The Apprentices (The Apothecary #2)

Featured
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
2680 0
The Apprentices (The Apothecary #2)
Author(s)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
10+
Release Date
June 04, 2013
ISBN
0399162453
Buy This Book
      
Two years have passed since Janie Scott last saw Benjamin Burrows, the mysterious apothecary’s defiant son who stole her heart. On the other side of the world, Benjamin and his father are treating the sick and wounded in the war-torn jungles of Vietnam. But Benjamin has also been experimenting with a magical new formula that allows him to communicate with Janie across the globe. When Benjamin discovers that she's in trouble, he calls on their friend Pip for help. The three friends are thrown into a desperate chase around the world to find one another, while unraveling the mystery of what threatens them all.

Acclaimed author Maile Meloy seamlessly weaves together magic and adventure in this breathtaking sequel with stunning illustrations by Ian Schoenherr.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Improves on The Apothecary!
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
What I Loved:
Oh, the joys of an unsolicited ARC that turns out to be the sequel to a book you enjoyed. Prior to the arrival of this book on my doorstep, I had no idea that there would be a sequel to The Apothecary, nor did I have a specific hankering for one. However, since I did like the first, I was excited to discover what would transpire in this installment. Well, lucky me, The Apprentices is an even better read than The Apothecary, maturer in plot, writing and characterization.

Where The Apothecary was very much a middle grade novel, clearly skewing to a younger audience, The Apprentices could really have been published for either middle graders or young adults. Two years have passed since the ending of The Apothecary, bringing Janie from fourteen years old to sixteen. Janie, Benjamin, and Pip have all grown up in the gap between the two novels, still their charming selves but a bit wiser.

Despite the maturer tone, The Apprentices retains the magic of The Apothecary. Once again, evil forces are at work, attempting to do evil things involving atomic bombs and it's up to the apothecary, his son Benjamin, and Benjamin's friends to save the day. Using a book called the Pharmacopoeia, they can create potions that make the improbable possible. For example, they can become birds, much like in The Sword in the Stone.

On top of that, The Apprentices is also historical fiction. In the first book, Janie's parents had moved to England to escape the Red Scare, as they worked in the entertainment industry. The Cold War is still going strong in The Apprentices. In fact, Meloy even touches on tensions in Vietnam, China and North Korea. I love how she weaves the historical elements in, without beating the reader over the head with them.

Meloy's characters are a lot of fun. Janie is brilliant and determined, more concerned with figuring out how to desalinate water than boys. Though she does have fond memories of Benjamin, who left her alone for two years, and another potential suitor in the handsom Raffaello, romance stuff really isn't at the top of her mind. In fact, Benjamin actually spends more of his time thinking about her, worrying that she might have found another boy in his absence. He, too, is incredibly clever, becoming the heir to his father in apothecral (this does not appear to be a word, but I shall make it so) talents.

Pip doesn't spend much time on screen (on page?) in The Apprentices, but he still manages to steal the show. Now a television star in England, he's got a posher accent than before, but he's still the same short, cheeky lad. Enlisted to go find and save Janie in America, he gets cheap passage on a cruise ship in exchange for keeping the daughters of the wealthy entertained. The contacts he makes turn out to be hilarious plot points. No one can resist Pip's exuberant charm.

What Left Me Wanting More:
The sections following Jin Lo felt a bit out of place, as she otherwise ranks with the adults. I found my attention wandering in those chapters.

