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The Mad Apprentice

(The Forbidden Library #2)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,924 ratings  ·  189 reviews
The dark and thrilling sequel to the book Kirkus called, "Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, and Inkheart all rolled into one"

When Alice's mysterious Uncle Geryon sends her to help capture a rogue apprentice--a boy who has the same ability Alice has to Read himself into stories--she knows to expect a wild and unpredictable trip. But even though Alice has visited the magica
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published April 21st 2015 by Kathy Dawson Books
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Average rating 4.14  · 
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 ·  1,924 ratings  ·  189 reviews

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Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes it is nice to read a well written children's book. It is relaxing - you know nothing really terrible will happen. And it is quick and easy.

The Mad Apprentice is the second book in an excellent and very well written series aimed at middle grade children. It is still very readable by adults. I enjoyed the first book and this one was just as good. The magic system is full of surprises and great fun. Imagine a dragon in your head advising you what to do next. Imagine friendly (we think) t
Django Wexler
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Hey, I forgot to leave my own review! This is mostly so people can leave comments here, but for the record: I liked it. =)
Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*
Yay, fun! This was an excellent outing in an excellent children's fantasy series. It was extremely action-packed, full of new bound creatures, new enemies and allies (but which are which?), and takes place in a new high fantasy setting. You absolutely must NOT read this without reading the first book in the series. It will not spoil anything to do so, but you have little idea of what is going on with the unique magic system of Readers, apprentices, Prison Books, Bound creatures, or the main char ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Book lovers rejoice, here’s a series written just for us. Do you get a tingly, magical feeling when you walk into libraries and see all those glorious books? As a kid, did you ever wish that the fictional worlds within your books were real?

The Mad Apprentice and its predecessor The Forbidden Library gave me those same giddy feelings as I read them, proving that Middle Grade novels aren’t just for children. Whether you’re t
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Executive Summary: A fun quick read, but then it's a Middle Grade book, so that's pretty much to be expected. Overall I enjoyed it a bit more than the first one, and I will definitely pick up the next one.

Full Review
So obviously I'm not the target demo here. I don't really read much Young Adult stuff, let alone Middle Grade. I picked up the first one because Mr. Wexler's Shadow Campaigns series is so good.

Every now and again it's nice to read a book where you know things won't get too dark
Jan 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read
Actual rating: 3.50
M.L. Brennan
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the sequel to Django Wexler’s The Forbidden Library, even though I’d been eagerly anticipating it, but The Mad Apprentice is a book that hits the ground running and never slows down. Wexler is clearly a writer who has a broad range – while The Forbidden Library had a very classic and leisurely style of pacing, The Mad Apprentice has little to no downtime, making it incredibly hard to put the book down!

Wexler continues to populate his series with fascin
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of fun and solid narration. We meet new apprentices and lots of new powers. I'm really excited about what we find out about the world of Readers and there looks like there's going to be a really cool series plot line! ...more
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020
This was a fun book to read with lots of fantastical creatures and situations. It was nice to be back in the world of the readers and follow Alice's adventures. The only thing I didn't love was that the book mostly took place in one location and felt more like an escape room story, than building more on the world and characters introduced in book one. ...more
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
The Mad Apprentice is a much darker book than the previous title. There, Alice had only begun to learn what being a Reader meant. Now, she has had to accept, however unwillingly, that her only source of real power comes from enslaving the creatures she finds in books—and, as an apprentice, she has no choice in the matter; it is kill or be killed. She is also finding that it can be tempting to play with that power. Further information about her ally, Ending, does nothing to reassure her about her ...more
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile
This book series absolutely fascinates me.

Alice is sent to capture a "mad" apprentice and she meets up with several other apprentices, who all have special skills from the books they have "tamed".

She learns that the magic creature who holds this library together is crazy and most of the book revolves around trying to outwit him.

Alice is also hoping to find out more information about her father's disappearance.

Non stop action and more fascinating creatures. Alice makes new friends, finds out who
Nov 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable book2, expands the world building in a huge way.
Feb 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun follow-up to The Forbidden Library. So far Django Wexler has done me no wrong.

Now if only I had appropriately-aged human-children to gift this series to! 😞
First of all, as a librarian and a person who grew up spending more time with books than actual human beings this series had me at someone possessing the ability to fall into a book merely by reading the first few lines. I can't tell you how much I wished to end up in books with characters who were more real to me than my classmates. And NOT end up in books with some others (Gollum, Randall Flagg, the White Witch, the Queen of Hearts).

But anyhow, I am so intrigued by this book. I feel like it is
Tonja Drecker
May 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was looking forward to reading this and had it on my TBR shelf for quite awhile when I was lucky enough to win a copy here on Goodreads (yay!).

This is a fun adventure, perfect for middle grade readers. There's surprises at every turn, a world full of fantasy, and characters which are realistic enough, they could be real friends. I really enjoy the mixture of dark and light, humor and tension and especially Alice's great attitude to do what she has to do. . .but without loosing compassion and r
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I really love about this book is that the sense of danger isn't downgraded so that the book is 'safe' for children. Five apprentices (plus the one they went into the maze to find), children/young teens go into a very dangerous situation and they don't all make it out. People die because the dangers of the labyrinth are real and scary. It takes so much for our heroine to even get the few out that she is able. One of the teens leaves early because it's so dangerous. Very much enjoying this se ...more
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in this series that I have read and I am looking forward to the next one. Great YA fantasy book with supernatural creatures, danger and intrigue all controlled by the Readers, but it's not really the Readers at risk, it's their apprentices. The question is, will they survive the adventure? Definitely fun to read and hard to put down!

I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway.
Kristina Jean Lareau
A continuation of the first with more mysteries and labyrinths. I am interested as to what will happen to our main characters, but this book was meandering and lacked a direction--the whole premise--being lost in the labyrinth and fighting their way through--is interested but just got so repetitive. I can see this as a trilogy, so we can find out what happens to the characters, but anything more than that is stretching this world and premise to its limit.
Edit: the typo in my original post is too hilarious and apt to correct. It should read Dragon Pearl, but come on, this is strong evidence the literary gods have a great sense of humor 😋

3.5 - 3.75 Stars
Now that was satisfying!!! Compared to the chore that was the Dragging Pearl *grumble grumble*

Review to come, at some point ;)


GR Personal Rating System:
2 ~ MEH
1 ~ NOPE
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Alice meets some other fellow apprentices in this strong sequel, and finds out something about her father's fate (maybe!). My only reservation is that Alice and Co. continually fight SO MANY monsters that desperate struggles become not so much plot peaks as the general milieu. But the monsters are nicely ooky, and the sense of real danger is always sharp. More, more! ...more
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another wonderful story that I believe was better than the first book. It was fun and engaging from start to finish - filled with dark mystery and magic. I love that it has a tough and smart female lead. I highly recommend the book and series.
Dec 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The pace of this book is fast and it's a great read from beginning to end. I would recommend this series to any reader who enjoys a good and creatively written story. ...more
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
I am absolutely head over heels for this series! 🖤
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Mad Apprentice", by Django Wexler is the exciting sequel to "The Forbidden Library". This book contains the events of Alice’s first mission from Geryon where she meets other apprentices and realizes just how lucky she is to learn under Geryon. As the apprentices are sent to capture an apprentice who supposedly murdered his master, Alice can’t help but search for answers about her father’s mysterious death. What Alice doesn’t think about is whether or not she will be ready to face the truth ...more
Apr 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fav-ya
This is a fun series. The world building in these books is creative and interesting. I love the magical concepts in here. I would have eaten these up as a kid and wished like crazy to be a Reader too. Who am I kidding, I wish I could be one now!
Fianna Whitman
Jun 28, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this series but there were so many errors in this book. Alice uses spike's power after he's dead which isn't possible. Characters are often called by the wrong names and it gets confusing to figure out who is actually doing something or saying something. ...more
Suzanne Maley
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than the first book. On to the 3rd book.
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the descripted description.
Julie (Manga Maniac Cafe)
4.5 stars

I listened to the audio book.

What a fun story. I loved how Alice's bravery and personal sacrifices pushed her fellow apprentices to change and care about others too. I thought the dragon was great, and I LOVED the ending.
Chelsea Johnson
When Alice's mysterious uncle Geryon sends her to help capture a rogue apprentice--a boy who has the same ability as Alice has to Read himself into stories--she knows to expect a wild and dangerous afternoon. But even though Alice has visited the magical realms inside libraries before, this adventure is shaping up to be more than even she could have expected. Because Torment, the magic creature holding this library together, has gone mad. But he might also have information about Alice's missing ...more
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Django Wexler graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with degrees in creative writing and computer science, and worked for the university in artificial intelligence research. Eventually he migrated to Microsoft in Seattle, where he now lives with two cats and a teetering mountain of books. When not planning Shadow Campaigns, he wrangles computers, paints tiny soldiers, and plays g ...more

Other books in the series

The Forbidden Library (4 books)
  • The Forbidden Library (The Forbidden Library, #1)
  • The Palace of Glass (The Forbidden Library, #3)
  • The Fall of the Readers (The Forbidden Library, #4)

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“But you...I felt that you would not be used. Would not allow yourself to be used. You deserve the opportunity to make your own choices, to walk your own path. Indeed, I believe you will do so, regardless of what Ending, Geryon, or anyone else intends. You must do what you believe to be right.” 4 likes
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