Saturday, 30 August 2014

(ARC) Book Review (379): A New Darkness (The Starblade Chronicles #1) - Joseph Delaney

A New Darkness (The Starblade Chronicles #1)

Publication: 2nd September 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 416
Genre: Fantasy
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
A chilling new trilogy from the author of the internationally bestselling The Last Apprentice series! Tom Ward is an apprentice no longer—now he is a fully fledged spook battling boggarts, witches, and other creatures of the dark. This three-book arc will introduce brand-new readers to Joseph Delaney’s haunting world, and delight longtime fans.

Tom Ward is the spook, the one person who can defend the county from ghosts, ghasts, boggarts, witches, and other bloodthirsty creatures of the dark. But he’s only seventeen, and his apprenticeship was cut short when his master died in battle. No one trusts Tom’s skill, not till he’s proven himself. And a fifteen-year-old girl named Jenny knows more about the three mysterious deaths in the county than Tom does. She is a seventh daughter of a seventh daughter and she wants to be Tom’s first apprentice—even though a female spook is unheard of. Together, Tom and Jenny will uncover the grave danger heading straight toward the county, and they’ll team up with a witch assassin to confront it.

A New Darkness begins a three-book series that will introduce new readers to Joseph Delaney’s deliciously scary imagination and delight his longtime fans. A New Darkness is perfect for every reader who loves thrills, chills, action, and adventure-no prior knowledge of the Last Apprentice series necessary! 

The Last Apprentice series, the first internationally bestselling series about Tom Ward, is soon to be a major motion picture, Seventh Son, starring Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Olivia Williams, Antje Traue, Djimon Hounsou, and Julianne Moore as Mother Malkin.
My Thoughts.
A New Darkness is the first book in an all new trilogy, which is a spin-off of The Last Apprentice series, focusing on Tom Ward the apprentice of the original series.

Tom is now the official spook of Chipenden, tasked with eliminating any boggarts, witches and other creatures that are here to harm humans, he has reluctantly taken on an apprentice of his own, one of the first spooks to have a female apprentice, a seventh daughter of a seventh daughter Jenny who has her own set of gifts.

There is a new creature in Chipenden having killed three girls so far, Tom and Jenny go to investigate and discover that it is a Kobales a species who's plans areto kill all males and to enslave all females, Grimalkin who has been tracking them and finding out all the information she can agrees to help Tom with this problem and convinces him to journey to the Kobales homeland to investigate further, but this is where we are left with a huge cliffhanger, and I was left shocked and gobsmacked at the ending.

While this was described as a trilogy that you don't need to have read the main series of, I felt that there was a whole lot of storyline and knowledge I missed out on by my not having read it, I feel like I've missed something everytime something is mentioned that happened in those books, and while I definitely do plan on carrying on with this series I may need to pick up The Last Apprentice series to understand a lot of the references that were made that made no sense to me.

All in all I did enjoy this new start to a trilogy, full of action and adventure it was a look into a world I'd like to read more of.

Definitely recommended for fans of The Last Apprentice series and readers who like a bit of fantasy/paranormal and creatures that go bump in the night.

I give this 4/5 stars.

Joseph Delaney is a full time writer living in Lancashire, in the heart of Boggart territory. He first got the idea for the Wardstone Chronicles series when he moved to the village where he lives now and discovered there was a local boggart - ‘a man like me needs boggarts around’. He made a note in his notebook ‘a story about a man who hunts boggarts’ and years later when he had to come up with an idea at short notice developed this into ‘The Spook’s Apprentice’, the first book in the series.
He continues to draw upon the folklore of Lancashire and has acquired much local knowledge over the years which he tweaks and modifies to create his fictional world. Another source of inspiration has been Lancashire’s varied and atmospheric landscape. Many of the locations in the County are based on actual places in Lancashire. 
In the early days of his writing career Joseph worked as a teacher at a Sixth Form College: his subjects were English, Film and Media Studies. He used to get up early and write every morning before work. That way he could write a book a year – which promptly got rejected! When the Americans bought the series he decided to give up teaching and write full time. 
Prior to teaching he worked as an engineer in his twenties, completing an apprenticeship just like Tom Ward in the spook’s books.
Joseph describes his method of writing as a process of discovery. He doesn’t plot too far ahead and often doesn’t know what is going to happen until he writes it down. In other words he makes it up as he goes along. He prefers writing dialogue to description, in which he says he is a minimalist and leaves much to the reader’s imagination. 
Joseph has three children and nine grandchildren and is a wonderful public speaker available for conference, library and bookshop events.
The Spook's ApprenticeThe Spook's Curse and The Spook's Secret have all been shortlisted for the Lancashire children's Book for the Year Award. The Spook's Apprentice is the winner of both the Sefton Book Award and the Hampshire Book Award.

1 comment:

  1. Been wondering about this new series. This spin-off sounds intriguing. I got lost half-way through reading the last apprentice, got bored actually towards the later books but i love the series, and i think i might have to start it again and this time with the focus of finishing it..... Very daunting task indeed... But great review..... this new series sounds like something to look out for.

    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex