Spooks: Alice by Joseph Delaney

Rating 8.8/10
Be prepared to shiver � and to hanker after the next one.

A lot of dark stuff happened when I was young that I’ve never even told to my dearest friend, Tom Ward. Dark and scary things I hoped I had left behind forever...

Over the years, Alice has fought evil side by side with the Spook and his apprentice, Thomas Ward. But now Alice is alone – in the realm of the dark. And the creatures she has helped to banish there now have the chance to take their revenge. Alice must seek the final weapon needed to destroy the Fiend for good. If she fails, the world will fall into despair and darkness. If she succeeds, it means facing her own death at the hands of her dearest friend. But can she prevent the darkness from overtaking her over completely..?

This is the twelfth book of the thirteen-part Wardstone Chronicles. It comes with character profiles and a map to help the reader – and a gruesome spell right at the beginning. From these and the battered looking pages with atmospheric black-and-white illustrations, you know what you’re getting. It’s one episode set in a huge dark world full of terrible creatures and fast, frightening action.

Not for the faint-hearted.

It’s told from Alice’s point of view and includes a number of flashbacks that link this story to previous episodes. This will please readers of the earlier books – but it’s fine if you haven’t read them all – it still makes sense. There’s plenty of gore and ‘the yuk factor’ yet the story moves along briskly and with purpose.

The use of place and local folklore appealed to me most of all, and of course, having such a strong and resourceful heroine. If adventures in a world where black magic is real and nightmares come to life are your thing, then this will suit you well. Be prepared to shiver – and to hanker after the next one.

Spooks: Alice by Joseph Delaney
Red Fox edition Spring 2014
365 pages
Cover illustration by Talexi Taini
Inside illustrations by David Wyatt

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