Spook’s: A New Darkness
(Book One of The Starblade Chronicles)
By Joseph Delaney.
Rating: 4.5 /5
From the back cover:
“An Army of beasts is gathering in the north. They will invade our lands…Enslave our people…And spread their terror to the far corners of the earth.”
A short synopsis:
After the death of his master John Gregory, Tom Ward is no longer the apprentice, he is now the Chipenden Spook. After the battle with the Fiend the Dark is seeming very quiet but a new threat is coming. The Kobalos. Beasts from another land, determined to travel to The County, kill all of the males and enslave the females.
Grimalkin, the witch assassin, has had previous dealings with the Kobalos and believes that together she and Tom can save the county. With Starblade in hand and new apprentice Jenny, the first ever female Spook’s apprentice, by his side Tom sets off on a journey to the far North with Grimalkin to see these beasts for himself.
My fiancé is the one who first introduced me to the world of the Spook’s, he had been reading The Wardstone Chronicles since he was a young teenager and he lent me the first book in that series, The Spook’s Apprentice. I was hooked into this wonderful world of ghosts, ghouls and creatures of the Dark. We followed The Wardstone Chronicles through to the bitter end and were left feeling a little bereft at the thought of no more Spook’s books. It is safe to say that we were both filled with excitement at the prospect of a new series.
Tom is now the Spook with an apprentice of his own, Jenny, the Seventh Daughter of a Seventh Daughter. I love that Delaney has chosen to give Tom a female apprentice, the introduction of seventh daughters of seventh daughters is truly exciting. I was also happy to see that Grimalkin is still to be featured in this series.
Although this is a follow on series from The Wardstone Chronicles I do not believe that you have to have read them first. All of the characters are reintroduced and this is a brand new story. The Kobalos pose a new threat to The County, but they are from a different country so the world of the Spook’s is opening up further, giving readers a new place to explore. New readers will find this a gripping read and will be introduced to the wonderfully scary tales of Joseph Delaney, he really is a master of children’s literature.
Delaney has an easy-to-read writing style making his books fairly quick reading. I am a fast reader and normally finish one of his books in a few hours, my fiancé who reads a lot slower than I still only takes a day or two. His books are great for children aged 10+, they can be quite scary at times what with all of the creatures of the Dark but there is a clear message of good triumphing over evil which is always welcome in children’s books.
I would recommend this for fans of Lockwood & Co. by Johnathan Stroud, Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Briggs and fans of ghost stories, supernatural tales and adventures.