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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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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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HALL OF FAMEon 21 June 2006
"You have a job to do and you're going to do it...I married your dad because he was a seventh son. And I bore him six sons so that I could have you. Seven times seven you are and you have the gift". Tom Ward, a farmer's son is apprenticed to the County Spook or exorcist. His brothers think he's a coward because he's afraid of the dark and can hear things normal people can't - but he has reason to.

This is the first of a marvellously creepy series, charged with a deep feeling of place and time, with symp[athetic yet strange characters who include not only the scariest witch I've ever encountered but her daughter, Alice. "Beware of girls in pointy shoes" the Spook tells young Tom. But will he listen? Good and evil are close together and not always clear. This is one of my summer choices for The Times, and is highly recommended to all with steady nerves and a powerful night-light.
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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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on 23 December 2013
My son loved this book and is now asking for the rest of the books in the series. He has been a reluctant reader until fairly recently and finding a book (or even better a series of books) that he likes and does not consider a chore to read is a great!
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For all of us 11 and older who love fantasy, this is a delightful book. Delaney has created great characters from Spook and Thomas, to Thomas' family and other characters, good and bad. I want to know how one gets a house boggart. The back of the book states "Warning: Not to be Read After Dark." It's not quite that bad for adults but may make children cautious of mirrors. I very much enjoyed this book and look forward to the 2nd and 3rd books.
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on 19 December 2013
bought this thinking i'll pass it to my boy when he's older (he's 8) but as he's a young 8 i think i'll give it a good few years. I'm easily scared i need to say that, but this was a good read.. I like the story, and i enjoy the characters. I imagine them being Yorkshire or something - come on lad - crack on with it and get a grip. lol.
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on 24 April 2014
A great book only took me 2 days to finish because i was really hook.
I choose the rating that high because it was extremely hard to put down and i love a good horror story.
I recommend this to people over the age of 10 as it wasn't a hard read but it might spook younger readers.
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on 19 June 2014
To be honest I was getting a little bit fed up with this genre, but I was persuaded to read this one. Its good no its very good. Well written original and some interesting characters, not to many characters or long lists that you have to refer to on a regular basis. I have bought the next one in the series and hope that the quality continues. Highly recommended!
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on 29 January 2015
Allow me to just say, I am biased. This book was bought for me a long time ago, when it was first published, and I have been hooked ever since. I still am...I'm 22. I am an avid reader, but I consistently return to this series of books, I simply love the story of Tom Ward and his mysterious master, The Spook.

I'm not going to give you a point by point run down of the plot, you haven't got time for that! But let me say, if you're looking for a book that gives you the odd creep, the odd, 'Oh jeeze what is down there', then this is your book. Being from the East Midlands, the colloquial, almost old English language in this book makes me feel at home and almost adds to its charm. It's an easy book to read despite this, don't be put off if you're a Southerner! It sounds daft and almost juvenile, but the font is a readable size and the chapters promote quick reading while keeping you enticed, you will not put this book down and I mean that.

You'll find yourself really falling for the protagonist, Tom Ward. His introduction to the Spook profession is something you will sympathise with, and you will find yourself willing him on to success. And just wait till Alice is introduced, she adds a brilliant lovers twist to the whole story and her character resonates through the entire series. The story itself is a thrilling tale of struggle, hard questions and harder answers, it really gets to grip with important issues of wrongdoing and the punishment for it, especially when it comes to the key antagonist, Madame Malkin.

Don't be put off by the label of 'teen fiction' that many could level upon this book. Its underlying adult undertones allows you to enjoy the plot while not feeling like you're reading a kiddies book. Just do yourself a favour and buy it. You won't be disappointed.
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on 14 August 2007
It makes a refreshing change to find a book that absorbs your attention from the very first sentence until the end without you getting bored half way through. And I can say with confidence that Joe Delaney writes this sort of book. It was a pleasure to read (in fact I could hardly put it down!), no complicated or twisted plots, just an extremely good tale, spun by someone who is surely Rumplestiltskin in disguise, because this book is pure gold. 24 carat gold, in fact. Buy it, read it, I can guarantee you'll enjoy it!
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