Thursday, March 22, 2012

I am Grimalkin (The Last Apprentice #9) by Joseph Delaney (5/5 stars)

Title: I am Grimalkin (The Last Apprentice #9) 
Author: Joseph Delaney
Publisher: Bodley Head
Date Published: 01 September 2011
Genre: Young Adult/Horror
Hardcover: 448 pages
Rating: 5/5 stars

"‘I am Grimalkin, and I have already chosen those I will kill . . .’Grimalkin has made it her lifetime ambition to destroy the Fiend, avenging the brutal murder of her son. Having grudgingly joined forces with the Spook and his apprentice, Tom, and assisted them in the binding of the Fiend, she is now on the run. And her mission is deadly. She has to help them bind the Fiend's spirit for ever no matter who – or what – comes after it . . .This latest chilling instalment in the Wardstone Chronicles follows Grimalkin, the terrifying witch assassin, feared wherever she is known."

I am Grimalkin is the ninth book in The Last Apprentice/Spooks books. I had mixed feelings when Delaney announced that there will be more books in the series. The big question is can he keep that magic of David versus a dark & evil monster version of Goliath that is deeply ADDICTIVE going for the succeeding books because we're running out of big bad monsters here (and can there be a bigger monster than the fiend?) and his characters have already been pushed beyond their limits (what happened to Alice still breaks my heart) and (!) this installment is told in Grimalkin's voice, and she'll never be a "David", remember when she saved Tom from the mages in the last book? 

I missed Tom's voice but Grimalkin's is as engaging and entrancingly compelling. The story begins with Grimalkin returning to the County after fleeing Ireland with the head of the fiend. She is being chased by the servants of the fiend and an unknown creature. Her self belief, spirit and determination amazes me, and as she tells her stories of when she was still young, starting on her path to become the greatest witch assassin, I felt like shouting her words like her apprentice, Thorne had. It was thrilling! (a new kind of high) My doubts about not getting my David-won't-survive-this-horror fix were dispelled. I still felt scared for Grimalkin even if it was she telling a story that happened to her when she was young which means that she must've won the fight, or even when she was saying that her death has been foretold and she will not die yet.

Overall, I am Grimalkin is a superb addition to The Last Apprentice series! This is the first book in the series (there are books that add to the series like A Coven of Witches where we also get to read from other characters' pov) told by someone else other than Tom. I'm sure fans of the series will just love Grimalkin's fresh perspective. And I have said this before in my review of Rage of the Fallen but I will say it again, The Last Apprentice series is a must read!