When I read and review a book, I try very hard to take in to consideration the intended audience, knowing full well that it may not be me (though I don’t know why not…I like reading just about any kind of fiction!). So who is this book targeted toward? This book is clearly aimed at the younger teen-aged male reader. One could easily think of this as a James Bond for teen and pre-teen boys who don’t know James Bond yet. It is action packed, mostly fast paced, and relies a little on the skill of our young hero, Peregrine Harker, and a lot on fortune and luck, with different people saving him at the very last possible moment.
Peregrine Harker is a young boy during the turn of the century London who works as a newspaper reporter. Following up on one story, he stumbles across something so much larger, which produces a chain of events that he becomes intimately entwined within. Fist-fights, sword fights, gun battles, and car chases…this book has it all, even that touch of potential romance that likely speaks directly to those shy teen and pre-teen boys who probably dream about adventures like this every night!
Surprisingly, the book starts off slow. I had started it twice, completely lost interest in it, but, because it’s on my review shelf, returned, determined to finish it. it wasn’t hard, once I actually got in to the book, but that could be a hurdle to some.
It’s also not a book to be read too closely. This is intended to be read and experienced in the moment. Flash! Move along to the next dangerous moment! etc. If you start to read it too closely, you realize how foolish some of the people are. Why create an elaborate scheme to have someone killed when it could be done so much quicker and cleaner and simply? Well…the asnwer is… it doesn’t create for exciting adventure then!
I’m not a big fan of heroes who survive, over and over again, by luck and the fortunes of others. Occasionally? Sure. But Harker’s fat is pulled out of the fire too many times in this book, by something (or someone) other than his own wits and ingenuity. Still, I liked the breakneck action and intrigue. This is sure to be a hit with its targeted demographic!
Looking for a good book? This is a fun, fast-paced adventure for the teen and pre-teen boys.
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Peregrine Harker & The Black Death
author: Luke Hollands
publisher: Sparkling Books, Ltd
ebook, 150 pages