It’s late, and you’ve decided to do a little light reading before turning in for the night. By the soft light of the bedside lamp, you pick up the first book in John Delaney’s The Last Apprentice series, Revenge of the Witch. As you crack open the book you hear a soft rumbling from the storm outside. You snuggle a bit more under the covers and open up to where you left off and read, “And open it did, very slowly, with a loud creak. Something stepped into the room. I felt coldness then. Real coldness. The kind of coldness that told me something was close that didn’t belong on this earth.” What’s going to happen? Is it a spirit? Is it a man? You start to feel the dread thirteen-year-old Tom must be feeling, when suddenly, RIIIIIING! You nearly jump out of your skin as your phone rings to life. Holy ghost! Spirits, and boggarts, and witches, oh my! When John Delaney put this spooky tale down on paper, he wasn’t messing around!

Meet Tom, the seventh son of a seventh son, and new apprentice to the Village Spook, Mr. Gregory. What’s a Spook you ask? Well, a Spook is the person who protects the common folk from ghouls, witches, and all manner of things that go bump in the night. Mr. Gregory has been at this job for years and his time is running out. He’s trained, well, attempted to train, twenty-seven apprentices. Twenty seven! Some lived and gave up the ghost while others met gruesome and untimely ends. Young Tom is the only option left; he’s the last apprentice. Tom has a lot to learn, and he’s not quite sure he’s up to it; furthermore, there are just so many questions! What’s wrong with girls who wear pointy shoes? What happens when you bury a witch? What happens when you kill a really strong witch? Why must he dig all these holes? You get the point.

When Tom meets Alice, he notices the pointy shoes on her feet. You or I might not think anything of a girl wearing pointy shoes, but Mr. Gregory has warned Tom to NEVER trust a woman with pointy shoes. The problem is, Tom doesn’t understand the problem with pointy shoes and Alice seems like an alright sort; so, when she asks him to do her a favor he cautiously concedes. What is that favor? I’ll let you find out.

Part supernatural horror, part coming-of-age story, and part suspense makes this unusual tale worth reading. If you’re in the mood for something spooky this October, then don’t miss a chance to pick up this spine-chilling, coming of “spook” story! The Chesapeake Public library carries this title as a play-away, on CD, and in the always traditional book!

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