Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Book Review: Attack of the Fiend (The Last Apprentice #4)

Release Date: February 26, 2008
Author: Joseph Delaney
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Length: 546 pages
Source: Purchased Book

"I see your future clearly. Your master will be dead, and you will be alone. It would be better if you had never been born."

Thomas Ward is the apprentice for the local Spook, who banishes boggarts and drives away ghosts. But now a new danger is threatening Tom's world. The witches are rising and the three most powerful clans are uniting in order to conjure an unimaginable evil.

Tom and the Spook set out to stop the witches before they unleash the demon. But when Tom finds himself on his own, he wonders if he has the courage and cunning to defeat the most powerful enemy he has ever encountered.



Protagonist: Tom, Alice, and the Spook have many trials ahead of themselves when they travel to Pendle to take care of a very serious problem there. Tom also has another reason to go as his family's gone missing and it seems as if Pendle witches are to blame. In an earlier installment I thought I might have just been reading too much into things when I thought Tom was being a bit too prideful and while he may be the Spook's best apprentice he still has a lot to learn, but I felt there was no real pay off or even confirmation that Tom's pride was a bad thing, however it's brought up here and since things are getting much more dangerous Tom needs to learn now more than ever to not get cocky. Again, I love Tom's character and his growth throughout the series so far, and while I know a lot of what happens later on, I can't wait to see him grow even more.

Romance: Wow, haven't seen this section in a review for this book in a while, well that's because it's finally time. As this series progresses Tom will get older, and thus want to find companionship with someone. Now while Alice is the obvious choice for Tom's inevitable love interest, seeing as she's the only girl around his age that we've seen in this world ths far, there is someone else who becomes attracted to Tom. Now, the romance in this installment is very light. It more just begins to introduce the idea of Tom being romantically attached.

World Building: The Dark is growing and for some reason I don't seem to realize that there's an entire story before the final climax because in my previous review for this series I said that things would really start to kick up, and they do, but that's not til much later in this tale. No, this story serves as a fantastic way to explore more of Tom's family, particularly his Mam, though another of his brothers does appear in this book. Tom's Mam is a bit of an enigma and while I want to say here's where we get all our answers about her, I can't, we learn SO much more though and it's done is such a spectacular way. We also learn more abot witches in this installment as well as learn what they're up to and who the Big Bad of this series is. Finally, we meet my all time favorite character of this series, but beware, her scissors are sharp.

Foreshadowing: Much like with the previous installments in this series I cannot comment on the predictability of this book as it's a reread, but there is foreshadowing galore to be found within this book. There are so many things that relate to future installments as well as this one. Looking back I don't think much of it was that obvios though. There were a few things, which I probably shouldn't mention because they're pretty obvious.

Ending: Gah, the ending is fantastic! It's full of tension and anticipation. I can't give too much away but while it isn't something that's scary in the traditional sense and while there are more books in this series narrated by Tom I knew he wasn't going to die yet, but I forgot just how narrowly he escapes danger in this series sometimes. The final climax is fairly different than others I've seen in most books. It's hard to explain bt it's very emotional and tense in the moment. Anyway, once again we are also treated to an epilogue from Tom setting the stage for the next book, the world is changing, the Dark is rising, what's next?


I'll be the first to admit my ratings are this series might be a little skewed as I've reread a few Middle Grade favorites and they haven't held up all that well, but this series does. It's by no means the best series ever but the story is fantastic and the characters are amazing and I love traveling through this story again.


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