Publisher: Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins
Publication Date: January 22, 2013
Series: The Last Apprentice/Wardstone Chronicles #11
Genre: Middle Grade/Young Adult Fantasy & Horror
Acquired From: Public Library
"My name is Slither, and before my tale is finished you'll find out why."
The dark is full of terrifying creatures. And Tom Ward--the seventh son of a seventh son, and the Spook's last apprentice--hasn't seen all of them. Far from the County, one named Slither has lived for hundreds of years, hunting blood.
But a dying father binds the monster to a bargain. If Slither will take his two youngest daughters safely to their family in the south, then the eldest daughter, Nessa, is his.
For Nessa the nightmare is just beginning. And when Slither and Nessa cross paths with the feared witch assassin Grimalkin, they will become unwitting players in the quest to stop the Fiend once and for all.
With this particular story, it was difficult to come up with a good rating. Mostly because, although this story takes place within The Last Apprentice world, there are few creatures and places that are familiar from the other books. And while I love the series and found the story interesting, I found that I had to stop pretty often in order to get myself oriented to the characters and their locations. It's mostly because of this that I gave Slither only 3 out of 5 stars.
The story was interesting in that it was a break from the Fiend story line that is permeating the other books. It was nice to go to new worlds and see some new characters and creatures. The mythology that was built around the new characters and creatures, especially Slither himself, was interesting and very detailed. However it was hard to follow along as the story kind of jumped in right at the middle. It was difficult to figure out what was going on from the start, so I had to take some time to read the guide at the back of the book in order to figure out what all the creatures were.
It was also pretty cool that Grimalkin was brought in from the other stories. She is a strong character that helped to link the story to the other books since Tom and the Spook weren't in this one. It was really important to make the novel feel as if it was a part of the series even though it could be considered a bit of a stand alone novel.
The only thing that would have made this novel better was a better prologue. The one that's in the book doesn't make much sense until near the end of the book. I just wish that it would have had a better introduction to the world and the creatures that live in it.