Emma, a young volunteer in Portsmouth Library, has been enjoying Joseph Delaney's spooktacular Wardstone Chronicles recently, and has written reviews of each of the books. Here's her review of the first book in the series.
The Spooks Apprentice by Joseph Delaney
This novel is the first of the Wardstone Chronicles. It falls under fantasy and adventure. The main character is a thirteen year old boy, Thomas Ward, and it is told from his point of view.
The story is set in a world where creatures such as witches, boggarts, ghosts and demons terrorize the innocent people of the country. These creatures originate from 'the dark'.
John Gregory, a fearless man known as a 'spook', leads his life protecting the country from 'the dark' by taming and tying up the things that go bump in the night. The spook is feared by all for facing 'the dark'. It's a lonely job but someone has to do it.
The spook is getting old and is now looking for a replacement. Many apprentices have failed, given up or been killed. Tom may be the last hope. This story follows Tom and John Gregory; you see the challenges and fears he has to face in order to become the best spook that he can be.
I found this book impossible to put down and read it in one sitting. It was very easy to read even though there were a few unusual words that I had to look up. The plot was captivating and the text brought the scenery and characters to life with enchanting descriptions.
The characters are very interesting as you're always learning about their backgrounds. I especially found the character of Alice fascinating; the author portrays her as a shifty individual. This always leaves the reader unsure about whether she is friend or a foe.
I would undoubtedly recommend this book. However I would advise younger readers to take heed of the warning on the back of the book: 'not to be read after dark'. Those with a nervous disposition should also heed this warning as there are some terrifying moments and scary creatures.
I'm looking forward to reading 'The Spooks Curse', the next novel in the series.
Take a look at the Before I Go to Sleep and The Hunt video reviews done by young people in Gateshead.
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