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Publisher's Summary

Warning: Not to be listened to after dark.

For years, Old Gregory has been the Spook for the county, ridding the local villages of evil. Now his time is coming to an end. But who will take over for him? Twenty-nine apprentices have tried: some floundered, some fled, some failed to stay alive.

Only Thomas Ward is left. He's the last hope; the last apprentice. Can Thomas succeed? Will he learn the difference between a benign witch and a malevolent one? Does the Spook's warning against girls with pointy shoes include Alice? And what will happen if Thomas accidentally frees Mother Malkin, the most evil witch in the county?

©2005 Joseph Delaney; (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Delaney grabs readers by the throat and gives them a good shake in a smartly crafted story." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    639
  • 4 Stars
    419
  • 3 Stars
    164
  • 2 Stars
    37
  • 1 Stars
    20

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    522
  • 4 Stars
    260
  • 3 Stars
    92
  • 2 Stars
    20
  • 1 Stars
    8

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    474
  • 4 Stars
    278
  • 3 Stars
    118
  • 2 Stars
    30
  • 1 Stars
    13
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  • Overall

One Spooky book

This book is the first of the The Wardstone Chronicles, The Spook's Last Apprentice. The series intended for children 12 and up. However, adults may enjoy the series too. It is good book to curl up to, but a word of the wise...its scary. The narrator has great voice,tone, and clarity. The narrator and author whirl you through the life of 17th century Spook's Apprentice, as he rids the county of ghost, boggarts, and witches. The battle wages on "good versus evil." Great Book!!!!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Book

I really liked this book it was very suspenseful but in a fun way. The story sucks you in and really makes you care for the people. The narator also has the perfect voice for the part.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mark
  • Kirkland Lake, ON, Canada
  • 09-20-05

Loved it!

Tried this one on a whim, glad I did. A good story that keeps your interest, ties together fantasy (witches and boggarts) and the style of a good ghost story.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Excellent Halloween Fare

I have to enter reviews on some of the books I've enjoyed from Audiobooks because I have found that browsing the reviews can really save me from a bad experience. This book was excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed it. And you should know that it is actually a young adult book.

The author doesn't waste time trying to build his own fantasy world for this series. The stories take place in 'the county' on what we must presume to be our world, but there is no definite sense of any particular time in history or even place. This series is all about the characters and their interactions.

It's an excellent series!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • Morris Plains, NJ, USA
  • 06-21-07

Mediocre

The actor reading the book is great; his character voices are terrific and you can identify which character is speaking just by his voice.
I wish the book itself were as enthralling. The plot turns are obvious and you can see them coming a mile away. The style is an odd mix of British and American. In the midst of dialogue that sounds almost Dickensian, a character might exclaim "Fat chance!" This odd juxtaposition of styles took me right out of the narrative.



8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great Story

Coming up to Halloween, this tale really hit the spot. It's both engaging and delivers just enough "spooky" to get you going. We did listen to it at night and were all the better for it.

Cuddle up to a cozy fire, wrap yourselves in a nice down blanket, and turn this story on. You won't be disappointed.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Didn't work for me - thin characters

This one didn't work for me. I guess I'm much older than the age group it's intended for but the characters just didn't interest me the way I wanted them to. Delaney creates a lot of atmosphere around his world and some interesting ideas about witches but the characters feel too thin. When the story was over, I couldn't see myself trying the next book. I just didn't care enough about them to see what happens next. Maybe a kid would be more enthralled than I was. Maybe there are just too many books out there with a timid boy protagonist, a strict disciplinarian mentor, and a feisty girl foil for the boy who may be a friend or an enemy. I was looking for another layer and never found it.

Narration was fine. Welch creates an olde-time feel with his narration that suits the atmosphere quite well.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

fun weekend listen

Well written and fun to listen to over a couple of hours. Really great job.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • jb11
  • michigan
  • 11-25-05

Fun, creepy read!

Very imaginative, rich storytelling, yet not too heavy. It was a quick listen and kept my attention throughout. The character voices from the narrator added to it. Loved it!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • jackson, MI, USA
  • 10-21-05

VERY, VERY Good Book!

I saw this book and thought I would give it a try and never for one minute during the reading did I regret it. It kept me wanting more all the way to the end, and I still want more. It fit in well with the Halloween season!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful