As wonderful as all the rest. However, I'm more than a bit perturbed that Flanagan felt the need to go "back a little in time." The series could have...moreAs wonderful as all the rest. However, I'm more than a bit perturbed that Flanagan felt the need to go "back a little in time." The series could have moved on without this little "deleted scene" as it were.(less)
Definitely a scary-spooky-horror book, at least in my definition. Not my usual cup of tea. I did have a hard time putting it down and walking away whe...moreDefinitely a scary-spooky-horror book, at least in my definition. Not my usual cup of tea. I did have a hard time putting it down and walking away when a particular section or illustration made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Many people love that sensation. Me? Not so much. I don't read horror or scary books. But this one was great! And I'm going to have to read the rest of the series. I'll just sleep with the light on for awhile...
Tom Ward is the 13-year-old seventh son of a seventh son. As in most fantasy books, that makes him just a little different. In this book it means he has a gift for warding off and getting rid of witches, goblins, boggarts, ghosts and other creepy things. His mother knows this at his birth. So, also knowing that being the seventh son he wouldn't have many options in the world, she makes a deal with the local "spook" to take him on as apprentice when he's of age.
So when he does become old enough to become apprenticed, and Old Gregory, the aging spook, agrees to take him on, Tom finds that the life of a spook is lonely and just a little bit creepy. But he also finds that he does indeed have a knack for it. He's also the "learn as you go" kinda kid, and that makes for interesting reading.(less)
When Lucas Whitaker loses his entire family to tuberculosis, otherwise known as consumption, he begins to wander. He finds himself at the house of Dr....moreWhen Lucas Whitaker loses his entire family to tuberculosis, otherwise known as consumption, he begins to wander. He finds himself at the house of Dr. Beecher who takes him on as his apprentice. Lucas begins to learn about the ins and outs of medicine. But before Lucas left his hometown a neighbor told him of a remedy for the consumption that was rampant in Connecticut at the time. There was a superstitious belief that if a family dug up the body of the first family member to die of the disease it would stop the progression and transmission of any other family cases. Once the body was dug up the family had to cut out the heart and burn it in a fire and then mix the ashes in water and have the afflicted drink the mixture.
Lucas quickly learns that Doc Beecher is no believer in this practice. Doc can't stop the villagers from performing this practice. Even though Lucas takes part in the village ceremony, he's beginning to understand that it's just superstition that helps people feel better.(less)
In the final book (sniff, sniff) of this fabulous series, readers find Horace in Japan learning their sword-fighting techniques. During his visit one...moreIn the final book (sniff, sniff) of this fabulous series, readers find Horace in Japan learning their sword-fighting techniques. During his visit one of the Emperor's advisers attempts to take over the throne. Horace joins the Emperor's party as they escape from the capital into the far reaches of the mountains.
Back home in Arulen people begin to worry about Horace's whereabouts when they haven't heard from him in awhile. The Skandians help out by lending their ship to the travelers. When Halt, Will, Evanlyn, Selethen and Alyss show up in Nihon-Ja there is plenty for them to help out with.(less)
**spoiler alert** A young girl, on her own, finds the warmest spot to sleep in. One night she discovers the warmth of a dung heap and never leaves. Sh...more**spoiler alert** A young girl, on her own, finds the warmest spot to sleep in. One night she discovers the warmth of a dung heap and never leaves. She is discovered one day by Jane, the village midwife. Jane names her Beetle and takes her home to become an apprentice midwife. The girl hears the name Alyce one day and decides that she loves the name. And so she becomes Alyce. The midwife treats Alyce appallingly, but having nowhere to go, Alyce remains.
One night Alyce assists in a birth while the midwife assists another. Alyce is at a loss of what to do as the mother labors. She tries the things she's seen the midwife do but to no avail. The midwife herself finally returns and is able to deliver the child. Alyce believes she has no talents and runs away.
She finds herself at an inn where she is able to be useful. But when a gaggle of strangers shows up one night and it is decided that the woman of the group is in labor, Alyce hides under the stairs. She wants no part of the goings-on. When everyone leaves the room, unable to deal with the laboring woman Alyce feels sympathy for her. She comes out of hiding and tries her best. And that's all it takes. After some hard work on the parts of both her and the mother, a little boy is born.
Having gained her confidence Alyce returns to the midwife to finish her training. There's a place in the world for her after all.(less)
Mary Quinn is back and this time as a 12-year-old apprentice at a construction site. The Agency has been contracted to learn as much as it can about t...moreMary Quinn is back and this time as a 12-year-old apprentice at a construction site. The Agency has been contracted to learn as much as it can about the building site of St. Stephens Tower in London. The construction has been in the works for some 22 years and many mysterious things have been happening. Mary, dressed as a boy, apprentices herself to the foreman and learns many useful things.
In the end, she solves the murder with no thought of personal safety. But that's part of the excitement of the book! Mary also has the opportunity to work closely with James Easton, potential romantic interest from the beginning of the series.
The third book is up next and I'm excited to see what's next in story Ms. Quinn!(less)
Sacha and Lily are the newest apprentices for Detective Max Wolf. Detective Wolf is an odd duck and there's something about him that's kinda off. But...moreSacha and Lily are the newest apprentices for Detective Max Wolf. Detective Wolf is an odd duck and there's something about him that's kinda off. But he's a great detective so the kids are glad to have the opportunity to work with him. Well, Lily is. Being the daughter of high society she simply demanded an apprenticeship and she got it.
Sacha not so much. He found out the hard way (in public) that he can see magic. And with the Inquisitor's office found out, Sacha was head-hunted. He's not excited about the prospect. In fact, he's rather terrified. But when a terrifying Dybbuk begins following him around New York he wonders if fighting bad magic could be a good thing.
This book is a bit too heavy on Judaism for the average reader. Purchase and recommend where large Hebrew populations are found.(less)