Spook’s The Dark Army is the second book in the Starblade Chronicles Trilogy. It’s been 3 years since the first book went out and with it having a cliffhanger ending, I was itching to read the follow up.
Tom Ward died in his battle against an assassin at the ending of A New Darkness. Though upon his burial, a mysterious creature appeared resurrecting Tom from his death. Grimalkin, on the other hand took this opportunity to use Tom as a beacon of hope in fighting The Dark Army.
As a person who loved the initial series, The Wardstone Chronicles, I was looking forward to this new series. Unfortunately this my least favorite book out of all the books. The story is all over the place, our main protagonist, Tom Ward really doesn’t do anything, he’s mainly being used as a puppet and he has no authority whatsoever, which makes it difficult to root for, this time around.
Grimalkin is extremely one-dimensional and even the newcomer Jenny Calder has nothing to contribute to helping their cause. Some older characters return and even they don’t have major to contribute maybe except for one. It felt as if the author ran out of ideas for the story of this book and just added every old character in the mix because he can do so. This, unfortunately is the book’s major flaw.
As a book trying to separate itself from the amazing initial series, this book referenced a lot of events and characters from the older books making it feel as if you’ve missed so much. For a fan, this might not be a problem at all, however for people who are reading for the first time or who haven’t read the Wardstone Chronicles Series, that might be problematic.
There are some exciting moments in the book, during the second act there is a huge battle sequence which ultimately felt like a third act despite it being in the middle was still fun to read. The third act however goes into a screeching halt as it slows down tremendously and leaves for an extremely unsatisfying climax.
Overall this is the weakest book out of all The Spook’s book. For older fans they can follow through this book without giving much thought however, I highly doubt newer readers would be invested in this story.