Rage of the Fallen: Tom et al go to Ireland

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Rage of the Fallen by Joseph Delaney children's horror audio book reviewsRage of the Fallen by Joseph Delaney

In Rage of the Fallen, the eighth book in Joseph Delaney’s LAST APPRENTICE / WARDSTONE CHRONICLES horror series for children, Tom flees with Alice and the Spook to Ireland to avoid the war that has engulfed their county. The evil creatures who live in Ireland are different from those they’re used to, so Tom gets to learn about, and attempt to defeat, these new threats to the world. Basically it’s the same sort of trouble he’s always been dealing with, just more Celtic-inspired. There are Irish gods, Irish witches, Irish mages, Irish ghosts, Irish blood-suckers, etc.

In addition to these new challenges, the old ones remain. The Fiend continues to dog him as we wait for their final confrontation. Witches are trying to get revenge on Tom. Alice continues to use dark magic with good intentions while the Spook continues to be mad at her for doing so. Tom continues to go off on his own and blithely walk into traps. I read Rage of the Fallen a month ago, but the books are so similar that I didn’t realize that I hadn’t reviewed it yet until now.

One thing I’ve liked about the series is that each book introduces children to a new mythology as Tom and his friends travel the world dealing with mythological creatures. Kids are going to learn a lot from these stories. However, this causes a problem with the world-building. These belief systems don’t mesh well together, especially when Delaney attempts to underlie them with a Judeo-Christian foundation (the Christian church is a safe haven, the Fiend is Satan, and there is a continuing theme of redemption). It’s hard to imagine a world where all of these religions and mythologies are true.

But that doesn’t really matter, does it? This series is immensely popular with kids and I’m happy that they love it. I think I’m finished with THE LAST APPRENTICE, but I won’t hesitate to recommend it to a youngster looking for a good clean horror series.

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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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  1. I do like that the stories introduce different mythologies and folklore to youngsters. I was surprised at how many books there were in this series!

  2. Alix D. /

    I loved these books when I was a little younger, but I agree that they get repetitive.


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