Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Last Apprentice / The Spook’s Apprentice By Joseph Delaney

The Spook's Apprentice

The Spook’s Apprentice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Book 1 Summary:
For years, Old Gregory has been the Spook for the county, ridding the local villages of evil. Now his time is coming to an end. But who will take over for him? Twenty-nine apprentices have tried—some floundered, some fled, some failed to stay alive.

Only Thomas Ward is left. He’s the last hope, the last apprentice.

– – –

A young adult supernatural fantasy. When I first heard about it I was psyched. I went down to my local library and checked it out. It’s a good story, the characters are good, and the setting is good. It’s good. For some reason I just couldn’t get hooked on it though. While everything was done well it just one step away from being amazing.

I think that about sums it up. One step away from being amazing. Everything about it is kind of basic. It’s YA fiction but that isn’t an excuse. Take Larklight by Philip Reeve, that’s aimed for an even younger audience and it knocks it out of the park each book. For The Last Apprentice it was just a generic setting. The Country, The Spook, Witched, Boggarts, an evil spirit called The Bane every point of it could have been awesome but went bleh instead.

There are some good parts. I like that The Spook isn’t affiliated with religion at all and there is a difference between bad and good witches. Alice is my favorite character but even she is kind of generic in her coolness. Maybe if I would have had these books when I was a preteen or early teen they would have been better but I doubt it. Someone could easily take the concept and add more depth to it for an awesome series.

Verdict: Meh. If it’s at the local library and you there isn’t anything else read it.


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Working through an idea

I’m taking the day off of writing, something about being obsessed. I was having a bit of trouble in a part of the story I’m working on and that makes me a bit grumpy & reclusive. I would love to be able to have a writers group (online or in-person) to really brainstorm ideas and just work things out.

My problem came from the next step in the story. I see where I need to go but from point A to B is a little muddled. There are two paths I can take and it’s kind of throwing me off.

Vague story breakdown:
MC (main character) finds an artifact that BG(bad guys) want hidden or destroyed. MC accidentally sets off an alarm, goons come to investigate, a fight ensues, and MC heads back to village very confused. The artifact doesn’t look like anything special. MCs friend tells her to go back, clean up any signs she was there while he is getting patched up. While she is going back to cover her tracks more thugs destroy the village forcing her to look for help elsewhere.

HERE is my problem. The artifact is pretty much a non-issue at this point in time, MC was looking for stuff to sell and happened upon it. Now, the only thing that makes sense is for her friend to tell her to take the artifact and put it back to avoid further trouble before she goes back to the scene of the fight. This could work, it also lends to the a good scene of the MC coming back to the village.

Ah, that feels nice. Now I’ve got a flow going again and I feel like it will work once I get back to it.

The other reason why I’ve had some creative stumbles the last few days is due to an idea that I’ve been mulling over for a while now. It’s an alternate history story that I’ve done quite a lot of research on but I’ve had problems with the approach. It makes a great story but I don’t know how to tell the story. The other day it finally clicked on how to get the ball rolling. It would most likely be a novella rather than a full novel but it would be the start to a series of alternate history books. My problem with this one is that after the first book I have no idea what to do with it. I can see how it could be done, but it isn’t my style. 

I wish I could give the idea to someone like Harry Turtledove.

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Once Upon a Time – Season 1

Show blurb:
A woman with a troubled past is drawn to a New England town where fairy tales are to be believed.

I’ve recently finished the first season of Once Upon a Time. I watched it on TV when it first aired but my wife was pregnant at the time so she didn’t join me. The pilot episode involves sending a baby alone across time and space so it was a bit heavy for her. So far I love this show. I’ve always had a special place for fairy tales and seeing them like this is just hitting all the right buttons. We’re about to start season two.


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Sweet goddess of the bitter bean.

Coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee. Coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee. Coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee. Coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee.


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White House Down – Movie Review

I watched the link below and decided to check out White House Down.

IMDB Review:
While on a tour of the White House with his young daughter, a Capitol policeman springs into action to save his child and protect the president from a heavily armed group of paramilitary invaders.

Starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx this is the spiritual sequel to the Die Hard franchise. If you want a good action movie watch it. There is a healthy dose of ‘Merica in the plot as well. I swear this movie could have easily come out during the golden era of Stallone and Schwarzenegger. It was a big fun mess. After watching Pacific Rim the plot holes and logical fallacies in the movie are nonexistent. It’s a big, dumb, fun ride with lots of explosions, gunfights, and some jokes too.

Verdict: Redbox it with a bucket of popcorn. Buy it if the Die Hard franchise is a fond memory.

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