrong – a terrible phantom is freed, and a dangerous object is stolen from the coffin.

Lockwood & Co. must recover the relic before its power is unleashed, but it’s a race against time. Their obnoxious rivals from the Fittes agency are also on the hunt. And if that’s not bad enough, the skull in the ghost-jar is stirring again.

The Whispering Skull is the second installment in the chilling and humorous Lockwood & Co. series.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Jonathan Stroud – Author

To buy the book go to:

the whispering skull – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

the screaming staircase (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Fantasy e-Arc)

The Captain’s Log – the screaming staircase (Jonathan Stroud)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I absolutely loved the author’s Bartimaeus trilogy + 1.  I could gush about these books all day but I am on tight schedule so another day mehaps.  I hadn’t known about this series for some unknown and presumably silly reason so when NetGalley offered me the chance to read the first book I of course said Aye!!  It is listed as a middle-grade but bah!  I don’t put age limits on things.

This was the perfect read for the beginning of Spooktober.  Ghosts!  The story is set in England where several decades ago the Problem began.  Paranormal phenomenon became widespread.  The catch is that only children and young adults can see and deal with the unsavories.  Society has adapted and agencies have sprung up to deal with the problems.

Lucy Carlyle is one such ghost hunter.  She has traveled to London to find work at a new agency.  However her past is getting in the way and so she ends up working for a bottom of the barrel agency run by Lockwood.  It is an agency run by teens with no adult supervision.  Mistakes and chaos abound.  Lockwood & Co. mess up big time and discover an unsolved murder mystery case.  With the firm in peril, the agency gets a chance at redemption with one of the most haunted houses around.  Will they survive?

That was one of the items I liked best – that ye can learn from and improve upon past mistakes.  I also loved the relationships between the three ghost hunters, the wonderful atmospheric writing, the sophisticated world building, and the engrossing storyline.  I had to know what happened next.  While the murder mystery villain was extremely predictable I still had fun watching the case unfold.  And the haunted house was just plain awesome.  I actually got tingles.  I highly recommend this one for readers of any age.

Side note: Apparently the fifth and final book of this series was just released in September!  I think I may try to read the other four this month if I can track them down.  Challenge accepted!  ::brandishes cutlass::  Arrrr!

Check out me other crew members effusive reviews:

Bentley @ bookbastion

Hannah Greendale @ goodreads

The author’s website has this to say about the novel:

When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in . . .

For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.

Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest, most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.

Set in a city stalked by spectres, The Screaming Staircase is the first in a chilling new series full of suspense, humour and truly terrifying ghosts. Your nights will never be the same again  . . .

To visit the author’s website go to:

Jonathan Stroud – Author

To buy the book go to:

the screaming staircase – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for me honest musings.  Arrrrr!

The Captain’s Log – every heart a doorway (Seanan McGuire)

Ahoy there me mateys!  This young adult novel caught me eye because many many crew members wouldn’t stop talking about how good it was.  I have been meaning to read a Seanan McGuire book because I loved her Newsflesh trilogy that she wrote under the name Mira Grant.

Plus this novella won all these awards:

So I read this novella and found it to be absolutely stunning.  I have to admit that the style took a wee bit to get used to but then I grew to love the worldbuilding, writing style, diverse characters, and just well everything.  I don’t even know how to adequately explain this one and frankly think it is better to go into this story blind as I did.  I don’t have the words.

Check out me other crew members effusive reviews:

Lauren @ wonderless reviews

Lynn @ lynn’sbookblog

Brad @ goodreads

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Seanan McGuire – Author

To buy the book go to:

every heart a doorway – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List