Sunday, July 21, 2013

Review: Peregrine Harker & the Black Death by Luke Hollands

Peregrine Harker & The Black Death
by Luke Hollands

Peregrine Harker is about to learn you're never too young to die.

London 1908: A secret society stalks the murky streets, a deadly assassin lurks in the shadows and a series of unexplained deaths are linked by a mystery symbol…

When boy-detective Peregrine Harker stumbles across a gruesome murder he sparks a chain of events that drag him on a rip-roaring journey through a world of spluttering gas lamps, thick fog, deadly secrets and dastardly villains.

Every step of Peregrine’s white-knuckle adventure brings him closer to the vile heart of a terrifying mystery – the true story behind the Brotherhood of the Black Death.
Publisher: Sparkling Books
Publication Date: June 3, 2013
Kat's Review
If you're going into this book thinking it will be the typical contemporary Middle Grade or Young Adult book, you will be disappointed.  If you're in the mood for an old fashioned adventure with a young boy in the eye of the storm, this might just be the kind of adventure for you.  This book is fun, and reminded me of the typical adventure story aimed at boys in the 10-13 year range.  There is also a pretty fearless young female character, so there's certainly a character for young adventurous girls to enjoy as well. 
The story is set in London in the early 1900s, and follows young Peregrine, orphaned when his adventurous parents went missing, and trying to earn a living by working at a newspaper.  When he's sent off to investigate the reasons behind the rising tea prices, he instead stumbles upon a smuggling operation and a mysterious brotherhood.  He is soon entangled in the adventure of a lifetime, using both his wits and a good deal of luck to try and get to the bottom of the story.
This book isn't for everyone, but for the right reader, it's a great adventure. It's a bit of a tongue in cheek throwback to the old serials that used to publish stories in installments many years ago.  I could see myself reading this to my sons before bed in a few years, and watching their eyes go wide with excitement as they imagine themselves in the lead role.  For an adult, the story is predictable.  It follows a pretty straightforward formula and the ending wasn't much of a surprise.  For a young boy or girl though, the twists and turns would be exciting and unpredictable.
Kat's Rating: Worth a Look
I think this book will polarize readers, but for the right reader, it could be a great adventure of a read. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley & the publisher in return for an honest review. 

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