Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Catherine Jinks
Illustrator: Sarah Watts
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
After Alfred loses both Birdie and Jem to an acting company, he is left with Ned Roach to be his final apprentice. However, Ned is not a bad choice. Ned is enthusiastic and inventive as the pair tackles more official bogling jobs due to their status in The Committee for the Regulation of Subterranean Anomalies. During one bogling job, Ned kills his first bogle, but accidentally destroys Alfred’s legendary spear. Alfred and Ned find out how to create similar spears and they share their knowledge with the committee. Armed with their own poisoned weapons, the committee plans for a largescale bogle assault on London’s sewers, where they believe the bogles are originating from. But Ned notices that the bogles they do find are either dead or dying before they even destroy them. After the massive raid, Ned realizes that when the public’s perception of bogles changed from a mythical belief to something common, the bogles’ power and magic died along with their bodies.
The Last Bogler is a fairly satisfying conclusion to Jinks' bogle trilogy. There are, however, some inconsistencies that seem to deflate the rousing plots and foundational character development Jinks established in her previous books. For example, in the first two novels, both Birdie and Jem felt profoundly loyal to Alfred for giving them a purpose and place in life. In this book, both Birdie and Jem quickly cast aside their devotion to Alfred when the acting company hires them. No consequences were really shown of how that made Alfred feel. Then Jinks’ treatment of ridding London’s society completely of bogles seems almost a copout to quickly end the series. Yet, Jinks is still gifted at creating suspenseful, heart pounding scenes without describing lots of gore. This book was a little more graphic because she describes, in few details, the death of Salty Jack Gammon. At the end of each book, Jinks includes a glossary of colloquial terms that were popular in 1870’s London. Overall, Jinks’ series is still a fun, inventive trilogy for fans of thrilling, monster-based books.