Thursday, January 29, 2015

Revenge Of The Witch by Joseph Delaney

Thomas Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son, gifted with an awareness of the supernatural. Arrangements have been made for him to become the next apprentice to the Spook. He'll learn how to combat and trap frightful creatures in order to protect the countryside. When he unknowingly releases a powerful witch from her imprisonment, he must rely on his limited knowledge to defeat her. This is the first book in The Last Apprentice series.

Revenge Of The Witch is a middle grade, young adult story. It's an engaging blend of fantasy and horror. It manages to create an eerie undertone that enhances the suspense.

I enjoyed reading this story and was surprised by how creepy it was at times. The settings were wonderfully portrayed and atmospheric. I especially enjoyed the large amount of paranormal and supernatural elements packed into the story. It has everything from hauntings, possession, ghasts, boggarts, witches, and gruesome magic. All while remaining appropriate for the intended audience.
I loved the ink illustrations by Patrick Arrasmith included throughout the book. Each illustration enhanced the tone and mood of each chapter beginning. I also liked the map and journal entries included at the end of the book. I especially liked how they mirrored information given within the story and felt like they came from the main character.  

I really liked how Thomas' character demonstrates the concept of bravery by facing his fears. Each new frightful encounter further develops his character and I couldn't help rooting for him. I also liked that the story touched on different ideas such as loneliness, tolerance, independence, and compassion through his character.

The story is a quick read with interesting characters and exciting adventures. I did lose a bit of interest towards the end because I didn't care much for the extended storyline with Alice but I'm curious about what role she will play in the future. The story sets the foundation for the series and I definitely plan to continue reading The Last Apprentice series.

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