August 31, 2013

Night of the Soul Stealer

I have said it before, and I’ll say it again, Delaney does a wonderful job of creating scary moments. In Night of the Soul Stealer, he creates the worst, or best, moment yet.

****This post has Spoiler Warnings****

The Spook’s winter home is in Anglezarke, a forbidding uncomfortable place with no boggart to warm the house or cook the meals. As if this was not bad enough, the cellar is full of live witches and boggarts. At one point when the Spook is sick, (he seems to be sick a lot lately!) Tom ends up trapped in the house, a powerful blood witch, a feral lamia witch, and an angry domestic, mostly benevolent, lamia witch are on the loose, all trying to hurt Tom. And just to help your mind conjure the awful witches in perfect, vivid imagination, Delaney provides pictures. I cannot impress upon you how suspenseful and awful this scene was, but perhaps the image of Marcia Skelton will help reveal how creepy it was.
I much prefer this gorgeous Lamia:
It was created by AbigailLarson on Deviantart. I love her work, and highly recommend checking her out here. Apart from these very scary women there are the two “main” antagonists: Morgan and Gorgoth. I put it in quotation marks because while they were meant to be the main antagonists, I thought they distracted from the overarching plot. While the end adventure and confrontation of the Spook’s old apprentice, Morgan, and the winter god, Gorgoth (Every time they talked about the winter god making winter worse or making it last for years I wanted to shout, “Winter is Coming!” It’s hard to resist.) was exciting, the lead up with Morgan was irritating. I just wanted the Spook to take care of Morgan, to throw him in a hole and bind him. And the confrontation of the winter god (Winter is Coming!) was anti-climactic. He is freezing Tom to death, but then just fades away. Tom’s showdown with Marcia, Meg, and Bessy was much scarier and more satisfying.

On to the questions! As usual, Delaney has answered some and given a handful more. For which I can only love him.

Tom's Mom

We learn a bit more about her this book. She almost certainly is a Lamia witch, but then are her sisters Meg and Marcia? I sure hope not. What is in the secret room? I am dying to know.

The Spook's Love

As I said before, we met Meg during this book. She’s not as benevolent as I had imagined. I have most firmly decided that she is okay when the Spook is around at full strength, but without him? Oh my gosh, no. She is scary. And her sister? Ugh. I don’t care that the Spook doesn’t like to burn witches. Burn her. Burn her NOW.


Good news for Alice! She was wonderful this entire book! Now she just has to stay that way…

When will the Spook die?

Well the Spook is still alive, but Tom still has four more years of training left until he is a Spook. Mr. Gregory’s health is waning, most certainly. He spent a great deal of this book sick in bed, and not only did Tom’s mother confirm it, but Mr. Gregory himself said that he wasn’t long for this world.
This book receives another firm five out of five stars, even though I did not appreciate the Gorgoth and Morgan plotline as much as the rest. It was still a devastatingly wonderful read, and I cannot wait to read book four tomorrow.

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