The following synopsis contains no spoilers for the previous books in the Wardstone Chronicles series.
As the nights draw in the Spook decides to travel to his winter house. His apprentice, Tom, hates the desolate place. There are feral witches in the cellar, menacing creatures stirring on the nearby moors and a sinister stranger threatening Tom’s master.
What does the mysterious stranger want?
Is the Spook’s past catching up with him?
And what dangers will Tom face if his master’s secrets are revealed?
The Spook’s Secret by Joseph Delaney
Release Date: 1st January, 2007
Publisher: Red Fox
With The Spook’s Secret by Joseph Delaney being the third book in the Wardstone Chronicles series, I’m going to try and keep this review as short as possible in order to avoid spoilers.
The Spook’s Secret is the strongest book in the series so far. Joseph Delaney had me hooked and I wanted to keep turning the pages as I needed to know what was going to happen next. The style of writing and pacing is consistent with that in the previous two books and Delaney seems to have a knack for writing scary scenes. This series is a middle grade one but a couple of the spooky scenes in this book certainly gave me the creeps!
Each time I pick up the following book in the series, I find myself liking the main character, Thomas, and the way he tells the story a lot more. Other characters like Alice, who annoyed me greatly in the first two books, have developed in a good way as well. The Spook’s dialogue and his mannerisms have become a bit repetitive but perhaps this will change as the series progresses.
One of the reasons I love this series is because of the author’s use of English myths and legends and especially those relevant to the English county of Lancashire. In this series you come across all different kinds of beasties and creatures, which helps to create an entertaining book. I would have loved this series as a kid.
Overall, The Spook’s Secret was a great edition to this series. The plot was interesting enough to keep me up at night and I’m keen to pick up the next book, The Spook’s Battle, soon. This is another series I encourage readers of all ages to read.
“The lad stopped banging at the door and his face turned a bright red. “I asked for you down in the village,” he said, pointing back towards Adlington. “A carpenter came out of his yard and pointed the way up here. He told me to knock hard at the back door.” “Aye, but he said knock, not thump it back into a tree,” said the Spook angrily.” (Page 124-125)