The Final Verdict:
If you enjoyed The Apothecary, you will not want to miss Meloy's follow up, which exceeds its predecessor, a rarity in sequels. There's action, a bit of romance, history and humor. The Apprentices is a great read for children, teens and adults alike.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Music for Tigers
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Shipped halfway around the world to spend the summer...
Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A broken world. An overwhelming evil. ...
Kingdom of Ice and Bone (The Frozen Sun Saga, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lira and Reyker have lost everything. Including each other....
Sword of the Seven Sins
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Eva Marteinn never wanted to be a killer. Raised...
Things That Should Stay Buried
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Some destinies are written in the stars. Others must...
How It All Blew Up
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda goes to Italy...
Horrid
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
From the author of You Must Not Miss comes...
Tsalix Silverthorn and the Scepter of Destiny
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The latest phenomenal work from New York Times Bestselling author...
The Adventures of Bubba Jones (#4): Time Traveling Through Grand Canyon National Park
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the fourth book of this award-winning national park series,...
The Companion
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The other orphans say Margot is lucky. Lucky to...
Sanctuary
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
It's 2032, and in this near-future America, all citizens...
Teen Titans: Beast Boy
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Author Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures) and artist Gabriel Picolo,...
The Magic Misfits: The Fourth Suit (The Magic Misfits, #4)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Misfits must work together to fend off mysterious attacks...
Duck and Penguin Do Not Like Sleepovers
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A hilarious bedtime romp tackles the thrills and anxieties of...
Furia
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
A powerful, #ownvoices contemporary YA for fans of The...
Fussy Flamingo
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
A hysterical flamingo children's book about a picky eater and...

Latest Member Reviews

Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1)
 
5.0
"SKYHUNTER is an enthralling and lush YA fantasy. Lu really paints the story with her words, and this new novel..."
The Library of Lost Things
 
5.0
"I wasn't sure what to expect with The Library of Lost Things, but I know I didn't anticipate a book..."
Goddess in the Machine (Goddess in the Machine, #1)
 
5.0
"Andra, a teenager from the 2160s, is put into cryogenic stasis fulling expecting to wake up on another planet one..."
Kingdom of Ice and Bone (The Frozen Sun Saga, #2)
 
4.0
"KINGDOM OF ICE AND BONE picks up where the first book left off. Lira and Reyker are separated and each..."
How It All Blew Up
 
5.0
"HOW IT ALL BLEW UP is an absolutely riveting coming-out story. Amir Azadi is an Iranian American who has always..."
Music for Tigers
 
3.7
"A vividly descriptive Middle-Grade work with an ecological focus--enriched by elements of music, friendship, and atypical neurology. When her..."
The Shadow Mission (The Athena Protocol, #2)
 
4.3
"THE SHADOW MISSION is an even better sequel to THE ATHENA PROTOCOL with lots of action and spy-related danger. In..."
Horrid
 
4.3
"HORRID is an intensely creepy story that follows Jane and her mother, Ruth. Jane's father has just died and after..."
Color Outside the Lines
 
4.0
"WHAT I LOVED: The stories vary in genre, time period, and the makeup of the couples, but many of them..."
I'll Be the One (I'll Be the One #1)
 
5.0
"WHAT I LOVED: Haneul "Skye" Shin is talented, fat, and contrary to the max. Her mom tells Skye she..."
Legendborn (Legendborn, #1)
 
5.0
"LEGENDBORN is absolutely thrilling YA fantasy that captivated me from the start. Bree gained early entrance into UNC-Chapel Hill and..."
Blood & Honey
 
5.0
"This is going to be a hard review to write because I have so many words that want to come..."
Don't Call the Wolf
 
5.0
"Ren is the queen of the forest, a lynx shifter, and the protector of the forest's creatures. When a dragon..."
The Companion
 
4.3
"Everyone thinks Margot is lucky. She's the sole survivor of a horrific car crash that killed her family. While at..."
A Golden Fury
 
3.0
"Thea Hope has learned alchemy as her mother's apprentice, forced into the shadows when all she wants is equal credit..."
Foul is Fair
 
3.0
"Elle is part of the glittering crowd, beautiful and untouchable, or so they believe. One night, Elle and her friends..."
Burn Our Bodies Down
 
4.0
"Audiobook review Margot is tired of not getting answers from her mother about where she came from..."
His Hideous Heart
 
4.0
"HIS HIDEOUS HEART is a powerhouse of incredible writers retelling different works of Edgar Allen Poe. From "The Raven" to..."
Courting Darkness (Courting Darkness duology)
 
4.0
"Having loved the original Fair Assassin books, I was cautiously optimistic about this new duology continuing Sybella's story and introducing..."
Birthday
 
5.0
"Top 3 Reasons to Read Meredith Russo’s Birthday: 1.) BIRTHDAY matches the exceptional storytelling of Russo’s debut,..."