14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
I love Harry Potter hes wonderful. My son the bookworm having read all Harrys books was looking for his next fix when I came upon the Wardstone Chronicles.
I took the first two books home for him. I waited, not for long though he read them so fast I was going out the door for the next two before I had chance to take my coat off.
He loves them and in his opinion Harry Potter aint a patch on them.
We went into Borders for our copy of this the Spooks Mistake and to my glee the author himself was there to sign the book and was doing book readings and an informal chat. A lovely man and if he ever comes to a bookstore near you be sure to go and meet him.
He has just sold the rights to the first book to Hollywood and hopefully the film will start production next year, keep fingers crossed they do a good job. He assured us there would be seven books minimum in the series maybe more so you have lots to look forward to in the future.
He also has his own website where you can catch up on his new releases and his own personal blog, the address is in the books.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2008
"The Spook's Mistake" is an excellent addition to an excellent series. For those of us who live in the area one of the joys of the series is spotting the settings, and though the marsh and mill are inventions there is enough detail to give a real sense of location. The story is fast paced and interesting, and the blurring of good and evil continues: a villain from a previous book turns out to be a crucial hero in this one, and enticing possibilities are suggested for the future progress of the series. If you have read the first four books you will enjoy this, if you haven't then they are a quick read so it's not too late to get on board.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 4 June 2008
This is fast becoming my guilty pleasure. It's tagged as a children series but older readers have a lot to like in this collection.
It's a quick read for experienced readers but that doesn't mean it doesn't have meat on it's bones. Quite the contrary. Each book is just a episode of a big story that is getting more darker and exciting by the minute.
My only complaint is having finish it in two night I now have to face another year wait for the next book.
Hope there are still many more to come.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 2008
Never fails to amaze me how good this series is. Every book so far has had me wanting to read it in one go.
This will appeal to all age groups and I could not praise it enough. I like the fact that the books are a good size (always leaving you wanting more) and have stuck on a good price and not become too expensive.
Meet the authour recently and he hopes to be doing about 8 or 9 books overall. Cant wait. And will be interesting to see what the film will be like.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 13 June 2008
I bought the first book in the series,ostensibly for my 10 year old son, which was released in America as "The Last Apprentice." I loved it so much I was unwilling to wait for the U.S. release of future Wardstone novels, instead buying the books online just as soon as they came out in the U.K.! It's been well worth the extra shipping, and now my son and I have something to talk about that has a touch of magic about it without being Harry Potter-esque.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 July 2009
On the back it says 'Warning: not to be read after dark'. This is fairly true, more so with the addition: Warning: not to be read during or shortly after a meal. Unless you have a strong stomach.
After the first glance, I had to ignore the front cover. Black dogs are one of several things I'm quite afraid of. Black dogs with red eyes and sharp teeth have me keeping this book face down at all times. The silhouette's beneath each chapter title capture the chapter's theme: I look forward to trying to remember what happens in each one by the picture alone when I get round to rereading this book.
I haven't read any of the other books in this Wardstone Chronicles series. I used to hate reading books out of sequence, and where possible try to avoid it. However, I didn't feel as though I couldn't follow the story. There were little recaps of what had happened previously to Tom throughout the story, which was enough for me to understand the events as they occurred.
Initially I automatically thought of a spy, rather than a person who literally fights evil and has an apprentice, Tom, to train as a successor. There exists numerous types of evil. For me the most surprising evil being in this book (there are many) were the witches. Yes, we all think of pointy hats, cats and cauldrons. But Joseph Delaney's witch creations had me captivated. Who'd've thought they could be imprisoned in a cage sunk in the earth so they can neither get out, nor can their friends come to their aid.
In this installment Tom gets sent away from his master to another Spook, who I personally thought was a little crazed in the head. Tom's master wasn't far wrong when he said that Bill was tougher than he was. Rest and relaxation isn't in his vocabulary. Tom does try to escape, but the two guard dogs soon end that plan. That and the narrowly avoiding death by a famous witch encourages him to stay in Bill's house. The mill itself isn't the sanctuary a home should be - at least not for Tom. Beings of the dark live there, and for part of the novel this mystery is kept hidden in Bill's heart. Alongside this Tom tries to keep in contact with Alice, who lives with his other master Spook. Alice was raised as a witch, yet somehow the Spook keeps her on. He doesn't like it when she uses black magic, something that she dabbles in, for the sake of keeping Tom safe. For they have strong feelings towards each other, and don't like being separated.
