Book Review: A New Darkness by Joseph Delaney

A New Darkness
Author: Joseph Delaney
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: September 2nd 2014
Review Source: HarperCollins Children's Books

A chilling new trilogy from the author of the internationally bestselling The Last Apprentice series! Tom Ward is an apprentice no longer—now he is a fully fledged spook battling boggarts, witches, and other creatures of the dark. This three-book arc will introduce brand-new readers to Joseph Delaney’s haunting world, and delight longtime fans.

Tom Ward is the spook, the one person who can defend the county from ghosts, ghasts, boggarts, witches, and other bloodthirsty creatures of the dark. But he’s only seventeen, and his apprenticeship was cut short when his master died in battle. No one trusts Tom’s skill, not till he’s proven himself. And a fifteen-year-old girl named Jenny knows more about the three mysterious deaths in the county than Tom does. She is a seventh daughter of a seventh daughter and she wants to be Tom’s first apprentice—even though a female spook is unheard of. Together, Tom and Jenny will uncover the grave danger heading straight toward the county, and they’ll team up with a witch assassin to confront it.

A New Darkness begins a three-book series that will introduce new readers to Joseph Delaney’s deliciously scary imagination and delight his longtime fans. A New Darkness is perfect for every reader who loves thrills, chills, action, and adventure-no prior knowledge of the Last Apprentice series necessary!

I hadn't read the other series the LAST APPRENTICE and now I wished I had! It says that you don't need to read the other series before you read this, which you don't, but I really want to know more about these characters!

I felt that the first few chapters had to explain a lot of back story, which was nice for someone who hadn't read the other series...but I felt like it took too long to get into the action. When the action finally did start (around chapter 7) I couldn't put the book down. There were times where I was on the edge of my seat with worry that the main character (Tom) wouldn't make it through. I think Delaney did an awesome job on describing the ghosts and boggarts to where I could picture them in my head.

With the addition of the character Jenny, his newest apprentice, I think that this really helped make this not a gender specific book. Both boys and girls will be able to relate to the characters, which is nice because with Fantasy it's usually one or the other. Plus, Jenny is a firecracker and won't let her being a female apprentice get in the way of her dreams.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I think middle school students will flock towards this series, especially if they have the LAST APPRENTICE SERIES. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy and intense action. I would also recommend reading the other series first to get a better idea of the characters and setting.

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