- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Bodley Head; First Edition, First Impression edition (1 July 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0370328264
- ISBN-13: 978-0370328263
- Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.9 x 18.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 153 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Spook's Apprentice No. 1 Hardcover – 1 Jul 2004
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Not to be read after dark!!!!
A wonderful and terrifying series by a new writer about a young boy training to be an exorcist. Thomas Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son and has been apprenticed to the local Spook. The job is hard, the Spook is distant and many apprentices have failed before Thomas. Somehow Thomas must learn how to exorcise ghosts, contain witches and bind boggarts. But when he is tricked into freeing Mother Malkin, the most evil witch in the County, the horror begins ...See all Product description
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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.
I can’t recommend this book enough. I bought this when it first came out and repurchased it to read alongside my class, ages 11-12. It is fair to say that the kids loved it as much as I did and still do.
I would say that for anyone who enjoys Harry Potter will enjoy this. Its gripping and exciting and you won’t want to put it down.
1. An original story - the 'apprentice to a magical master' trope may have been used often before, but the particular way it was used and developed in this book was pleasingly different;
2. Good characterisation - the main characters were well-fleshed out, but with space left and questions unanswered for later books (I hope!)
3. Well-orchestrated sense of menace
I have been sufficiently impressed to purchase the next couple of books in the series, and I am looking forward to seeing how this series develops.
The story follows a Spook ( a person who works to remove evil from an area). His job might involve ridding an area of a malevolent witch or boggart or simply calming restless spirits. In this book the Spook is taking on his last apprentice, a seventh son of a seventh son and it is his adventures that we follow in the book.
My son likes history and although this book does not specify a date, it feels like pre-Victorian possibly early industrialisation. Mention is made of ghosts from a civil war but whether this is the Wars of the Roses or the later Civil War of Roundheads and Cavaliers I was not sure.
We are reading the book together and both enjoy the sense of suspense built by the author and are pulled from chapter to chapter.
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