Reviews for Attack of the Fiend
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Fall
Jack (Tom Ward's brother) and the Spook battle warring witch families, both of whom want the contents of the mysterious boxes left to Jack by his mother. Although some of the battle scenes run too long, fans will appreciate the way this latest installment brings in elements from the previous books. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2008 January #1
Once again packaged as a doorstopper but reading as if it's half the length, the fourth episode in the harrowing training of teenaged Tom Ward as a bulwark against all that is evil and supernatural brings some disturbing revelations about his absent mother's identity. Plus there are battles with undead creatures, a trained assassin who likes to use scissors, three entire clans of witches--and not just a fiend, not just some fiend, but Old Nick himself, newly re-invited back to the world and far more powerful than all other threats combined. Fortunately (if that's the word), with help from a small but doughty crew of allies that swells with the addition of two winged, bestial vampires who turn out to be relatives, Tom pulls through; the stage is set, though, for further bloody struggles with the Devil and his minions. Dark chapter-head illustrations add a properly ominous air to the narrative, as do closing notes on each ghost, ghast, wight and worse he has met. Not recommended for beneath-the-sheets reading. (Fantasy. 11-13) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Reviews 2008 July
Gr 5-8-- Apprentice witch-hunter Tom Ward and his master, the Spook, must now travel into deep enemy territory. The three witch covens of Pendle Hill have been at odds for a long time, but somehow they've been persuaded to put aside old enmities. The aim of this unholy alliance is no less than raising the Devil himself. The key to defeating the witches may rest in a set of trunks willed to Tom by his mysterious mother, but they have been stolen by the Malkin clan, along with Tom's older brother and his family. Delaney does a good job of tying in information from previous books, but the prosaic writing style means the story only occasionally achieves an atmosphere of excitement and dread. Still, fans of the series will welcome the surprising revelations and further questions unveiled in this chapter of the tale.--Christi Esterle, Parker Library, CO [Page 96]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2008 April
In this fourth novel about Tom Ward, the apprentice Spook, young Tom faces his greatest challenge yet. The County's three rival witch clans are working toward a truce, planning to unite in order to raise the Fiend-the devil himself-to do their bidding. What they want is Tom dead, and he must use all his wits to save himself, his family, and the County from a threat of darkness as great as any the world has ever seen. Delaney structures the series so that the completed books are Tom's journal of the events he has recently experienced. Because of this device, there continues to be a tendency to state rather than show how frightening these events are. It results in an unfortunate distancing between the reader and the story, so one is never quite as spooked as one could be. For example, when Tom comes face-to-face with the infamous witch assassin, Grimalkin, she does not come close to being the remorseless torturer the Spook warned she would be early in the book. The most intriguing character in the series continues to be Tom's Mam, now returned to her homeland of Greece, but revealed in absentia to be something more powerful and disturbing than Tom could have imagined. Fans of the series will not be disappointed, but given how thrilling the most recent of Tom's adventures could have been, perhaps readers should be.-Vikki Terrile PLB $17.89. ISBN 978-0-06-089128-2. 3Q 4P M J Copyright 2008 Voya Reviews.