The Spook's Apprentice: No.1: Book 1 Paperback – 30 Jun 2005
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" This thrilling and terrifying book should not be read after dark! - Parent: News An absorbing tale with scary scenarios and a great central relationship between Thomas and his master. - Funday Times Zounds! Delaney delights us with the power of his spooken words. Thought-provoking fantasy... A ruse by any other name would smell as sweet. - Bournemouth Daily Echo Teenage readers looking instead for total fantasy should hasten to Joseph Delaney's The Spook's Apprentice (Bodley Head, [pound]8.99). Clad in a sinister brown cover, this terrific novel is as black as David Wyatt's ingenious ink drawings that head each chapter.. Young Thomas can only just cope with these demons; the horrors he faces are made more credible by the cleverly laid-back way in which his story is told. - The Independent"
Not to be read after dark!!!! --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Thomas is left the entire night in a haunted house as a kind of initiation into his new job. The twist in this scene is perhaps a little too obvious. Thomas progresses with his lessons - but before long, the Spook is called away on an urgent matter in Pendle, and rather recklessly leaves his inexperienced young apprentice behind. During his absence, Thomas makes a rash promise to Alice (a girl with pointy shoes), and is tricked into releasing Old Mother Malkin, who was buried alive as punishment for killing the villagers' children and drinking their blood.
Once she is free, Thomas's problems really begin - and it seems that the only person he can turn to for help is the one who got him in this mess ... Alice. Alice is perhaps the most interesting character in the book. The reader is never certain whether she is to be trusted or not. Is she as well-intentioned as she claims, acting under duress - or is she an evil scheming trickster out to lure Thomas to the same bloodthirsty fate as the previous apprentice?
'Not to be read after dark,' it says on the back cover. Perhaps it's not quite as scary as the publishers would have you believe - but it's still sufficiently chilling for most young readers.Read more ›
I'm nearly 43, and I was as captivated by the Ward Chronicles, as my 15 yr old daughter and sons of 11 and eight years. These books have much to offer an adult audience.
The plots are fast-moving, brilliantly written and, above all, totally enthralling. Joseph Delaney is an imaginative author, who makes it impossible to put down his stories once you've picked them up.
Even as an adult, it was easy to slip into young Tom Ward's mind, and really see the events from his viewpoint. Or, perhaps having a more experienced imagination just adds to the thrills!
The strength of these books lies in the fantastic storytelling of teh author who spins a tail that really will achieve that suspenful state of tension that will delight younger readers. For adults too, the story is well written and never becomes tedious. Good interesting stuff.
The stories are quite original, and well constructed, but not of great depth, and some of the themes feel like they are aimed at an older age group than 9, although the stories are perhaps not sufficiently complex to be branded young adult. Nevertheless I have a hard time recommending them to 9 year olds because while this first one is just fine, there are theems in some of the later books that are downright disturbing. Without wishing to write spoilers it is hard to go into details, but there is one particular theme, several books into the series, that led me to speak to teh school about placing these in an older section of the school library. The only time I have ever behaved like such an interfering parent! So please don't hold that against me.
My recommendation is that children and young adults 11 and up would love this series.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book! Strongly recommend the series. Do not take into consideration the advice they give on the back of the book, it's more funPublished 2 months ago by Denis Alexandru Ignea
My 10 year old son picked this book up at school and couldn't put it down. I wasn't too sure whether it was suitable for his age and wondered whether it was too gruesome. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Treacle
Thoroughly enjoyable read. A real page turner. Can't wait to read the rest in the series.Published 4 months ago by MISS M.