The Mad Apprentice by Django Wexler
Taking place a few months after 'The Forbidden Library' Alice is still studying by her "Uncle" Geryon's side as to be a Reader. Still biding her time in learning what game is being played and who is playing along or using her as a pawn in an even bigger game.
Suddenly a well known and old Reader is killed by their apprentice, and Alice is to join other Reader's apprentices in order to see if this Reader's books are all in order, and to bring in dead or alive, the killer apprentice, Jacob. Only there's something more terrifying lurking that may be the real thing pulling everyone's strings.
Unlike The Forbidden Library that was more mystery based, The Mad Apprentice was more action based as Alice and the other Apprentice are forced into bringing back the mad apprentice Jacob as the travel through the reader's Library Labyrinth. The Labyrinth that is suppose to be asleep and returned to the book after it's Readers' death is still very much awake!
Alice once again shows how she uses her head in every battle and how deeply she starts to care for all the creatures that help her. There were a few points where her interactions with said creatures I got a bit misty eyed. Especially with the Dragon.
Alice has grown even more so and shows what a great leader and person she truly is, and how she doesn't give up even in the face of great danger and obstacles. Her interactions with the other apprentices brought a smile to my face and heartache as Alice's own road hasn't been a rough as others, but her loses just as great. I think Alice has found some true allies in these apprentices, especially Issac whose own lost and heartache bring each other closer to one another.
The action carries the book along at a very fast paced, but in that I felt it sorta lacked story until we get to the half-way mark and when Alice learns about Torment and the questions if he may know what truly happen to her father.
I wasn't to surprised at the outcome surrounding Alice's father death and many readers of this series no doubt knew who was behind it as well. It did show though how dark and uncaring Readers truly are and how they must be stop finally.
I've fallen in love with this series more and more and eagerly looking forward to the next installment!