Customer Reviews for

Revenge of the Witch (Last Apprentice Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
( 291 )
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(189)

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(61)

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(20)

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(8)

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(13)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

22 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

Creepy & Tense

Picked this up a while ago but decided it would be a fun Halloween read. I wanted to preview it for my 10 year old son. He's been a fan of R. L. Stine's Goosebumps for years and from the general premise, I thought The Last Apprentice might be a fun series for him.

...
Picked this up a while ago but decided it would be a fun Halloween read. I wanted to preview it for my 10 year old son. He's been a fan of R. L. Stine's Goosebumps for years and from the general premise, I thought The Last Apprentice might be a fun series for him.

For being a middle-reader book, I found this rather engaging. I really enjoyed the character development. I liked the language and imagery used. And I found the story entertaining.

The concept of the book (the first in a series) is somewhat intriguing. We're in some "County" that feels loosely based on 18th/19th century America. A collection of small towns and villages spread over the countryside with generally religious/righteous people who are very superstitiously afraid of all things supernatural. Which is where the story comes in.

Gregory is a "Spook" which basically means he wanders around the County taking care of these supernatural problems..witches, ghosts, boggarts, etc. He's sort of like a colonial era version of the Ghostbusters. And he's taken our central character Tom as his apprentice. Tom is a bit frightened and wary of what this means, but he puts his heart into the effort and learns a lot, but also makes a number of very BAD mistakes which lead to a lot of bad problems for himself, the community, the Spook and others.

I felt like the story arc was pretty cohesive and the trajectory was generally believable. It was a bit of a stretch for me when Tom kept quiet about his encounter on the way back from town (I don't want to spell out what he kept secret, as it's a semi-spoiler). The Spook is Tom's authority figure and he'd given him very specific and particular advice. It didn't seem odd to me that Tom would have an opportunity to go against the Spook's advice.but it did seem odd that he didn't let the Spook know what happened. I guess perhaps he was ashamed/embarrassed, but since nothing had really happened, there shouldn't have been any need for hesitation. Still, I guess that's probably just me trying to put an adult mindset on a child's behavior.

Anyway, the story progressed well and I found myself caught up in the suspense and horror of the events as they unfolded. Things went from bad to worse to disastrous. And it felt like a natural rather than contrived flow. I was somewhat surprised at how everything finally came to a resolution.

So, overall, I enjoyed the book and found it an entertainingly creepy read. But, would I recommend it for my ten year old? NO. I would not. Part of me wants to because it was an entertaining read.but the larger part of me doesn't want to because this is a dark and gritty book. It's definitely written with children in mind. The horror stays on the tamer side of things.but it's still very creepy and very dark. The elements of violence and segments of gruesome interactions would certainly be frightening to anyone with tender sensitivities. Perhaps I'm being over protective as a parent.but I don't feel like this is the sort of book for a young reader. I could see the content working for a teenage audience.but by that point, it may come off as a little thin for teens who would rather graduate up to adult horror/thrillers.

Generally, I give the writing and the story 3.5 out of 5 stars, but even though it's a "kids" book, I can't recommend it for youngsters.

****
3.5 out of 5

posted by theokester on October 28, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Definitly a Teen Read!

I picked upthis book in 3rd Grade thinking since I had already tackled the Harry Potter series Icould handle it, I was wrong. As a meek 8 year old, this book scared me oit of my mind and gave me nightmmares for a couple months. Again like some of the other reviewers men...
I picked upthis book in 3rd Grade thinking since I had already tackled the Harry Potter series Icould handle it, I was wrong. As a meek 8 year old, this book scared me oit of my mind and gave me nightmmares for a couple months. Again like some of the other reviewers mentioned, teen book, I would strongly agree. I have not fought up the courage to go back to this book yet even though I am pretty much a teen now, but I am roundinng up my rating bevause I heard it was well written, ( I didn't get through much of it as an 8 year old). So just warning you, again I have found as well it depends on the reader but if you are a little more of a " Scaredy Squirell" I would hold off on these books untill a little later.

posted by 11173356 on January 5, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    Jetfur

    "You don't seem fine.. You seem.. Sad?" He mewed softly, looking at her.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Fernstar

    The old medicine cat settled into the clearing leaving a trail of starlight behind her. Whats with weasilkit? The statclan leader asked nervously.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2012

    Enjoyable read

    This was a surprise find but an enjoyable one. If you enjoy ghost stories without a lot of gore but with suspense as well, try this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2012

    good book

    I really enjoyed this book. I am really glad I read this book and now I am going to work through the series. This was a quick and easy story to read. Great way to spend the weekend --losing yourself in a good story.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    Creepy but good

    This was an easy read that maanaged to be pretty interesting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2012

    Good

    Kind of feels a little young readerish so far but a fun story nevertheless.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2012

    Good book for Y/A

    I often read YA books to try and connect with my student's interests. This is a great example of a book that is not mindless gorp for preteens. It has a really terrific different plot that is well- developed and slightly scary but holds your attention. No cussing or sex. Wish this new series had been around for me when I was ten!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2012

    Was good

    Was really good

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  • Posted November 10, 2011

    i would prefur you read this

    the book was realy good

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  • Posted July 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Get drawn into the adventure