Another central story plot is that of the Fiend, the most evil of beings which naturally wants to eliminate all Spooks, and their apprentice. There's quite a revelation about some of the Fiend's followers at the end of this book, one which had me gasping out loud in surprise.
The story heats up even further when tragedy strikes for Bill. Even with the help from his original (and technically still current) master and Alice, Tom struggles to defeat the witch who tried to kill him. Little does he know that this witch is hiding a secret.
Tom's adventure had me frantically turning each page over. Yes, the descriptions are rather grisly and my stomach turned but I was drawn into Tom's journey. It isn't happy one - no clouds or fluffy bunnies in this book. I'd say its definitely aimed at boys, however, me, the reviewer who generally prefers a female protagonist, really felt sorry for Tom and cheered him on as he gradually developed a stronger body, and a stronger heart. The story takes more twists than a rollercoaster ride (not that I've ever been on one, or intend to). One pleasant aspect was that Tom isn't an orphan - his mother is alive, battling evil abroad. The book is set in our world, using the same countries and place names, which will appeal to all readers, but especially those who recognise the areas in England.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This is the fifth book in the Wardstone Chronicles, and with each new installment the series just seems to get better and better. In the last book, THE SPOOK'S BATTLE, we saw the Fiend (the Devil; the Dark made flesh) released into the world - in THE SPOOK'S MISTAKE, we see what this may mean for Tom as apprentice to the Spook.
Because of the extra threat from the Fiend, the Spook decides that Tom should go for further training with another Spook. In a world of Darkness and danger, the Spook thinks that Tom needs to be toughened up so that he is better able to face what may lie ahead for him. So, he goes to spend six months with Arkwright, a Spook who lives north of the County in a mill. This part of the County is riddled with dangers as the marshy ground and canals are inhabited by water witches. These are fearsome enemies, and one of the them is the daughter of the Fiend himself. It is this daughter that the Fiend has sent after Tom, to kill him.
That is a veyr brief synopsis of the story - I don't want to give too much away as I don't want to ruin it for others. What I shall say though is that, as with the previous books, Delaney has done a great job at creating a world in which good and evil are not so clear cut and distinct. Unlike many other children's books, in this series, the characters are not all good or all bad - they are more complex than that, just like people are complex.
Delaney has also ended this installment with a clear idea of where the next one may go - although there is a goodbye to one character, you get the feeling that we haven't seen the last of them.
This is a fantastic series - highly recommended for both children and adults.
on 30 August 2011
This fifth book in the wardstone chronicles is the best of them all so far.
Tom ward is sent by the spook to train with bill arkright another spook who specialises in tackling water creatures and water witches, once there tom begins to learn the dangers of the water and is soon embroiled in a plot involving the ever growing power of the fiend and his daughter, a terrifying water witch who is very strong and very dangerous. Soon tom, alice, the spook and bill are all in grave danger and must figure out a way to defeat the evil water witch.
Delaney as usual writes with vivid descriptions and his ability to tell the story through toms eyes makes the Reading experience much more enjoyable and exciting. The action steps up several notches and the scare factor is tripled as more deadly and terrifying creatures are introduced. The character development is excellent and it's easy to place yourself in toms shoes and feel like you are part of the story.
Delaney has outdone himself with the spooks mistake and it is undoubtedly my favourite so far, his ability to draw you into this series is amazing. Do not hesitate for a second, start reading these books right now and you will not be dissapointed in the least bit.
on 3 April 2013
Each book gets better and better, Joseph Delaney never fails to bring a mixture of action, adventure and suspense to his books. On each page you find out a new secret or enter a unsolved adventure. In this book Tom leaves the spook and his friend Alice behind and has to go and train with another spook. But the house is haunted by the unquiet dead, and the other spook isn't as gentle as the spook. But to make matters worse the fiend and his daughter a water witch are hunting Tom. With the return of the fiend, his daughter and the assassin grimalkin. Could this be the end??? I am so excited about reading the next book and I can't wait find out more. Enjoy!!!xxx
on 7 March 2009
I have previously thought Harry Potter was the best books ever, but now I think it is the sppoks series!
Set in Lancashire in the 1600/1700s, the spook fends of the dark. He is training an apprentice- Tom Ward, who has many adventures including being chased by the Devil himself.
In the fith book Tom is sent to Train with Bill Anderson, a spook further up in the lakes. When Bill is attacked by water witches, it is down to Tom to save him. There are also lots of new monsters!!!
I am looking forward to the Spooks Sacrifice that comes out in June. Make sure you read th Spooks Apprentice, Secret, Curse, Battle and Tale.