Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The Spook’s Curse by Joseph Delany

This is the second in the Spook series by Joseph Delany. The Spook and his apprentice Tom roam the country seeking out and containing all things that go bump in the night so that the residents of their county can sleep safely. Many of the elements they battle are fairly harmless; indeed, the Spook’s home help is a temperamental boggart who’s behaviour is largely dependant on the Spook’s manners (he could teach many neglecting husbands a lot about manners and showing appreciation for their wives!).

Mr. Gregory is poorly and Tom now has to shoulder much of his responsibilities. Meanwhile, a darkness is growing and taking over those who live above the catacombs below Priestown. Those who were once good people are being infiltrated and controlled by The Bane, a dark creature who seeks to become master and destroyer of all. When he realizes that the Spook himself is concerned about his own ability to stop The Bane from taking over, Tom becomes worried and no longer knows who he can trust. His only allies are the Spook himself, the Spook’s brother and Alice, a witch of questionable moral character. Tom must learn and grow up very quickly if he wants to prevent the worst from happening as the Bane grows stronger and tries to escape his prison.

I read the first of these over a year ago, and have wanted to read more. However, they are children’s books and thus not really high on my list of books to purchase. Still, Delany tells a good story and it made a great weekend read. There’s just enough darkness and action to keep it interesting without becoming too scary. The series lacks the wit of Derek Landy’s Skullduggery Pleasant, but it’s still quite good, especially if you’re in a more serious mood. Perfect for a relaxing weekend when you can let your inner child out to play.

As a children’s book, I rate it 4 out of 5.

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