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on 4 July 2012
My 9 year old daughter started reading Spooks, and she raved about it so now I have been reading them too.

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.
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on 29 June 2014
READ READ READ!!!! Ok I started reading these books when I was 12 and I'm now 18...I hope that tells you how awesome a read this is. They tell you its for kids but that's like saying harry potter is for kids, ANYONE CAN READ THESE BOOKS! I will warn you though that there quite dark "children's books" but very entertaining! Full of witches that eat and kill children, boggarts that will tare of your limbs, creepy ghosts, awesome dark gods and one boy who must work up the courage to fight against them all. These books are kinda like if lord of the rings met harry potter met Tim Burton. You have the basic "one boy to fight against the dark plot", the lord of the rings quest and general vibe (old world) and some monsters that are very Tim Burton/lord of the rings esqu. Seriously a must read..
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on 16 January 2018
This is such a fantastic book.

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.
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on 17 December 2012
I hadn't come across Joseph Delaney's writing before, and ordered this item when I heard that there is an upcoming film. My first impressions weren't good - the fact that there was a character list at the start didn't endear the book to me, as it seemed like this might just be a lazy way to bypass character and story development. However, the story soon started to carry me along. Among the strong points for me were:
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.
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on 11 April 2012
I bought the kindle version of this book having read the free sample first which hooked me immediately. I enjoyed the style of the storytelling and having only read a few pages I was intrigued and was convinced that the rest of the book would be enjoyable. Enjoyable is only part of it, the book was genuinely scary and this is a grown man speaking here! The suspense, tension and depth of characterisation was such that I had to read just a few more pages and actually cared about the main characters and what happened to them. An excellent idea for a book where the setting is accessible but is essentially an alternate reality where people require Spooks to rid them of ghosts, witches, boggarts and even nastier entities. A thoroughly good read and highly recommended but not for young children!
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on 3 May 2017
The apprentice is naieve and as a result gets into many amusing fixes but, with careful guidance from the Spook, always triumphs over his own stupid mistakes. A loose cannon appears in the shape of Alice, a young girl of dubious character. Will she be good for him or will she be his downfall?
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on 25 February 2011
I've entitled my review 'Adventures for boys!!' as I initially bought this book to encourage my 11 year old son to read. However I am sure that girls with a sense of adventure would love this book too - I certainly would have.

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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on 5 February 2018
I had already read this book years ago when it was first released but decided to revisit it to see if I wanted to read the rest of the books. Less than 24hours later I've just put the book down and purchased the second in the series. Great story and a real page turner. Very good.
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on 5 July 2015
fast moving fantasy story Characters are clearly defined and plot easy to follow.Only problem is that as soon as you finish book 1 you need to get book 2 and so on and there are 13 books altogether in the whole series I believe although I am only up to Book 4 so far
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on 25 May 2015
My son loved this book and I ended up buying the whole series for him. I can say he was addicted to them to the extent that he would search for the release of the final books. He also said the books are much better than the newly released film...
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