My Rating: 5/5
The best bit of The Spook’s Mistake is the introduction to Bill Arkwright. He’s a fully trained spook who was trained by John Gregory. He’s one of the only ones who lived and passed the tests.
His character is deeply flawed as he’s haunted (no spoilers here) by something that has made him harsh and sometimes cruel. He drinks a lot but he’s a good spook and John Gregory send Thomas to train with him for a while in things that John can’t spend much time on anymore – such as fighting with a staff.
As the County is getting darker and there are more powerful enemies and threats on the way, Thomas Ward has to get stronger and prepare for what is to come. Bill Arkwright is the best place to start that new breed of training.
Joseph Delaney does an incredible job of portraying Bill Arkwright’s character in The Spook’s Mistake. It’s wonderful to see such a morally grey character done well in a children’s fantasy book.
The plot in The Spook’s Mistake is also one of the best so far. With the Fiend released, Delaney could have gone straight into some kind of final battle with the Dark, but he instead decided to take things slowly and have Thomas trained and face threats a little harder than ones before, upping the pressure and tension of previous books.
Things are only going to get harder from here, but Thomas Ward is growing in strength and knowledge to prepare.