“Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice #1)” by Joseph Delaney
Genre: Middle Grade/Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal
Summary from Goodreads:
For decades, Old Gregory has been the county’s resident Spook and protector; but now his time is coming to a close. To replace this aging guardian against evil, 30 apprentices are tested. Twenty-nine of them fail; some flounder; some flee; some even perish during the trial. Only one remains: Thomas Ward. Timid and uncertain, he worries that he might not pass his test or perhaps not even survive.
I have seen the book marketed as something you shouldn’t read after dark. I thought it might be something to attract the attention of kids. Obviously it was but I do have to say it was very spooky. I was actually a bit surprised at how “intense” it was at points. I thought it was going to be one of those kids’ books that tries to be scary but doesn’t do it well. This book walked that “scariness line” perfectly. It wasn’t too scary so younger readers can still enjoy it but it’s still scary enough for those who want it. Basically it was perfect for a weenie like yours truly.
The story itself was fun. [Can you call a scary story fun?] It definitely kept you on the edge of your seat. Lots and lots of action. I enjoyed getting to know more about folklore creatures in a different way and how to deal with them. The book used creatures that the reader is familiar with to an extent and simply expanded on what the reader knows.
There were good characters. Tom is a good YA character. He’s doing the whole ‘finding himself’ thing but he has a lot different pressures than most kids do. I’m still on the fence about Alice. I want to like her but I think there’s more of her that we’re not seeing yet. The Spook is a bit cold but he’s enjoyable enough. The end of the book makes me more intrigued to know more about him. I really liked Tom’s mom but I have a sneaking suspicion that there’s a big secret she’s hiding.
This was the first audio book that I’ve listened to since elementary school. It was a lot of fun! This was an amazing story to listen to. It was spooky. I really think having someone read the book to me added to the spookiness. It was almost like the scary stories we told as kids. At first I was worried about the narrator. I didn’t like his voice but I grew to enjoy it as the story went on. I enjoyed the different voices. [Hearing the witches’ voices was SO much scarier than reading them]
The one things I didn’t really like about the story was it sometimes got bogged down with lots of details (things I would likely skim over if reading) but it worked really well as an audio book. I can’t tell you how good this worked as an audio book. If you ever have the chance of listening to this series on audio book, DO IT.
If you like scary and/or paranormal books, pick this up ASAP. I can’t wait for my pre-orders of the books to show up!
Other reviews: Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog, A Few More Pages