    "Revenge of the Witch" is exciting, scary intriguing. Delaney has created a far more interesting, dark, and different world from many of the other more gothic YA series out today. It is definitely more of a page turner. Though the stories are a little on the predictable side they are still well worth the ride. "Revenge of the Witch," the first book in the "Last Apprentice" series, is definitely one of the one of the scarier tales (I would especially not recommend reading any the second half before going to bed) and it sets the tone for the rest of this adventure through the strange world of the County and all of its bumps in the dark.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2007

    The Last Apprentice

    I would recommend the book The Last Apprentice by Joseph Delany. This book takes place in a setting a long time ago. This book is viewed in the perspective of Thomas J. Ward who is about to become an apprentice. Tom is a boy who is turning 12 and he is small for his age. Tom is a seventh son of a seventh son which means that he is eligible for the job. In this story Tom and the Spook are like the town defenders. Their job is to keep the dark side away from the county. Tom doesn¿t always follow the rules the Spook gives him so he gets himself into very bad situations. My favorite part in the book is when Tom fights a very powerful and strong witch named Mother Malkin. Tom lets this witch free. Little does he know about killing and dealing with witches he kills Mother Malkin¿s spirit comes back to haunt him. With him, the county, and his family and friends in danger, will he be able to stop Mother Malkin¿s ghost? I would recommend this book to someone who likes fantasy, adventure, or magic. This book is a long 343 page book filled with action and adventure on every page. I would recommend this book to grades 5-7. Out of five stars I would give this a 4 ½ because this is a book that you will not want to put down.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2007

    Kid's review

    I reviewed a book called ¿The Last Apprentice- Revenge of the Witch and it was a good book. The author is Joseph Delaney, and I like his writing style. This book would, be classified as an action/adventure book. In this book, there is a boy named Thomas Ward. Thomas is the 7th son of a 7th son, and he is turning 13. Tom finds out that he is going under a 1-month trial for a job as a Spook¿s Apprentice. The Spook¿s Apprentice¿s job is very dark ¿ he has to help bind boggarts and chain witches. These jobs are done so that the witches and boggarts stop killing people. The job is done in a town called Chipenden. He decides to stay with the job after he passes the month trial. Anything that has to do with a Spook is looked down upon because people do not tend to understand the reasons of which the job is done. People try to get rid of the Spooks but they can¿t, because spooks are intelligent and strong ¿ a deadly mix. Thomas, on the other hand, is not that strong or that dangerous ¿ but he is very intelligent. My favorite part of this book was when Tom was still doing his one-month trial. The Spook leaves Tom in a room with two doors ¿ a basement door and a door that goes outside. All Tom has is a candle and 3 rules ¿ 1. Do not let the candle blow out. 2. Do not go into the basement. 3. Do not open the door for anyone. This is my favorite part of the book because Tom had already broken rule 1 and rule 2. The wind blew the candle out, and Tom felt like someone was watching him ¿ so he went into the basement. After about 2 minutes of complete silence (except the wind), Tom goes back up and out of the basement. As soon as he sits down in the middle of the room, the doorbell rings. He remembers the Spook¿s rules, but he heard the voice of his own mother. His mother was pleading and asking him to open the door and let her in ¿ she said she was very cold and wet outside in the rain. When Tom didn¿t open, the voice actually started crying. That¿s when Tom knew not to answer the door. His mother was tough ¿ she would never cry just because of rain. It shows that Tom is careful yet caring for others. The book is the first in a series, and I think this is a bit below my reading level because it only has 350 pages and I can read it in a weekend. I would give this book 4 and a half stars because it is funny in some parts and has action in the other parts. I would recommend this book to anyone that likes a quick and easy action/adventure book.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2007

    Kid's review: A MUST read!

    The book The Last Apprentice by Joseph Delaney is an amazing fantasy story. If you like scary books, well this is one of them. It¿s 340 pages long and takes place on the country side and other small towns. The main character, Thomas, is an apprentice to the local spook. His job is to protect the county from boggarts, witches, ghosts, and other things that bring threat to the people in their county. Many others who have been apprenticed to the spook have died a terrible death, whether it¿s having the blood drained out of you, or being cursed by a witch. So Tom is training for a dangerous job, and little does he know that he will soon have to deal with a dangerous witch called Mother Malkin¿ on his own! One of my favorite scenes is when Tom is taking his first test as a spook. If he fails, then he is not fit to be a spook. Tom had to stay in a haunted house and was told that he must go down into the cellar at 12:00 midnight, sharp. But before then, footsteps began to appear in the dust on the floor of the old haunted house. Tom shook with fear. He couldn¿t see any body that was making the prints. But when 12:00 strikes, Tom hears an awful scraping noise coming from the cellar. He was scared out of his wits. But if Tom fails, what will his Mam think? She always did believe in him. He decided that he must go down. This part of the book makes me anxious, because what if Tom fails? And what if there¿s something terrible down in the cellar waiting for him to come so it can devour him? This is the part of the book that really tells you how dangerous a spook¿s job can be. And it makes me think: What if I was in this situation? I really remember this part of the book. I think that the author did a really good job describing the settings that take place in this book. I also really liked how he described the characters. There isn¿t anything else that sounds like it needs more detail or description. This was at a good reading level for me. This book is on my shelf at home and is one of my favorites. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy. I really liked this book!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2006

    This book was better than expected!

    I must say it was a very suspensful book. There were times when I could very well picture what I was reading but, I didn't want to! If you are the type of person who likes something creepy yet amazing to read, get this book. I promise you'll like it.

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    Posted July 29, 2009

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    Posted November 15, 2012

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