Top positive review
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Friend or Foe? Says the Fiend
on August 25, 2008
Taking up immediately after the ending of book four, book five in the Last Apprentice series still delivers the goods. Not a stand alone story, one must have at least read book four, if not all the others, in order to understand what happens in this book and which characters are on which side of the battling forces of good and evil.
This series has not petered out, the action, the frightening events and scenes, the ongoing developments of Tom's apprentice training, and additional insight into the main characters, remains steady and intriguing. I did not feel AS frightened in this book as in the others, but the reader will not be disappointed. The fear and chills are still there to keep the eerie intensity and high suspense alive. There are a good deal of high action scenes to keep you riveted to the book and to keep the pages turning. I found the author put in a lot more character development to the key players, showing us that all of us have darkness as well as light within us. As Tom learns this more in this book it helps him grow and aids him in his ongoing training as he inches toward his eventual graduation to an official Spook himself some day. I also felt that this book had more of an intricate plot that leads the reader down many paths and shows us many twists and turns that are unexpected and surprising. As Tom grows, his experience broadens and the story backs this up with more of a challenging read than the earlier, simpler installments. I enjoyed this book as much as the others, I found no disappointing aspects and in fact, I thought the wonderful surprise elements at the end were quite brilliant and teasing which will have us all eagerly awaiting the next book. It appears that the author is showing us his increasing talent, as well as our young hero's. Delaney has created a fabulous horror series for young adults that just does not stop delivering terrific reads.
One other thing I feel I must add and praise; the illustrations. I truly feel that these marvelous black and white illustrations and almost holographic cover designs add even more appeal to the success of these books. Each illustration evokes such a frightening feeling that the reader just cant help but feel scared to death. The art work here is truly talented and wonderful to behold. How can you not have a winning series with sensational illustrations to accompany very talented and creative stories? Bravo to both the author and the artist!