The Last Apprentice: Night of the Soul Stealer
by Joseph Delaney
YA fantasy. 489 pp.
the flap copy:
Thomas Ward is the apprentice for the local Spook, who captures witches and drives away ghosts. As the weather gets colder and the nights draw in, the Spook receives an unexpected visitor. Tom doesn't know who the stranger is or what he wants, but the Spook suddenly decides it's time to travel to his winter house, Anglezarke. Tom has heard it will be a bleak, forbidding place, and that menacing creatures are starting to stir somewhere on the moors nearby.
I purchased the first book in this series because, as I recall, it was one of those If You Love Harry Potter Then You'll Also Love recommendations. I got the book home, and it sat on the night stand for a long time. I think it even went through the Move on the night stand. Anyway. At some point, Dec picked it up and actually read it. And he said that I had to read it.
I'm glad I did. I've rather enjoyed this series, even if I read the first two book in the series during less-than-stellar-blog-reviewing days. This book sees the further development of Tom as the Spook's apprentice. In fact, Tom really starts coming into his own in this one as the Spook is somewhat incapacitated for one reason or another throughout the book. I find that I really like Tom, and I like how he deals with some of the things he learns, such as the gray areas in the Spook's own life.
I like the language and the flow in this series; there's a polish that I find to be generally lacking in most series, including Harry Potter.
Looking at the Devil's Den online, the fourth book in the series should have been released last month. I guess I need to make my way over there . . .