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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Well let's see, I am a 40 year old male that sometimes get embarrassed when I read the grade level for these Joseph Delaney books, but let me tell you; they are very entertaining. I love how all the forces come together for this installment. Great story telling. The problem is you read the books so fast and you end up wanting more. So I picked up the the Witches Revenge and started reading it again. I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a great good vs. evil book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
When I cracked open this book and saw a screaming woman with bloodied knives in each of her hands, and a face covered in swirling Maori-like tattoos staring up at me, I knew I would once again be frightened out of my wits for the entire time it would take me to read Clash of the Demons. Delaney returns with a more powerful than ever, frightful tale of the latest adventure of the Spook and young Tom Ward.

Tom's mother has returned from Greece and wishes him and the Spook to accompany her back to her homeland to fight off the greatest of evil beings, that if not slayed, will destroy the country and soon the world. So desperate for assistance in her plight she gathers up all the local witches, including Gramalkin whom we have fought before, and pulls together all of Tom's past foes to fight evil with evil as she believes it is her only chance to rid the world of the abomination called the Ordeen. The Spook doesn't like the sound of this plan one bit, and at first refuses to go as it is against his principle to fight the demons of the world with darkness itself, but he is finally convinced after talking with fellow spook Arkwright, and Mam herself, that it will be THE only way to win this war. Alice too, Tom's friendly witch-amore that we saw banished from Chipenden by the Spook in the last episode, is also called upon to help and make the journey.

It is a sorrowful, weary and terrified band of both light and dark that board the ship Celeste, all silently praying they will come back alive. With a few shocking surprises regarding who Tom's mother is, and a couple of visits from Tom's old arch enemy the Fiend, the motley group of bloodthirsty witches and ghost-busting spooks arrive in the land of Meteora to battle the dark in a gory bloodbath like we've never seen before in this series of books. Alice redeems herself, the Spook resigns himself, two party members sacrifice themselves for the cause, and Mam, finally after seven books, reveals all to Tom, what she was, what she is, and what she shall become.

Tom is given hard choices with few options in the Clash of Demons, but the reader will enjoy his growing strengths and power as he learns to recall and put to use all that the Spook has taught him over the years, proving to be a force to be reckoned with as the forces of good and evil challenge his wits and test his skills.

Scarier than the previous books, I couldn't put this book down and loved every drop of blood that fell upon my quickly turned pages. Once again the illustrator also deserves high praise, I thought this batch of drawings heart-stopping and fabulous to behold. I thought that this being book seven for the seventh son of the seventh son, would finish off the series, but as it appears by the ending, there is thankfully more to come. I never tire of these Last Apprentice stories and do hope they never end. They scare me to death but I smile as I devour them hungry for more!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Another great book in a very fun, well-written series. I enjoy these books as much as my 15-year old son. I don't usually like horror, but these books are page-turners. They ARE gory and frightening, so not appropriate for kids under 10 or 11, in my opinion. Read Book One first. Each book has its own complete story and conclusion, but they build upon one another, adding more information with each book. The main character, Thomas Ward, is extremely likeable (a humble hero) and he's surrounded by an intriguing mix of fascinating side characters. The problems Tom faces are never simple, and the answers are never clear. He often must choose between two terrible choices. Which keeps me turning pages. The plot moves along as a very brisk pace. In fact, my one complaint with this series is that the books end too soon. I read this book in two days and eagerly await more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Clash of the Demons is the sixth book in Joseph Delaney's explosive Last Apprentice series. I'm a big fan of the series and very was excited to pick up the latest installment. This time, the stakes are higher, the villains are scarier and the monsters are more horrifying than ever before.

After defeating the horrible Bloodeye and learning that Alice Deane is the Fiend's daughter, Tom must travel to Greece to fight his way through the Ord (a kind of tower) and battle the horrible Ordeen to keep her from being unleashed onto the world. Tom isn't alone, along with the Spook, fellow Spook Bill Alwright and Alice, Tom teams up with his Mam and a group of witches to take on the dark.

Clash of the Demons is, by far, the darkest and most action-packed novel in the Last Apprentice series so far. The hordes of terrifying monsters that Tom encounters inside the Ord sent shivers down my spine and gave fuel to my nightmares. I hadn't thought it was possible for this series to get even darker and scarier, but the creatures in Clash top everything in Delaney's universe so far. I have to give special kudos to the illustrator for helping bring these horrific creatures of the dark to life.

While Clash of the Demons has plenty of the twists and turns that the series is known for, a few things about it were just a little lacking to me. First, I thought it was too short. The book is only about 400 pages long, which is short compared to the past few books in the series. There were also a few times that it seemed like the action overtook the plot and the reader was left with a collection of back-to-back action scenes. While these scenes were phenomenal (and kept me flipping pages) they just didn't have the same kind of spark that I remember from previous books.

The concept of the Ord itself also bugged me a little. This may just be because I'm a bit of a video game nerd, but Tom's battle through the Ord felt like a kind of old-school dungeon-crawl video game to me (complete with Ordeen boss). Now, this isn't a bad thing, but it's the only time in this series that something has felt so traditional and kind of over-used to me -plus I was expecting a little more variety and depth.

