Cover Image: A Peculiar Peril

A Peculiar Peril

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Member Reviews

The cover of this book is what drew me into it. The writing style and clumsiness it is what caused me to DNF this title.
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Man, this book had potential but I've been trying for the last two months to finish it. I'm an avid reader with almost 500 books a year on average and I can't force myself to continue on through a book when I know the journey to get to the end of the book will not be enjoyable.  
  It started to feel like a mesh of VE Schwab's "A Darker Shade of Magic" and Holly Black's "Spiderwick Chronicles".  Here's some basic points from the above books that are in this book: 
   a)  A young boy can see fairy creatures in a family member's house.  
  b). There are magical creatures both good and bad asking with stipulations for their care, etc.
    c)  There is an alternate dimension of magic that is similar to this one. 
    d)  In that world there is an evil person bent on destroying or ruling everything. 

  Put those together, along while his young friends and some magical  shenanigans, and you have the premise of this book.
  I tried to get through it but I just kept thinking of other fantasy books along similar veins.  I don't know if that is what kept me from getting into this book or something else but regardless over a third of the way through the book and I couldn't finish.  Waiting, waiting, waiting for it to start developing it's own path and pick up it's speed.  Start to pull me in to any type character development, but no. Onerous lack of a plot.  I kept waiting for that surprise snag that would pull the reader in.  Bah! Nothing.  There should not be this much lack of "who cares?!?" going on in my head while I'm reading.  It seemed like it was filled with too much superfluous wordage.  Stop saying nothing with a lot a words and start saying something with a few well crafted sentences.

  ** I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review. **
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This was very, very long, took such a long time to get interesting, then turned out to be a setup for a sequel without a satisfactory ending. The introduction of a mysterious, hidden, magical world at the beginning was disrupted and undermined by the alternating chapter focuses, which should have been introduced much later, or with different characters so they could be done with more subtlety—instead they acted as a drag on the speed of the story and a spoiler to the whole plot conceit. While there was a lot of fun stuff, and I liked so many of the characters, and I really wanted to like this book, it was so long, and at times, such a slog—and to add insult to injury, basically none of the umpteen mysteries were ultimately resolved.
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I was really looking forward to reading this title, but I had trouble getting into it. The writing style was verbose, and I had trouble staying focused on the story.
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This book was interesting.  I felt like there was so much wasted potential and it was just so long!  It took me about a month to wade through it all.  I took a lot of breaks to read other books.  It was just so convoluted.  I had to go back and reread parts and even then sometimes I didn't know what was going on.  I don't usually feel this bogged down with a book and it was so disappointing.  

Reading the description of this book made me very excited!  I am a big fan of Terry Pratchett and this sounded similar to his style.  But it was not.  If you're looking for an amusing fantasy book, pick up the Colour of Magic instead.
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I liked a lot about this book, but it is very, very,very long. It's kind of like if Terry Pratchett and Lemony Snicket had a lovechild and read it The Golden Compass when it was still a little too young. Somewhere around chapter 60 I started feeling like I wasn't even reading the same book it started out as, because the main character kind of went AWOL and the focus got so loose and the stakes so unclear that I wondered why I was still reading it. Seriously, I'm a fast reader and I spend several hours a day reading, and this took me over a week to read. The average teen reader will be scared off by the length IME, and it just didn't need to be this long.
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I DNFed this 44% through it.

I was hooked the first 20% through this story, but it just. Kept. Going.  Nothing was changing, and more of the book descended into nonsense that made the story have little to no sense.  A lot of information was being kept from the reader, and the only reason I can figure that is because it made the big reveals seem better once the reader was told certain things.  Characters would have thoughts regarding situations going on and make comments about how they "knew" something wasn't right and how it wasn't right, but the reader was never told what that was, which meant you had no clue what was going on.  Is this thing the character "knows" a good thing or a bad thing?

Also, this is labeled as YA.  I honestly cannot picture any average 12-18 year old picking this book up.  It's portal fantasy on meth.  It's the weirdest thing most people would ever read, and in an attempt to be quirky and weird, it comes off as borderline pretentious.  All of the characters are unhinged and odd in some way, even more than a normal person would be.  There are interesting elements to be uncovered and explored, such as Jonathon struggling being alone now (no family) or his friends dealing with all the oddities of the story, but it's so quickly glossed over or easily written out of the story, that the characters have no way to grow and evolve.  The only character who is given any chance of an arc is Rack, and he so quickly accepts everything despite us being told that he hasn't, that it's hard to believe he didn't somehow know everything to begin with.

Also, is no one going to say anything about the rat?  It's just there and no one has questions about why this rat seems smart or can, according to Danny, talk?  Again, this is why I say the characters feel unhinged.  None of them take any situation logically.  They all just accept it as it is, quirkiness, insanity, and all.

Maybe I'm simply not the target audience for this book, but I find that hard to believe as I was so obsessed in the first 20%, but after the continued ridiculous gore that feels more like a cheesy slasher film, and the continued insanity with no sense of direction in plot or world and character development, I find myself with no drive to pick this book up and continue it any more at all.
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It was not my cup of tea, but my teenage son really enjoyed it. It was way over my intelligence level. At times, I was lost and had to re-read sections which is not a normal thing for me to do.
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