The Last Apprentice: Revenge of The Witch
Author: Joseph Delaney
Publisher: Harper Collins
4½ out of 5 stars
Having problems with boggarts, witches, ghouls, and anything else of the darkest extremity? Who are you going to call? The Spook! Being a spook is tough. Spooks have to travel constantly, eat barely anything while at work (it makes them more vulnerable), and their lives are always in danger. Not to mention putting up with apprentices that are really more trouble than they are worth. On top of that, most people are afraid of spooks and look at them with contempt and disdain, even their own families. Having to deal with all of that, who would want to be a spook? Well, Thomas Ward is about to find out.
Thomas Ward is just about to turn thirteen, and the time is nearing where he must find someone to take him as an apprentice. He must become a man and take care of himself. The prospect of staying in this grubby little town forever depresses him, but so does leaving his family behind. Thomas is also the seventh son of a seventh son, which everyone knows means he is special. So, what might be the perfect trade for him? Clearly, to become a spook.
Thomas doesn’t know it, but he’s been being prepared for this apprenticeship since he was born. His mother taught him Greek, a language that the spooks use often in their work. She has been subtly, and not so subtly, pushing him towards this. However, does Thomas really want to be a spook? Life is hard in this lonely occupation and it’s even harder to become one. But Thomas is up for it, he wants to make his mama proud.
What Thomas also doesn’t know, is that he is the last chance. The last apprentice that the current spook, Old Gregory, will ever have. Twenty-nine apprentices have come before him, and none have succeeded in the task of becoming the next spook. Will thirty be the charm? Can Thomas become the next spook and save the county from ravaging beasties of the night? Or will Thomas lose his life trying? All is revealed in Joseph Delaney’s hair-raising adventure of the hours of dark and shadow in, The Last Apprentice: Revenge of The Witch!
The Last Apprentice: Revenge of The Witch is quite the spine-chilling tale with all the things that take refuge in the night. I was delighted by this wonderfully-woven tale of one young boy’s journey to learn the knowledge and wisdom of years of hands-on experience. This book is great for kids and young teens, as it really is a fun yet very suspenseful story. At times it can be a bit gruesome or frightening, but not overly so.
I very much enjoyed the whole gist of the story. It stayed with the original ideas of magic, witches, boggarts, and ghouls, yet at the same time it had many pleasant twists to it. For example, I enjoyed the use of Greek in the spook’s occupation, and all of the facts about the different creatures of the dark. They were all unique to this book and they fit the story well. Overall, I felt that the idea behind The Last Apprentice: Revenge of The Witch was familiar, with an edge of innovative additions.
I also enjoyed how the entire novel was written in the first-person. This really gave me a sense of what Thomas was going through learning the tricks of the trade. I enjoyed hearing Thomas’s thoughts, doubts, and questions. I felt that overall this helped me connect to the story much more. Oh, and the illustrations throughout the book were outstanding. They went perfectly with each chapter of The Last Apprentice: Revenge of The Witch, and were all eerily fitting. This was another aspect of the book that I thought helped set the tone for the story overall.
Thomas was quite surprising as he took many problems into his own hands. Every time he went after something on his own, I was worried that something would go terribly wrong, as Thomas did have very limited knowledge since he was just starting out. However, this was a quality that I admired about Thomas, and loved seeing. Also, I can’t wait to learn more about some of the other characters including the spook, Old Gregory himself, and Thomas’s mother, who has a puzzling and secretive past. I hope that more is revealed in the sequel, The Last Apprentice: Curse of The Bane!
There was a lot that happened in the first book of this series. I felt that there didn’t have to be as much compacted into this one book. The Last Apprentice: Revenge of The Witch could have been cut off earlier to create more suspense, considering that this is already such a long series.
To put it briefly, The Last Apprentice: Revenge of The Witch is a splendid adventure, with many bloodcurdling happenings mixed in. Join Thomas as he travels the road to his new life, and watches out for girls with pointed shoes in, The Last Apprentice: Revenge of The Witch!
-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!
Check out The Last Apprentice: Revenge of The Witch website at www.harpercollinschildrens.com/lastapprentice.
The Last Apprentice: Revenge of The Witch is available from Amazon here.