Rave Reviews Log: Mysteries & Suspense

March 25, 2008

Attack of the Fiend

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

This is the 4th book in the spine tingling Last Apprentice series. Thomas Ward has finished his first year as the Spook's apprentice, and he, his master, and his friend Alice are all preparing to leave for Pendle, an area that is bristling with three different witch clans. The Spook has heard rumors that the clans might actually join together to try to raise one of the darkest of beings--the Fiend--and he reckons it is time to sort out the witches once and for all. Tom stops by his family's farm to pick up the trunks his Mam left him--their contents are unknown--only to find his family has been kidnapped by the Malkin witch clan, along with his Mam's trunks. The trio rush to Pendle with the intent to rescue Tom's family and try to stop the clans from joining up. But soon Tom finds himself under attack by different witches--all of whom want the keys to the trunks. His mother warned that the trunks held powerful magic and protection and Tom can't let them fall into the hands of witches...but is he willing to sacrifice his family for them? This installment in the series is full of nonstop action as Tom uncovers more about the witches, their prophecies concerning him, his mother's true background, and the oncoming great evil. Fans of these spooky stories will be more than happy with this entry and be looking forward to the next one. Previous books in the series include Revenge of the Witch, Curse of the Bane, and Night of the Soul-Stealer.

March 17, 2008

The Traitors' Gate

By Avi
Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

In November of 1849 in London, 14 year old John Huffman hears the news that his father is being sent to debtor's prison for owing 300 pounds to a Mr. O'Doul. As his family is carted off in disgrace and John is sent to beg from his great-aunt for a loan, he begins to notice strange things. A man wearing a false beard and calling himself Inspector Copperfield leaves a mysterious warning with John. A Mr. Farquatt offers marriage to John's sister, but it turns out that may not be what he's really after. A strange young girl keeps following John wherever he goes. And when John follows his father, he finds his father has many secrets he's been keeping. What is really going on with the Huffman family? As John begins to dig into the mystery, he will discover a plot to uncover spies and traitors...and he will be surprised to find that he is in the thick of it! There are many twists to unravel in this plot, but readers should be engaged enough to follow the turns to the satisfying ending. Those liking their mysteries steeped in history will enjoy this outing.