Saturday, 12 July 2014

Book Review: The Spook's Apprentice by Joseph Delaney

Author: Joseph Delaney
Title: The Spook's Apprentice
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5

The Last Apprentice blurb:
Someone has to stand against the dark. And you're the only one who can.'
For years, the local Spook has been keeping the County safe from evil. Now his time is coming to an end, but who will take over?
Many apprentices have tried . . . Some floundered, some fled, some failed to stay alive. Just one boy is left. Thomas Ward. He is the last hope.
But does he stand a chance against Mother Malkin, the most dangerous witch in the County?

The Spooks Apprentice is the first book in the Wardstone Chronicles that Joseph Delaney has created and falls under the fantasy/ adventure section on the shelves so was instantly I must buy for me. Also can I just say again as I have pointed out in a previous post that the actually book itself is beautiful. It is on the small side as in size, not pages but the book, and is created to make it actually look old and has a scaley effect to it, I found this very appealing.

Anyway, the main character of the book is of a boy, Thomas Ward and the whole novel is in his point of view, following his life through his eyes which Delaney does beautifully. He is the seventh son of the seventh son and of a young age of 13, it is the time where he must leave his family and is taken in by the Spook who deals with creatures of 'the dark' for a induction and is put through different tests to see if he can make it as a Spooks Apprentice. He then comes across the most powerful witch in the County, Mother Malkin and must choose wisely using his training, to deal with her and keep the County safe.

The Spook's, named John Gregory, job is to protect the County he lives in and around it from things that presumably go bump in the night such as Ghosts, Gouls, Demons and Witches who terrorize the land. The book is approximately a year of Thomas’ Wards life and is consistent as it takes us from the moment he is sent to the Spook to throughout his training where he faces difficulties and problems from the dark. 
The other main character of the story is Alice, which I found most compelling and she is portrayed as quite a dark horse and throughout the book she kept you guessing at whether she was a friend or foe. Her background is also very interesting and I am hoping she plays a big part in the following books.

Overall I think is an ideal book for the young adult group for who it is aimed. It does say that the book is scary, but in my opinion I didn’t find them scary.. creepy sure, but not scary but I really don’t think that this hinders the book at all. From the very first chapter (15 in total) the story begins to unravel superbly and keeps you wanting more after every chapter.Delaney has surely outdone himself now by created a gem of a book that includes courage, excitement, adventure, love and a sense of following your instincts. I would recommend this book to anyone and I am looking forward to reading the 2nd novel in the series The Spooks Curse!   

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