Thursday, October 9, 2008
The Last Apprentice: Attack of the Fiend
by Joseph DeLaney
(I read the version published in England, but other than a few terms, I don't think the story is any different)
Attack of the Fiend begins shortly after Night of the Soul Stealer ends. The Spook has decided to take Tom and Alice to Pendle in an effort to rid the area of the covens of witches that reside there. As the Spook explains it "Often the witches bicker and argue but when they do agree and meet together with a common purpose, their strength is greatly increased...You see that's right at the heart of the threat we face - that the witch clans may unite" (p 17). The trio teams up with the Spook's friend, a priest called Father Stocks, in an effort to rid the area once and for all of the witch families that live there. Their plans are thrown off when Tom's family becomes involved and it becomes a race against time to prevent the witch clans from uniting and summoning the Fiend (aka the devil) himself.
I enjoyed this story quite a bit better than the last one in this series. It felt like the story was progressing, and while Tom was still making some of the same dumb mistakes (ie leaving without telling the Spook what he was up to), he used a lot more thought and has grown a lot as a character. It was interesting reading his concerns about how he has changed since becoming the Spook's apprentice and whether those changes have all been for the best.
We also meet Tom's brother James in this story, and it was sure nice to have a nice brother around for a change. Jack may have been trying to look out for his family or whatever, but he sure treats Tom poorly, though that comes back to bite him in this tale as well.
I don't really feel like I can talk a lot more about the story without giving spoilers, so I will leave it at that. But, I really enjoyed this one, and I look forward to reading the fifth one, Wrath of the Bloodeye, soon!
4 out of 5 stars
Posted by KT at 1:58 PM