Spook’s: A New Darkness (Starblade Chronicles #1) by Joseph Delaney

Summary from Goodreads

A chilling new trilogy from the author of the internationally bestselling The Last Apprentice series! Tom Ward is an apprentice no longer—now he is a fully fledged spook battling boggarts, witches, and other creatures of the dark. This three-book arc will introduce brand-new readers to Joseph Delaney’s haunting world, and delight longtime fans.

Tom Ward is the spook, the one person who can defend the county from ghosts, ghasts, boggarts, witches, and other bloodthirsty creatures of the dark. But he’s only seventeen, and his apprenticeship was cut short when his master died in battle. No one trusts Tom’s skill, not till he’s proven himself. And a fifteen-year-old girl named Jenny knows more about the three mysterious deaths in the county than Tom does. She is a seventh daughter of a seventh daughter and she wants to be Tom’s first apprentice—even though a female spook is unheard of. Together, Tom and Jenny will uncover the grave danger heading straight toward the county, and they’ll team up with a witch assassin to confront it.

A New Darkness begins a three-book series that will introduce new readers to Joseph Delaney’s deliciously scary imagination and delight his longtime fans. A New Darkness is perfect for every reader who loves thrills, chills, action, and adventure-no prior knowledge of the Last Apprentice series necessary!

The Last Apprentice series, the first internationally bestselling series about Tom Ward, is soon to be a major motion picture, Seventh Son, starring Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Olivia Williams, Antje Traue, Djimon Hounsou, and Julianne Moore as Mother Malkin.

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 5th 2014 by Bodley Head
 
My Review
 
The dark and very inviting world of the Spook’s books are something I love to fully immerse myself in. I was terribly delighted that Joseph Delaney was kick-starting a new series with one of my all-time favourite characters – Tom! I love that this could be read by old die hard fans and also new readers alike. Admittedly not as spooky as some of the other books but still a fantastic read.

The tone to this book has changed somewhat as Tom has matured as a person and taken on a great responsibility. He’s following in his masters footsteps and I loved seeing him making the same decisions and wondering what he would of thought. Although his master taught him well, he’s still thinking outside the box and making his own mind up.

When girls are found murdered in their beds, their troubled ghosts left to haunt their place of death – Tom knows he needs to intervene. The beast causing all the trouble proves to be a seriously dangerous threat that Tom knows nothing about. He must act fast and make some dangerous decisions if he has any hopes of stopping this fearsome beast in it’s tracks.
 

This beast is only the start of the problem though. An army of them plan to sweep the earth, killing and enslaving as they go. We were introduced to such beasts in a previous book ‘Slither’s Tale’ and I’ve been intrigued with their race ever since. When Grimalkin shows up to help Tom out, he knows he needs to think hard about joining her on her mission against this great threat.
 
The ending is….infuriating though!
 
A New Darkness is only the beginning in what I expect will be another fantastic series from Joseph Delaney. The writing is so engaging, descriptive and darkly moreish. Action, adventure, danger, mis-hap and an intriguing new character to get to know – whats not to love? Bring on the next!
 
4 / 5 Stars
 
*Special thanks to Bodley Head for the review copy*
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