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A New Darkness


A New Darkness

Seventeen-year-old Tom Ward has a lot to prove to the villagers as he takes over the position of Chipenden Spook after his master is killed in battle. Therefore, when Tom gets a call about girls found dead in their rooms with a look of terror upon their faces, he is determined to discover what is causing it. But what Tom thought would be a routine, relatively easy task turns out to be much bigger than he expected. Tom needs information on this beast and how to stop it, but the only lead he has is from Jenny, a girl who will only help him if he agrees to take her on as his new apprentice. Burdened with pressure to stop this threat, Tom accepts and, along with Jenny, hunts and finds the beast.

But matters are made worse as Tom recognizes the beast as part of a deadly race which he has been warned about in the past. Summoning the deadly witch assassin, Grimalkin, Tom hopes to discover how to stop not one, not two, but an entire army of these beasts before they take over the villages of the county.

The thrill of adventure will keep readers turning the pages all the way up to the cliffhanger ending.

A NEW DARKNESS is an adventurous novel full of suspense, action and the supernatural. We begin with Tom Ward, who is struggling under the weight of his master’s death and his new responsibility as the Chipenden Spook. In Tom we find a character to admire; he is brave, determined and kind-hearted. Additionally, his line of work is very interesting. Being a Spook is full of adventure and danger, which immediately makes the story more interesting.

A new addition to the storyline is Jenny, who claims to be the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, and who wants Tom to train her as his apprentice. Naturally, Tom is very wary of her. There has never been a female Spook before, and he is not sure if she is trustworthy. Although this novel is primarily written from Tom’s perspective, there are chapters from Jenny’s point of view as well. It was great to be able to read from both of their perspectives to see what they both think of their actions in this novel.  However, while the characters are admirable, at times their dialogue seems false and unnatural, which is a detriment to the overall story.

Overall, A NEW DARKNESS by Joseph Delaney has a great theme and tone but is slightly lacking in its characters.The thrill of adventure will keep readers turning the pages all the way up to the cliffhanger ending.

Reviewed by Kate F., Teen Board Member on September 3, 2014

A New Darkness
(The Starblade Chronicles #1)
by Joseph Delaney

  • Publication Date: September 2, 2014
  • Genres: Supernatural, Youth Fiction
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books
  • ISBN-10: 0062334530
  • ISBN-13: 9780062334534