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Review: The Mad Apprentice by Django Wexler

By / May 17, 2015 / no comments

The Mad Apprentice by Django Wexler is the sequel to The Forbidden Library, a very good Adolescent/Young Adult fantasy book. The story of Alice and how she is sucked into a world where Readers (magicians) bind creatures to their being by confronting and conquering creatures from within Prison Books.

In The Mad Apprentice, Alice is instructed to go to Stronghold of Esau, a Reader of renown. Esau has been murdered by his apprentice and thus Alice, along with other apprentices, will go and bring back this apprentice to justice. Most stronghold’s defences dwindle when its Master dies, however, this is not the case and Alice and her cohort are in far more danger than they realise.

madapprenticeI enjoyed The Forbidden Library and was quite enthusiastic to get this book. However, I wasn’t captivated as much as the first time around. The questions that left me pondering from the first book aren’t really answered until near the end of The Mad Apprentice and it is only the ending that really redeems this book.

From an adult’s perspective of reading a YA book, it was lacking “oomph” in all departments. I mentioned in the first review that I didn’t care about the characters and this is still true of the second book. I think this is due to the lack of conviction and personality from the characters. The amount of power creep is also a worry. Alice is already very powerful in this book and she will only get more powerful as the series progresses. The teenage “puppy love” in the book is also an unnecessary part, but then again, it could prove to be pivotal later on.

From my attempt of a child’s perspective, I think the beginning is really slow but builds up around the middle of the book. The death of characters help to spice things up and the array of powers make it exciting. The action is pretty much non-stop once the danger begins and this makes it a page turner.

As I said before, I think the ending saved this book and series. The Mad Apprentice felt like a plot device that had to happen in order to facilitate the third book. Alice finally shows some personality and I hope this continues.

About the author

Jon Snow

Believe it or not, Jon Snow really got into reading only after reading A Game of Thrones back in 2002. Previously the only fantasy he had read were Lord of the Rings and many Magic: The Gathering books.While juggling teaching life, he tries to keep up with recently published books.


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