Clash of the Demons is a great edition to the overall series and will keep fans flipping pages. While I don't think it's quite as good as previous installments (and this series has a very, very high bar set for itself), it's still fun, terrifying and filled with action.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
This is the sixth book in the Last Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney. This was another wonderful book in this series; a lot of changes happen to Tom Ward and his adventures as a Spook take on a more worldly nature to them.

Tom is contacted by his mother who wants him to travel to Greece with her to face the Ordeen, an evil goddess, who is in league with the Fiend. Mam, thinks Tom's presence will help to win the final battle with the Ordeen. Bill, the Spook, and Alice areamong those who Mam hopes will accompany her to Greece. Tom faces all sorts of strange new creatures and has to face one of the most deadliest forces of evil yet. Will Tom be able to resist his own slow decline into the dark?

This was a wonderful book. I loved learning more about Mam, her true nature, and more about her homeland. Tom's dealings with the Fiend were interesting and make the story take on an urgency. This was definitely a page-turner. It was hard to put down and kept you on the edge of your seat the whole time.

The new creatures and dangers that Tom encountered were interesting and creative. It was nice to have Alice deeply involved in the story as well. Delaney doesn't pull any punches as far as the danger these characters face. The writing is superb; the books are beautiful to read.

Another great book, in a wonderful series. This book is a keeper. I just can't wait to see what will happen next!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2009
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
While I have generally enjoyed this series, Clash of the Demons simply doesn't reach the fairly high standards set by the previous books. Several characters from prior stories return, but they have little or no real impact on events; their contributions to the plot could easily have been carried out by new characters or done away with entirely. The new people we meet are little more than cardboard cut-outs. Tom himself seems to be much more of a spectator this time around. Where before he drove much of the action, in this book things just happen. Which is another problem. Previous books had mysteries, or things to investigate. Here we know what is going on almost from the very beginning.

There are other niggling problems. A tower full of bloodthirsty demons appears every seven years, yet substantial numbers of people live quite close by. The book attempts to explain this away, but the explanation is perfunctory and half-hearted, as if the author knew he was trying to make the best of a bad job. Tom's worries over using Dark magic to defend himself simply don't resonate like they used to. The character of the Spook seems like an actor trying to impersonate a previous actor's performance and not quite making it.

The book isn't awful. It just isn't as good as the others. We do pick up on some new information, and the meta-narrative advances, but I suspect one could easily skip this book and pick up the next without missing much of anything, given the author's penchant for bringing you up to speed again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This continues to be one of the best-written young adult fantasy (horror) series, but the plot developments in this volume are, shall we say, a bit ad hoc. This is a writer who has not thought out the entirety of his plot arc in advance. The protagonist's mother, for example, has undergone a considerable evolution, and there are now some obvious contradictions between the plot here and in previous books that have to be addressed, but which are dealt with entirely by a wave of the hand. It is also somewhat hard to believe that the protagonist's most bitter enemies from previous books have suddenly become lovey-dovey with the forces of the light (and manage to hold back on their flesh-eating and blood-sucking tendencies during a long boat trip to Greece) simply because "mam" tells them there's a bigger evil on the horizon. In fact, the sudden about-face of the County's forces of evil and their motivations for gallivanting off to Greece, where they must risk their lives, are never adequately explained. The Spook, my favorite character, has almost nothing to say or do here. In sum, this is one of the weaker volumes to date.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Book 8 in The Last Apprentice series, this is for the tween kids, about 12 or 13. Not quite old enough for Twilight and Hunger Games but too old for Goosebumps. I have read the whole series so far, and really enjoyed it. It's definitely dark, and it has excellent black-and-white illustrations that really amp up the mood. Tom Ward, the apprentice of Spook John Gregory, has learned to deal with witches and boggarts and all sorts of other nasty creatures of the Dark, and together they take pretty good care of their section of The County. But in this book, they travel with Tom's mother to her native Greece, where they will battle one of the Old Gods (or Goddesses, in this case). The fate of the world rests in their hands. What will Tom discover about his mother, and will his friend Alice Deane (a witch) draw him further toward the Dark? Great, fun quick read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
This series started out as the tale of a seventh son of a seventh son who is apprenticed to the local County Spook. Its great strength was the small touches that described life as a spook's apprentice.

Over the course of the series many new characters and subplots have been introduced, but that has all been consistent with the "small" scale of the plotting and narrative.

This book marks clearly the change in direction that has been hinted at in previous volumes. We now have a devil figure, grand creatures from myth, godlike forces from other dimensions, and a tale that just keeps getting bigger. This isn't necessarily a bad development; in fact, it's what may save this series from going stale.

So far we have still have a focus on Tom and Alice, and it seems that as long as we keep them in the center of things the tale will continue to entrance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
What can I say but these book's just keep getting better and better.This is one series that's a must have, each year I can't wait for it's new release. I don't know how it's possible but each year the new book top's the one from before.I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series, thing's are really heating up now and can't wait to see what happen's next.Excellent read.
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