Sunday, June 15, 2008

Summer of Sequels - The Last Apprentice

This started out as one blog, but as it grew to four pages in Word, with still more to go, I thought I would break it up a bit.

Last Apprentice (series) by Joseph Delaney

As the seventh son of a seventh son, Tom’s mother told him that he was special, but this kind of special, Tom he could live without. His parents have him apprenticed to the local “spook,” Mr. Gregory. Got a ghost, witch, or boggart? Who ya gonna call? (sorry, dated reference) The Spook travels from town to town taking care of whatever mystical malice threatens you.

I have blogged about this series before but the finer points bear repeating. The book is not a standard size. It is a little shorter, almost squat and fits in the hand well. The pages are rough, and the edged ragged, reinforcing the journalistic style of the writing.

Many times the first page of the book is black with white etchings and text, with the bulk of the pages being typical black print on cream colored pages. While the effect is subtle, it does grab you attention…the author does the rest with his words.

Creepy is the name of the game. The writing is not overtly violent, or gory but the detailed descriptions of the setting and Tom’s emotions have you sitting on the edge of your seat. Delaney has created a fully evolved world; a world in which holes need to be dug in certain dimensions and reinforced with steel in order to keep a witch. Tom knows this too. He has spent enough time digging them.

The book is punctuated with work from illustrator Patrick Arrasmith, whose scratchboard works manage to be finely detailed, but still appear primitive. Did I mention the word creepy before? Really, really creepy. I love the back art on the books that accompany warnings that read (as they do on every book) NOT TO BE READ AFTER DARK….especially page (page varies by book). Of course you turn straight to that page. And really, you shouldn’t. Especially if it is after dark.

Join Tom and Mr. Gregory as they face the challenges of the dark.

Oh, and just a bit of advice: Don’t trust girls in pointy toed shoes!

The Last Apprentice books include:

Revenge of the Witch
Curse of the Bane
Night of the Soul Stealer


Attack of the Fiend

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