|Night of the Soul Stealer|
by Joseph Delaney
The Last Apprentice #3
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal,
Thomas Ward returns, in this third installment of the series, to finish his first year as a Spook's apprentice. Old Gregory leads Thomas and Alice towards his winter home, dropping Alice off at a nearby farm as he still doesn't trust her. At Anglezarke we get to meet Meg, the lamia witch that Gregory couldn't bear to throw in a pit because he had fallen in love with her. She is as exceedingly beautiful as we would expect her to be as she has managed to capture a Spook's heart. In this adventure the Spook and his apprentice will have to face an evil mage, lamia witches, and a beast with such great power that it had been perceived as a god by ancient people. Will they be up to the task or will Tom be the last apprentice merely because Gregory will meet his match long before Tom can finish his training?
Even after three books I'm still unsure about Alice. Is she good or evil? She has saved the lives of Tom and Old Gregory several times yet there are still twinges that she is up to no good. It reminds me of JK Rowling's character Severus Snape. Readers are never entirely sure where his loyalties lie until the last book where all is revealed. Alice is the same way, while she appears to be teamed up with the good guys, some of her actions and expressions leave me not quite sure just which side she is on. But I suppose that is what makes a character more realistic, as we all have the capacity for both good and evil within us. It is all about which we choose to act upon.
While I am enjoying this series more than I had expected to, there is no burning desire to hurry up and read the next book. I tend to be obsessive about series in this manner. Just reading reading reading until I have flown through all of the books. I would like to read all of them, but there are so many books in this series and so many other books that I would much rather read. But, I am an adult, and while I do read and enjoy some young adult stories, it is very possible that those within the targeted audience would go absolutely nuts for this series.