The Spook's Mistake by Joseph Delaney
The Spook’s Mistake is the fifth book in The Wardstone Chronicles, a series of novels for young-adults written by Joseph Delaney.
As danger increases in the Country, Tom is sent north by his master to be trained by Bill Arkwright, another spook. Arkwright lives in a haunted mill on the edge if a treacherous marsh and his training methods are harsh. He has toughened up many previous apprentices though and now must do the same for Tom.
But when the Fiend sends his own daughter, a powerful water witch, to destroy Tom, Arkwright makes an error of judgement and Tom finds himself facing his enemies alone. The Spook and Alice hasten to his aid but will even their combined strength suffice in the face of such terrible dark power? And what is the Spook’s mistake, the consequences of which might give final victory to the dark?
As The Spook’s Mistake begins we find the County, indeed the country, ravaged by war, hunger and fear. Press-gangs roam the land looking for recruits and an over-protective Spook decides that Tom will be safer further north with the Spook’s old apprentice, the cantankerous Bill Arkwright. The Spook has been a tough master to Tom but Arkwright is an altogether different proposition; a hard, sometimes cruel man that the Spook hopes will teach Tom the necessary martial skills needed to face the Fiend and his minions. Arkwright’s home is a dilapidated, haunted water mill surrounded by a canal and marshes. There is a distinct watery feel to The Spook’s Mistake, and the early days of Tom’s training with Arkwright find him being taught to swim in rather an unorthodox way.
“Next, to my utter astonishment, he leaned forwards and pushed me hard in the chest. I overbalanced, fell back and hit the canal with a tremendous splash. The shock of the cold water made me gasp, but by then my head was already under the water and I began to choke as it surged up my nose and into my open mouth.”
The Spook’s Mistake: Chapter 7 – Frog-kicks
The battle between the Light and the Dark sees Tom pitted against the devil himself. The Spook describes what the Fiend will be doing now that he has been set free upon the County (The Spook’s Battle).
“He’ll be dividing families, turning husband against wife and son against father placing greed and treachery in human hearts; emptying churches of their congregations; making food rot in the granary and cattle waste away and die. He’ll swell the savagery of war into a blood-tide and make soldiers forget their humanity. In short, he’ll be increasing the burden of human misery and making love and friendship wither like crops struck by the blight.”
The Spook’s Mistake: Chapter 3 – A Late Reply
The Spook’s Mistake is once more set in the County, this time in the vicinity of Morecambe Bay and the southern Lake District. Coniston, Cartmel, Lancaster and the sands of the bay all feature, as does the Lancaster-Kendal canal. But, once again, things are changed to suit the demands of the narrative. The location of the watermill with its witch-infested marsh is fictional.
The Spook’s Mistake is as good as, if not better than the previous four books in the Wardstone Chronicles series. Those who may have been concerned that the quality of the series may begin to wane needn’t have feared as it continues to go from strength to strength.
Joseph Delaney lives in Lancashire and has three children and seven grand children. His home is in the middle of boggart territory and his village has a boggart called the Hall Knocker, which was laid to rest under the step of a house near the church.
This The Spook's Mistake book review was written by Floresiensis
All reviews for: The Wardstone Chronicles
The Spook's Tale
The Wardstone Chronicles
The Spook keeps the County safe from creatures of the dark; things that suck your blood and snatch your bones and squeeze the breath from your body. When young John Gregory...
The Spook's Stories: Witches
The Wardstone Chronicles
For years, the local Spook has been keeping the County safe from ghosts and boggarts, but more especially from witches. The Spook’s Stories: Witches features stories ...
I Am Grimalkin
The Wardstone Chronicles
'I am Grimalkin, and I have already chosen those I will kill…'Grimalkin has made it her lifetime ambition to destroy the Fiend, avenging the brutal mu...
The Spook's Apprentice
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 1
Thomas Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son and has been apprenticed to the local Spook. The job is hard, the spook is distant and many apprentices have failed before h...
The Spook's Blood
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 10
Having bound the Fiend's spirit temporarily, Tom now has to come up with a permanent solution - and quickly. But the forces of the dark are now throwing everything they...
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 11
Slither is a haizda mage who preys upon humans, drinking their blood to feed his dark urges. So when a local farmer dies, it's only natural that Slither should want to ...
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 12
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......
The Spook's Curse
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 2
The Spook and his apprentice, Thomas Ward, have travelled to Priestown to defeat the Bane, a powerful, evil creature that lurks in the catacombs of the cathedral and is cor...
The Spook's Secret
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 3
As the weather gets colder, the Spook announces that it’s time to move to his winter house on Anglezarke – a bleak, forbidding place, close to the dark with a d...
The Spook's Battle
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 4
In Pendle the witches are rising and the three most powerful witch clans are rumoured to be uniting in order to conjure an unimaginable evil. Together they will be capable ...
The Spook's Mistake
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 5
As danger increases in the Country, Tom is sent north by his master to be trained by Bill Arkwright, another spook. Arkwright lives in a haunted mill on the edge if a treac...
The Spook's Sacrifice
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 6
As the Spook’s apprentice, Tom’s first duty is to protect the County from the dark. But now Mam needs his help in her homeland of Greece. One of the most danger...
The Spook's Nightmare
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 7
The Spook, Tom and Alice return from Greece to find the County under siege - and the Spook's home is burnt to the ground. With his precious library of knowledge destroy...
The Spook’s Destiny
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 8
The Spook, Tom and Alice travel to Ireland, fleeing from the war in the County. There, Tom must tackle a group of evil mages who are desperate to rid their land of the Spoo...
Have you read The Spook's Mistake?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Spook's Mistake reader reviews
Rumana from Botswana
Hi..:) I love horror and I think The Spook's Mistake is 1 of the best. When I read it I understood it so well that I felt I was in the story myself. I found Tom and Alice really cute. Hope you enjoy it the way I did.
Rhiann Vass from Aldershot
I love this book it is the best thing since sliced bread! One of the best books of the spooks. Must admit that they are better than Derik Landy's SKULLDUGGERY PLEASENT books.
8.5/10 from 3 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
When Hagurosan is told to take an offering to the shrine, he reluctantly begins his trek up the mountain. But when he gets hungry and eats the cake meant for the spirits, t...
Chronicles of Ancient Darkness
Thousands of years ago the land is one dark forest. Its people are hunter-gatherers. They know every tree and herb and they know how to survive in a time of enchantment and...
The Feathered Man
Jeremy de Quidt
In a German town, long ago, lives a tooth-puller’s boy called Klaus. It isn’t Klaus’s fault that he sees his master steal a diamond from the mouth of a de...
The Story of Cirrus Flux
You shall help me find him still… there is nowhere for the boy to hide.” Orphan boy Cirrus Flux is being watched. Merciless rogues are conniving to steal the w...
August 1611. Jack Fletcher is shipwrecked off the coast of Japan - his beloved father and the crew lie slaughtered by ninja pirates. Rescued by the legendary sword master M...
The Golden Acorn
Jack Brenin's life changes the moment he finds a golden acorn lying in the grass. He gets caught up in an extraordinary magical adventure and enters a world he believed...
Michael Belmont and the Tomb of Anubis
Ethan Russell Erway
Michael Belmont has always dreamed of leading a more adventurous life, but when it actually happens, he ends up getting more than he ever bargained for. Michael is sent to ...
Ursula Le Guin
Orrec, the son of the Brantor of Caspromant, and Gry, daughter of the Brantors of Barre and Rodd, have grown up together, running half-wild across the Uplands. The people t...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: