I’m going to keep this post pretty short. After finishing my last book, I was looking for something a little lighter, but I didn’t want something too simple either. I had heard about this series through a coworker, and tried watching the movie adaptation a couple of months ago (I got about an hour into the movie before turning it off and I never went back to finish it). I knew that it was a young adult fantasy, but beyond that, I really didn’t have any expectations. It turned out to be a great choice.
The story is fairly straightforward. A young man is given to the local spook, a fighter of the supernatural, as an apprentice. Near the beginning of his apprenticeships he makes some mistakes that he then works on rectifying. What’s impressive is that within that simple story there’s quite a bit of depth. The characters are really what impressed me the most. Tom, the apprentice, is clever, but willing to learn and readily admits to his mistakes. He’s a likeable and relatable protagonist. His master, John Gregory, is strict, but fair and is also very likeable, but his likeability comes from his competence rather than his personality. The villains are a little weak, but given the target audience, it’s understandable.
The biggest issue I had was that the pace of the book was inconsistent. Some scenes seemed to drag on while very little in-story time was passing, while other scenes glossed over days or weeks. That left me really uncertain about the timeline of the story. It wasn’t a big deal, but it was enough to pull me out of the story at times.
I really liked the book. I don’t know if it’s a series that I’ll rush back too, but I will continue it. The world is interesting and the characters are solid. That’s a good foundation to build on.