Reading Level: Middle Grade
Size: 432 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: August 21, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 10th book in the Last Apprentice series
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
This is the tenth book in the Last Apprentice series. In this book we are back to hearing from Tom and the Spook. It was an excellent addition to the series and really shows how the story is shifting away from the Spook and more to Tom.
Tom makes a journey to find out what needs to be done to bind the Fiend’s soul for good. Then Tom and the Spook journey to a small town to get more books from the Spook’s library. When they arrive they find out that the town is infested with Romanian witches on a mission for the Fiend.
This book progresses the story nicely. We find out what must be done to bind the Spook’s soul and what a horrible thing it is. All of these books are dark, but I thought this was one of the darkest books yet. This book was more of a YA reading level than a middle grade read I thought. Very violent at times and kind of creepy and scary too.
All of our favorite characters are here; Tom, the Spook, and Alice. We also get to meet a new character that is one of the Spook’s previous apprentices and he made a good addition to the story. Tom definitely takes front and center and is really coming into his own as a Spook.
The Spook is definitely showing his age and takes a backseat to the other characters in this book.
Alice is growing in power and continues to flirt with the dark, yet she remains steadfast to Tom and does her best to try and combat the Fiend. You see a lot of her struggling to balance the necessity of using the Dark and the want to stay with her friends in the Light. She is also absent a large portion of the book since she is off helping Grimalkin.
We meet some new horrible and creepy creatures of the dark. The book gets fairly violent at points, with some scenes of torture as well. Just a heads up for younger readers.
The book ends at a good spot, with things being set up for the next installment. Not a lot of twists or turns in the story, but it is still an engaging read. The creepy illustrations throughout really add to the story.
Overall I really enjoyed this book, it progressed the story nicely. It was a bit darker than other books in the series, more violent with some torture scenes…so just a heads up to younger readers. Tom is really coming into his own as a Spook and it was great to see him take on the Dark by himself. Alice also continues to grow in her dark power. This whole series is highly recommended to those who enjoy adventure fantasy with horror in it.