★★★☆☆

Book Review: The Last Apprentice (Book One): Revenge of the Witch

IMG_2141 (2).jpgThe Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch
Joseph Delaney
★★★☆☆

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes&Noble

For years, Old Gregory has been the Spook for the county, ridding the local villages of evil. Now his time is coming to an end. But who will take over for him? Twenty-nine apprentices have tried—some floundered, some fled, some failed to stay alive.

Only Thomas Ward is left. He’s the last hope, the last apprentice. (Goodreads)

I just happened upon this book at a yard sale a few weeks ago and was immediately drawn to the cover. Holographic creepy hooded dude walking in a graveyard with a bunch of dead trees? Don’t mind if I do! And then when I read the synopsis and saw it was a YA book about the village spook and witches and boggarts and ghosts (oh my!), of course I brought that sucker home with me!

I love reading more easy/quick reads when I’m feeling like I’m stuck in a slump. I’ve been making more time to read lately, but I was just really feeling like taking it easy for a book or two. And this was the perfect book for that. It’s directed at a younger audience, so the language was pretty simple. Thought this was also a downfall for me, cause at times it was a little too simple. Like I get that it’s for YA readers, but you don’t have to spell everything out for them. Have more faith in your readers, man. I promise they can pick up what you’re puttin’ down.

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The pacing could’ve been better, too. The first half the book was just setting up the story. It didn’t quite get to the point of being boring for me, but I did find myself wondering when the good bits were gonna start. There was some great imagery every so often, though. Simple enough lines that just creaked opened those imagination chambers.

“Soon we were walking down through the narrow cobbled streets, keeping pressed close to the grimy walls to make way for carts heaped with black lumps of coal, wet and gleaming with rain. The huge shire horses that pulled them were straining against their loads, hooves slipping on the shiny cobbles.”

The biggest reason this book got 3 stars from me is because the characters are nothing special. I loved the idea of a town spook whose job was to get rid of all the spooky things in town, but the character of the spook totally fell through for me. His apprentice, the star of the story, had his moments (not totally believable moments, in my opinion), but I was far more interested in the super dangerous witch with red eyes who was living inside of a pit and thirsting for the blood of children. Give me a version of this book told from her perspective!

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There was one character who stood out: Alice. The girl with pointy shoes. The girl who doesn’t want to become a witch like her aunt but who’s destined to become neither a good nor a bad witch but rather something in between — the most dangerous kind. I loved her character! I feel like this book could’ve been amazing if it was written about her instead of the spook’s apprentice. He was just so… bland. Idk.

Overall, it was a pretty decent read. It was a nice break and an interesting enough story. The illustrations were great, too. I love a book with illustrations, and this one had some great ones scattered throughout. Helped add to the feel of the story.

12 thoughts on “Book Review: The Last Apprentice (Book One): Revenge of the Witch”

  1. Haha I’ve just realized that the movie Seventh Son is based on this book, I didn’t know there were books! I hate that movie hahaha, it was such a flop, and Jeff Bridges plays the spook, and I can’t.stand.his.voice! It was a shame really, because there were some awesome actors, like Julianne Moore who plays Mother Malkin, which is my favorite character, and the CGI was awful ugh. But now I want to read the books! And what’s more, I realized these are the books I always glance at at the bookstore, it’s just that they translated the title differently. But 13 books omg…I can see parts 2-4 are rated much higher on GR, will you continue with the series?

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    1. It’s a movie?? Aw that’s sucks it wasn’t better. It’s a pretty neat concept. Ooh now I’m curious to see how they did Mother Malkin in the movie. She was hella scary sounding in the book. Hmmmm idk I might give the second one a shot. It really wasn’t that bad of a book. It just could’ve been a lot better. I am curious to see what happens with Alice, though. I feel like she’ll get a bigger part in later books. Wait there’s 13 books in the series??? Woah. That’s like, too much lol.

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      1. Yep and and awful one. xD Haha well she’s cool, but Jeff Bridges…his voice ruins what’s even good of the movie haha xD Yep, I looked on GR, 13 books lol, but I guess you can quit anytime haha, I’ll try the first one some day soon. 🙂

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      2. I watched the trailer. Looks like they might have based it on a few of the books. There were a lot of monsters I didn’t recognize. Mother Malkin looks cool, but she’s waaaay scarier in the book. The description of her was insane. Let me know what you think if you do read it!

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  2. Good review! It’s so disappointing when a book seems to tick all the right boxes and lures you in with the promise of something good and then just ends up being…. average. This would have piqued my interest as well with the cover and description but I hate when YA is too basic because there is no need to dumb it down!

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    1. Thank you! Ugh yeah it was a let down. Though a friend just told me books 2-4 have much better ratings, so I’m thinking about trying them out and seeing if it gets better. It’s such a neat idea! Exaaaaactly. Even when I was around the age YA is directed towards I hated when books did that. We’re smarter than you think, authors!

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      1. Have you read anything by Patrick Ness? I think he’s an excellent example of a YA author who uses ‘adult’ themes but doesn’t dumb anything down or shy away from the hard topics!

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      2. I’ve only read a few so far but the first I read was ‘The Rest of Us Just Live Here’ which is about a town where *all* the crazy stuff happens (vampires, ghosts, aliens, gods etc.) but the story doesn’t follow the ‘chosen ones’ but the ordinary group of teens that just see it all happening. I’ve only read the first book of his Chaos Walking Trilogy ‘The Knife of Never Letting Go’ but that was fantastic. He is a writer who has a talent for smashing you with the emotion!

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