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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 24 June 2017
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on 4 November 2014
Another great book
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on 16 March 2013
Gripping storyline and totally entertained throughout. I wholeheartedly implore you to read this if you've read and enjoyed the previous books. Going straight onto book 9 now!
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on 22 June 2011
I won't bother to break down the story like most other reviewers have done but I will say that the author is a master at creating books that move the story at breakneck speed and this is no exception. This makes it a compelling read for both youngsters and older readers alike.

Although some readers familiar with the series may have been worried that the change in location may have lessened the experience - I can safely say that this is not a issue and this is a great and gritty addition to the series. To those who are new to the series I would suggest they start reading from the first book as they may not clearly understand what is going on.

I would have given this five stars but took one away as I thought ***POTENTIAL SPOILER*** the final battle could have been given more depth/it was all over a bit quickly ***END SPOILER***. Apart from that it was great.
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I'm a big fan of this series, but it is getting a little long in the tooth. The Spook is no longer a dominant figure, and doesn't contribute that much, (except for his conflict about using dark magic to fight the dark, which hasn't developed beyond where it was around book three). Thomas Ward is a fine hero, but he also seems to have stalled a bit. Alice has always been a fascinating character, and it does look like she may become even more important from now on. The overarching plot is moving toward a final resolution, but the sub-plots that flesh out each volume, (here it's the goat mages), are becoming a little random and sketchy.

These later books are very much different from the first two. In the first volumes a lot of attention was paid to the characters, their motivations, their thoughts about the spook trade, and their interactions. The later books are more action oriented, and everything feels just a bit thin, underdeveloped, and superficial. We're starting to add objects like magic swords and the like, and that's usually not a good sign.

This is a fine series and it deserves all of the praise it has received, but if it weren't for all of the attention this reader has invested in the fates of the characters, (who are still developed way beyond the middle grade/ya average), I'm not sure I'd be yearning that much for further volumes.

By the way, I have read these books as they have come out, so there has been a six to nine month gap between books. Delaney does a good job, in the first chapters of each book, of recapping the action from the previous book and bringing you up to speed on the last developments involving each major character. That is very helpful in getting you up to speed. The downside is that if you are a latecomer to the series and have bought a few volumes at once and intend to read them in order, the recapping can get very repetitious. The upside is that if you become distracted by other books it is easy to get right back into this series.
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I love the Wardstone Chronicles by Delaney; the action is fast-paced, the characters are well developed and they are well crafted. For the most part, THE SPOOK'S DESTINY delivers on all of these elements. However, there were times when I felt that the pace of the book had somewhat slowed down - just ever so slightly.

In this installment, we see Tom, Alice and the Spook travelling to Ireland, due to the fighting which is gripping the County. Here, they are to face their most formidable enemy, the Fiend - the Devil, or the Dark itself. Previously, Tom made a pact with the Fiend, selling his soul to him. This means that upon Tom's death, the Fiend will come for his soul and put him through eternal torment, so binding the Fiend now has a special interest for Tom. But to succeed in this, Tom and the Spook will need all the help they can get, and this mainly comes in the form of Grimalkin, the feared witch assassin. In order to beat the dark, they will have to use the dark and this is something which the Spook struggles with.

That is all of the plot I will give away; any more information would possibly ruin it for those wanting to read it for themselves. Overall, this installment lives upto the high expectations forged from the previous seven. Delaney certainly continues to blur good and evil - his development of Alice, in particular, is fascinating. At the end of the book it is hard to know for sure just where we will be taken next in regards to this. The only thing which stopped me from awarding 5 stars - the rating I really expected to be giving this book as I looked forward to reading it - was, as I mentioned, the pace seemed to slow ever so slightly for me around the middle of the way through. However, the way that this book ended, and the possibilities it promises, saved it for me. Once again, I am eagerly awaiting the next one!
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on 6 September 2011
Joseph Delaney continues the story of Tom the spooks apprentice in this eigth thrilling installment, continuing virtually where the seventh book left off we find Tom, Alice and the Spook heading over to Ireland in order to escape the war that is coming ever closer. But they find little peace on solace as Tom is repeatedly plagued by nightmares and visions of the crow goddess Morrigan who is intent on killing him. Not only that but there are some powerful dark mages, revenge seeking witches and the ever present Fiend who is still hunting down Tom but cannot reach him or Alice becasue of the blood jar Alice has created in order to protect them.
This installment is shorter than some of its predecessors but the story does not suffer for it, the action is fast paced and exciting and this book is a lot more gruesome and graphic than some of the other books. Delaney lets us in on more secrets and the characters are developed very well as usual. This book gives answers to previous questions and poses other questions for other books, there are revelations that will shock fans and the story is wide open for the last two installments in the wardstone chronicles.
Though it will be a long time until books nine and ten are available there is still the spin offs I am Grimalkin and I am Alice to keep fans occupied until 2012 and 2013 for the last installments.
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on 22 June 2011
Yet again the book has been published without a thought of all of the readers who have purchased the series so far. Why have the old covers been changed I have a shelf full of the books with the old covers and point blank refuse to purchase these americanised covers. The last book was produced with the option of purchasing a limited edition with the old syle cover; where is that option with this book? I will lend the book from the library rather than buy this trash. Please please please someone from the publishers listen to the readers who have purchased these books and made the series such a success. PRODUCE A SPECIAL EDITION!!!!!!!!!
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on 11 July 2011
Absolutely loved this. Having been a fan of the books since the first one was released, I can truly say this is by far one of the best, and definitely one of the more brutal ones. Grimalkin plays a fantastic role, and this is a perfect way to set up her story for Book 9. CAN'T WAIT.
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on 14 September 2011
Let's get one thing straight out. If you are a fan of any book that tries to do something different, then you have to buy this whole series. The whole series. It is definitely not an anti-climactic mess though. Nor is it the most compelling story in the series. I'll start with the story. It's good. It feels very suiting and carries on from the other books well. But sometimes it feels a little stale and predictable. And on to the cover. This is a big issue for a lot of other people, but I like it. Yes it looks really weird on the shelf, but at least the illustration is what we all have wanted for ages. It finally makes the series look like a total badass, which it obviously is, if you haven't picked that up already. You can tell though that Joseph Delaney has tried to take a more personal and emotional story, mainly focusing on the relationship between the two main characters. But on this aspect, it disappoints. I don't want to spoil anything, so let's just say that some stuff happens and one very significant realization is unearthed. But after that the two main character's relationship is exactly the same. I mean, it's like the whole events of the book didn't happen. This has left me very eagerly awaiting 'I Am Alice' which I hopes explores the relationships between characters. Though I can whole-heartedly recommend the book or the series to any fan of books that are different.
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