Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Spook's - Slither's Tale Review

The Eulogy (From the Publisher):
Slither is not human. Far from the Spook-protected County, he preys upon humans, sneaking into their homes to gorge upon their blood while they sleep.

When a local farmer dies, it's only natural that Slither should want to feast on his lovely daughters. But the farmer has offered him a trade: in return for taking the younger girls to safety, Slither can have the eldest daughter, Nessa, to do with as he wishes . . .

Slither's promise takes him and Nessa on a treacherous journey where enemies await at every turn. Enemies that include Grimalkin, the terrifying witch assassin, still searching for a way to destroy the Fiend for good.

The Epitaph (In a Nutshell): The 11th book in the Wardstone Chronicles; the introduction of new characters means this could be read as a standalone.

Dearly Departed,

We are gathered here today to discuss Slither’s Tale, by Joseph Delaney. This latest in the ever-expanding series has just cemented the Wardstone Chronicles as my favourite horror books. As much as I love reading the journey of Tom, the Spook and Alice to destroy the Fiend once and for all, this tale of a haizda mage has breathed new life into the series. Delaney has created such a rich dark fantasy world that it’s really rewarding to view it from another character’s point of view.

And what a character! I love a good anti-hero, and Slither is definitely not a servant of the light. I really enjoyed seeing the growth of this character as the book progressed, especially later on as another familiar favourite character is introduced. For those wanting to break into the Spook’s series, Slither could be a good place to start. It will help give you a feel for the world without having to know much about the rest of the story (although some of the revelations in this might act as spoilers for earlier books, should you go back and read them).

For Readers: The Spook’s Books can be quite dark, although they’re rarely gory. I find these to be some of the most chilling horror series, which is great for lovers of horror. Recommended age range is 12+, for older fans of Ranger’s Apprentice or other fantasy.

For Writers: I think that this series is one of the best examples of horror writing for children. Read it to get a good insight into what dark fantasy can be, rather than straight horror or post-apocalyptic. It’s also a great example of a long story arc, so for those wanting to write multi-book series, this is a must!

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