Read the E-Book: Night of the Soul Stealer by Joseph Delaney, 2006, ebook from Wisconsin Digital Library.
Since I already had the ebook checked out by mistake I loaded it onto my phone. My plan was to read it during the Scout Backpack Camporee. Well, I only did a little reading in my sleeping bag Friday night. Then, on that Saturday, the weather was cold and windy, snow started, and one 5th grader was progressively unhappy and homesick. A couple more 5th graders have a tendency to misbehave.
After a sometimes difficult morning and a forecast of more snow we decided to leave the Camporee that afternoon. I and the other adult leader then spent two hours helping a dude get his Hyundai Sonata out of the mud. That was interesting. I am very glad I wore my insulated rubber boots all weekend because it was cold and the dude's car was stuck next to marsh.
Anyhoo. The Spook is going to his winter home in Anglezark. This move is a little confusing to me because the Spook's winter home is actually colder, windier, and snowier than their regular home in Chipenden. But, the Spook serves the entire County and, apparently, does all his winter time spooking in this remote corner of the County.
So, Tom and Alice and the Spook pack up and head out. The Spook still doesn't like Alice and thinks she will end up turning back the black magic she was raised under. Spook plans to dump her off at a farm nearby to the winter home. The farm family owes the Spook a bunch of dough and will take Alice in.
Before all this happens Tom meets a mysterious dude who dresses in the hooded cloak of a Spook and carries a Spook Style Staff. Mysterious Dude leaves a letter for Spook and the letter pisses off the Spook.
When Alice is dumped at the farmhouse we find out Mysterious Dude is the family's son and Spook's former apprentice who was canned by the Spook. Mysterious Dude (named Morgan but I will call him Mysterious Dude) has been studying black-ish magic, dead people, and ghosts to be a Mage.
Spook and Tom get Spook's remot stone home set within a ravine on a moor. Spook goes down to the deep basement/dungeon to show Tom the witches he has bound there. Spook then goes into a cell and comes out with a super good looking older woman. The woman is Meg. Meg used to be Spook's girly-smoochy-smoochy friend. Meg is also a Lamia witch and has been drugged by Spook for several years to forget her past and her fondness for human blood. Meg's sister, Maria, is bound in the basement and turned to a feral Lamia.
Things happen. There is a stone throwing boggart that has killed a farm worker by crushing his head with a boulder. Mysterious Dude is messing with Tom. When Tom's father dies Tom goes home for a week and comes back to Mysterious Dide messing with the ghost of Tom's father and forcing Tom to do Mysterious Dude's bidding to steal a book from Spook. Meg misses her meds and remembers her past life and imprisons the Spook.
As I have said before: I enjoy the series. Delaney writes these as YA stories and they move along with a 13-year-old Tom dealing with danger and trouble and loyalty and truth and family and all the other problems you want a character to deal with.