Thursday, November 21, 2019

Spook: "The Wrath of the Bloodeye" by Joseph Delaney

Spook: Wrath of the Bloodeye by Joseph Delaney, 2008, downloaded from Wisconsin Digital Library.

I continue to enjoy these narrations.

Another Spook novel featuring apprentice Tom Ward. Ward is apprenticed to his county's Spook who catches and traps witches, boggarts, and other things on the side of the Dark. Tom is 14 and lives with the Spook. Alice, born into a witch family, also lives with The Spook but the Spook is very suspicious of Alice. The Spook thinks Alice has spent too much time with witches and Dark magic and may be doomed to serve The Dark.

These Spook novels keep getting longer and the plots more complex. Violence is increasing as the danger to Tom increases. There are more decisions by the Spook about dealing with Alice and threats by the Spook to send her away or bind her in a pit. Ward and Alice do not a lovey-dovey relationship though Spook obviously sees that happening - or worries for it.

The Spook also continues to show his age little by little and he cannot as quickly recover from physical challenges. He also cannot provide the fight training that Thomas needs - especially since Thomas is marked a threat by the recently introduced The Fiend. So, Thomas is sent North for a six-month apprenticeship with grouchy drunk Bill Arkwright.

Arkwright lives by the coast and knows all about water witches and dealing with them. Arkwright's home is a old mill that is falling apart. His ghost mother and father live there since there suicide and accidental deaths years ago. Arkwright is an angry man and an angrier drunk. He doesn't want Thomas there and takes him on because of a debt to Spook.

Things happen as Thomas is on his own and struggling to deal with a drunken bully. There is action and witches and deadly threats. Delaney continues to tell a good story and I like the characters. More and conflict get introduced with deadly threats, worries over Alice, and Thomas growing into a teenager.

1. SPOILER. Alice is announced as The Fiend's human daughter. This was no surprise.
2. The Dark is not like The Dark Side of The Force. There is not a all encompassing presence that forces people. It's not quite like the Dark in Susan Cooper's series.
3. Susan Cooper is still alive at 84. I think she was married to a famous actor. Let me check... yeah, she was married to Hume Cronyn from 1996-2003. Jessica Tandy died in 1994 so I guess a two year break is socially acceptable before remarriage.

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