Review: The Empty Grave

Posted: November 22, 2018 by in Books We Love (5/5 single_star) Meta: Johnathan Stroud, Horror, Middle Grade
The Empty Grave

Arriving at the final book of the Lockwood & Co series, THE EMPTY GRAVE, leaves me with mixed emotions: so happy to see our gang of heroes find the answers they’re looking for, but also sad to see this fantastic series come to an end. Over this series we’ve watched as Lockwood, Lucy, and George have navigated the dangerous and mystifying world of ghosts and ghost hunting. They may only be kids, but this small and independent company has uncovered secrets small and large, fought dangerous ghosts, and dealt with the frustrating politics of being the little guy in a big industry.

Now we get to see the fruition of all their hard work. THE EMPTY GRAVE ends the series in a way that won’t let you down.

If you recall in the last book, THE CREEPING SHADOW, our heroes were hired by Penelope Fitts herself to investigate a problem they’re singularly capable of solving; but things take a turn for the worse and they have to skip town. When they find a spirit gate in the English countryside, causing all sorts of havoc as a result of its existence, Lockwood and Lucy realize that its significance in the grand scheme of things is more than appears on the surface.

Unfortunately the fallout for them and other ghost hunting agencies is realized in THE EMPTY GRAVE when the Fittes agency takes control over all small-time agencies, including theoretically Lockwood’s. But silly bureaucracies can’t stop Lockwood and Company from doing what they do best: find the secrets everyone is hiding.

All the things that made the first four books great also applies here (go read those reviews–listed below–so I won’t bore you here with the repetition): excelling worldbuilding, fantastic characterization, hilarious metaphors (seriously, they’re worth studying), and a storyline that will carry readers along on a horrifying adventure. Oh, I shiver in delight just thinking about it.

I don’t want to give away the story because it’s worth reading the amazing revelations for yourself: from Lockwood’s history, Lucy’s hopes for the future, and what may very well become a solution for the Problem plaguing London, England. So I’ll just say that if you’ve been reading this series, the ending is everything you’ve hoped for, and so much more.

Read it. Then read it with your kids.

  • Recommended Age: 10+ (although may be too intense for more tender-hearted children)
  • Language: None
  • Violence: The typical peril as in the other books
  • Sex: None

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