The Spook and Co. ran away from their war-torn country and ended up in Ireland in the beginning of this installment. I might be wrong and this is my personal opinion, but I think that when it comes to mythology Ireland can easily give ancient Greece a good run for the money.
Consequently there is a lot of work for the Spook in the new country.
Unfortunately Spook's apprentice and the main hero of the series Tom managed to royally piss of a powerful local witch - without even meeting her before. To make the problem even worse, a Big Bad Guy would really like to get his hands of Tom and his girlfriend Alice. Alice still struggles with her dark side and its allure. Spook finally shows his age and becomes slow; the recent destruction of his priceless library did not help. To make a long story short, everybody got a lot of big problems.
This was the first time during my series read when I thought whether it is worth to finish it. To be fair, this thought stayed in my mind very briefly. There were some places of the book which I would rate with 2 stars and some - but rarer - places which I would rate with 4. The overall rating is weak 3 stars.
The majority of the book was way too bleak, even by the standards of the rest of the series so far. At times it seemed more like a case study of the ways to make Tom even more miserable than he already is. Spook used to be an exciting character. This time he was playing Gandalf too often to be interesting - I mean he disappeared all the time without a good reason and never bothering to explain his absence afterwards leaving such mundane tasks as saving the world to lesser mortals, like Tom and Alice.
The end of the book was fairly typical one for the series: good guys achieved a temporary victory with great sacrifices. This becomes somewhat old and I would love to see some of the big baddie to be put to final rest (final
being a keyword here).
One more reason why the installment did not work for me this time: settings. Settings create atmosphere of a book. They can become stale forcing an author to change them and most of the time it breaks something important. The Spook and Tom were great in their own country; last three books took place in a different parts of the world and while the previous two somehow were decent enough, this time I could not care less about the settings. Even the local dangers seemed tame compared to the previous ones - with the exception of that witch I mentioned in the beginning.
I will still continue with the series. The next book is told from a different POV for the first time and I am curious if it would be an improvement.