Rave Reviews Log: Mysteries & Suspense

October 09, 2007

Night of the Soul Stealer

By Joseph Delaney
Rating: 4 1/4 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

This is the 3rd installment in The Last Apprentice series. 13 year old Thomas Ward, the 7th son of a 7th son, is set to finish up his first year of apprenticeship with the Spook, Old Gregory. The pair head off to Anglezarke Moor, where the Spook has his winter house. The gloomy winter house is kept by Meg, the witch that the Spook had loved and can't bear to put into the pit in the cellar, where her feral lamia witch sister is bound, along with another witch and a couple of boggarts. So Meg is given a cup of herb tea every day which keeps her from remembering who and what she is. Tom's almost-witch friend, Alice, is placed at a farm nearby, where she can be kept an eye on. As usual, Tom and his master deal with other creatures of the dark that abound, like a stone chucking boggart. But the true test is when Morgan, a former apprentice of the Spook and now a necromancer, turns up, looking for a book that the Spook has. Morgan has some powers over the dead, and he threatens Tom if he won't help Morgan, and what Morgan wants is to raise an evil spirit called Golgoth for the power it will give him. Things come to a head when Meg remembers who she is and sets the other witches free in the house with the Spook captive inside, and when Morgan manages to steal the book. How can an apprentice mount a rescue and stop an evil spirit from being raised? These books are wonderfully eerie pageturners, with truly spooky illustrations sprinkled throughout. Readers will look forward to more in the series, as Tom's Mam predicts that the dark is rising and Alice and Tom's stars are waxing while the Spook's time is waning. Will Tom finish his apprenticeship? Will Alice turn out to be good or will her witchy upbringing turn her at the end? Fans of the series will eagerly await the answers to these questions in upcoming entries in the series. I know I will!


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