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Peregrine Harker & The Black Death

Peregrine Harker & The Black Death - Luke Hollands The Good
  1. The adventure. This book started out so promisingly. It's every young boy's dream to go out and fight villains like a superhero or secret agent. Peregrine lives the dream life--chasing down smugglers, traveling worldwide to follow clues. Unfortunately, what started out as a reasonable amount of predictability and cliches quickly devolved into overwhelming cheesiness, ruining the overall story.

The Bad
  1. The childish tone. I understand this is a middle-grade book, but it reads more like an elementary school level story due to the horrible, horrible jokes and cheesy plot lines/villains.
  2. The slang. I love books that try to incorporate slang/customs of the time period to add authenticity. Look at The Diviners by Libba Bray--that thing is chocked full of slang and jargon and customs, and it is wonderful. This book, however, feels like it is just trying way too hard. The slang used by the characters often feels forced rather than genuine, making dialog awkward and fake.
  3. Peregrine. Peregrine as a character is very frustrating. He is old enough to have a job, but seems to have the maturity level and life skills of a small boy. He makes huge amounts of noise when sneaking around in a house filled with criminals, immediately trusts people for no good reason, and at many points in the story does flat-out inexcusably stupid things.  In short, I hated him.
  4. The rushed feeling. After about a quarter of the way into the book, everything starts to happen entirely too quickly without enough details. When details are given, they are explained in long-winded conversations after they have happened instead of described in real-time or referenced in flashbacks.  This made events boring to read about and oftentimes hard to follow. On top of that, important decisions are made at the drop of a hat with no real reasoning to support the choices. Overall, everything just felt sloppy.
  5. The Indian accents. Every single time Peregrine cannot "place an accent" he assumes it is "Indian perhaps". You would think after the number of times he made this same guess he would start to be able to pick out an Indian accent.

Overall Rating

2/5 - This book started out so promisingly and quickly became almost unreadable. It took me forever to finish this, but I am glad I finally fought my way through it just to be able to find out what happened to Peregrine, as much as I hated him and as predictable as his ultimate fate was.