Fortunately the fourth part is not only about Lucy’s permanent wailing: our main heroine peacefully returns to Lockwood & Co, and they are fighting together against ghosts and evil people as well.
At the end of the latest part Lucy left Lockwood’s team and became a freelance agent, so the beginning of the book is about the beauty of being a freelancer. She can freely pick up the good jobs and she can select his partners too, but obviously one is worse than the other. But her senses are evolving: her hearing is sharpened and she can feel the ghosts’ feelings better and better.
Not much time elapses while Lockwood knocks on Lucy’s door… The author’s humor is the usual: Lucy’s underwear is in a transparent pack on the doorstep, her room is in a mess, and she is scruffy and sleepy… Lockwood asks her to join his team again for only one job, which is ordered by the powerful Penelope Fittes, and she obviously agrees.
From this point, there’s not so much novelty in the book, but the author successfully refreshed the story lines with interesting new details. Illegal traders steal the skull from Lucy, so Lockwood & Co goes out again to an illegal auction to get it back. Great new places are introduced: underground train stations, and later a rural village, where they are asked to explore the Rotwell agency’s research center. The biggest enemies are not the ghosts, but the humans, as usual, but at least Lucy now gets along very well with Holly, and in a very frightening moment Lockwood even holds her hands! There’s a new team member too, Kipps joins the team, who is more than 20 years old, but he can see the ghosts with special eyeglasses. They discover new, exciting things about the world of the ghosts as well, and they have amazing adventures again.
The end of the book is an extraordinary cliffhanger about the living and the dead – it’s hard to wait until the next part will be published and this new discovery will be explained…
Jonathan Stroud: The Creeping Shadow (Lockwood & Co #4)
Penguin Random House UK Children’s, 2016.
(I got an advanced copy through Netgalley)