Monday, January 28, 2013

Best Reads: Spook's Apprentice

As a children's bookseller, I get asked a lot for horror recommendations, but what I find most of the time is that it's not the readers themselves doing the asking, it's their parents/aunts/uncles/grandparents. They know their kids like horror, but since most of it can't stand it themselves, they don't know where to start.

So over the next few weeks I thought I'd present five of my favourite books that any parent can confidently give their horror fan, knowing that they'll devour it.

NB: These recommendations won't come in any order, they're all as brilliant as each other.

Wardstone Chronicles: The Spook’s Apprentice by Joseph Delaney

What's it About?
Thomas Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son, which makes him Spook material. The problem is, Tom isn't convinced he wants to be a Spook – after all, a Spook’s role is to roam the county, ridding it of dark creatures like witches, boggarts and even the devil himself. Can Tom complete his training as an apprentice and become the best Spook the county has ever seen? Or will he be won over by the dark side?

And in a Nutshell?
Dark fantasy, brilliant world-building, the horror comes from build-up and scary monsters rather than gore, long series, books start off youngish (perhaps 10/11+) and get older, movie Seventh Son coming in 2013.

Why is it a Best Read?
As of writing this, there are ten books in the Wardstone Chronicles main storyline, two books of short stories, two standalone tales that also tie in with the main one, and one bestiary. As a body of work, it is absolutely my favourite series – this is dark fantasy at its very best. The series has some of the most memorable characters, both heroes and villains (who are sometimes both). Not only that, but the various plots just grow stronger with each book, and the creatures of the dark become more terrifying.

The Wardstone Chronicles is a very chilling horror series for readers 10/11+ (though I believe the target audience is older in subsequent books). I’d highly recommend it to readers who are just getting into horror, as the first few books aren’t quite as scary as the later ones, and there is very little gore. Most of the horror relies on worldbuilding and creating a great atmosphere.

Buy It
My Review
Spook's Website

No comments:

Post a Comment