Saturday, 12 January 2013

Book Review: The Spooks Apprentice by Joseph Delaney ***

Published: 2004
Genre: Children's Historical novel
My Rating: 3 Stars

"Someone has to stand against the dark. And you're the only one who can"

For years, the local Spook has been keeping the County safe from evil. Now his time is coming to and end, but who will take over?

Many apprentices have tried...
Some floundered, some fled, some failed to stay alive. Just one boy is left, Thomas Ward. He is the last hope.

But does he stand a chance against Mother Malkin, the most dangerous witch in the County.

This book is definitely written for children. The style is clear, flows well and the plot is interesting but not over complicated however I feel like the book fails to find an appropriate, well suited audience.

My reasoning for this is although it's a childrens novel some of the themes are just too dark and frightening for a child, for example *spoiler* there is one part about a witch killing and eating the blood of babies and women*. Parts like these in a book are just unsuitable for younger readers. On a positive note I thought the small pictures above each chapter were quite quaint, a nice touch. If a teen was reading this book I feel they would find it, like me, unchallenging therefore prone to becoming easily bored. At times I really had to struggle to keep reading but I was determined to finish, though the darker passages I found were quite engaging, I enjoyed them and the plot was paced well and the last quarter of the book I was thoroughly engrossed. The language itself is simplistic and ordinary there are not particularly any breathtaking writing. The characters are not very developed which is what you would expect of a children's novel.

These things are quite unfortunate because I did find the plot interesting and I wish the writing was aimed at a older audience as due to that I would neither read it to my young siblings or read it for myself. I would recommend it though if you have children that like to be scared or are quite resilient or if you don't mind the simplistic writing as the plot was interesting and didn't disappoint. 


  1. I love that you review books as well, reading for me is a passion. This sounds good, though I skipped all the spoiler bits :p

    I love your blog and have decided to follow you on GFC.

    I'm having a giveaway at my blog and would love it if you checked it out! photoshoot.

  2. sounds an interesting read!
    I too love the fact youre doing beauty and books -im doing the same on mine, but having only started, im a little behind!
    Would love it if you would check me out!
    Love the blog!