Reviews for Spook's Tale and Other Horrors

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Fall
Last Apprentice fans will be gratified by this volume, which includes the backstories of John Gregory (the Spook), witch Alice, and witch assassin Grimalkin (those new to the series will be mystified). Like the other entries, this book is clearly written, in an old-fashioned and deliciously gloomy way, and evocatively illustrated with Arrasmith's dark pictures. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 September

Gr 6-9--These short stories are narrated by secondary characters from the popular series, giving insight into some of Tom Ward's well-known companions. A "Gallery of Villains" section identifies additional characters and gives a citation to the novels. This teaser section makes this book invaluable for booktalking as these two- to three-page chapters leave readers hanging in just the right spot. This book would be perfect for pulling reluctant readers into the series. The occasional black-and-white illustrations add a creepy, atmospheric touch.--Saleena L. Davidson, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, NJ

[Page 156]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

VOYA Reviews 2009 October
Each novel in The Last Apprentice series is part of young apprentice spook Tom Ward's diary, providing readers only one perspective of what is taking place. With this newest addition to the series, Delaney fills in some of the information on several other series characters and the many villains they have encountered. This book is truly supplemental, filling in just a bit of background and excerpting from the novels some of Tom's interactions with the creatures he has fought. The longest story tells of young John Gregory's first meeting with the spook who would become his master, although it does not encompass what might be the more interesting story of why he decides to leave the priesthood years later to become an apprentice spook. Alice's story fills in what happens when she returns to her witch relatives' village to find out who has kidnapped Tom's family. The tale about the witch assassin Grimalkin is almost a tease; like Alice, she is an intriguing character struggling with good and evil, and this story of how she becomes an assassin is in sharp contrast to the later scene of her attacking Tom. The villains' pieces are pulled straight from the previous five books, accomplishing little because this book will have limited appeal to anyone who has not already read any of the other books. Series fans will find this unessential addition to the series interesting but containing little that would qualify as "horrors."-- Vikki Terrile. PLB $14.89. ISBN 978-0-06- 173030-6. Illus. 3Q 4P M J Copyright 2009 Voya Reviews.