I went through this book really fast, listening to the entire audiobook in two or three days. I’m really not sure if it’s because the book is short or if it’s because it was really engaging.
Book three in the series has Tom and his master moving to a different town for the winter. I really appreciate that the books keep expanding the world. The text often mentions that the spooks are responsible for the county, and moving from place to place really helps the story feel less confined than if they just stayed near Chipenden.
I also appreciated the human nature of the villain. I didn’t think that Morgan was especially intimidating, but he was a manipulative human, not a supernatural being. That changed the dynamic of the threat and gave Tom some new challenges to face. The only problem was that because Morgan was just a human, it seemed like Tom should have been more prepared to face him. Instead, Tom was not only regularly manipulated, but it also seemed like his decision making took a step back. There were several times in the book where Tom delayed doing something obvious just to give Morgan more time to fulfill his plans. Instead of making Morgan seem like more of a threat, it just made Tom look slow.
The world building in the book is great. I liked learning more about John Gregory’s past and his relationships. The inclusion of Meg added some fun twists to the story. Alice also grew as a character, but she was more on the periphery of this story than in the previous books. I also liked the way Tom’s family dynamics changed. I knew that it would need to happen at some point in the series, and I’m glad it came early rather than in one of the later books.
Overall, it was a decent book. I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as the second, but it was still enjoyable and I’m planning on continuing the series. The books seem to have found a nice balance between being targeted at younger readers while maintaining a darker tone than many other YA fantasies.