Peril in the Old Country by Sam Hooker (Terribly Serious Darkness #1)

38105469

Published by Black Spot Books

3 stars

Synopsis:

What terror lurks in the shadows of the Old Country?

Well, there are the goblins, of course. Then there are the bloodthirsty cannibals from nearby Carpathia, secret societies plotting in whispers, and murder victims found drained of their blood, to name a few. That’s to say nothing of the multitude of government ministries, any one of which might haul one off for “questioning” in the middle of the night.

The Old Country is saturated with doom, and Sloot is scarcely able to keep from drowning in it. Each passing moment is certain to be his last, though never did fate seem so grim as the day he was asked to correct the worst report ever written.

Will the events put in motion by this ghastly financial statement end in Sloot’s grisly death? Almost definitely. Is that the worst thing that could happen? Almost definitely not.


Publication date: 5th June 2018

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This book is very reminiscent of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld in terms of world-building and characterisation.

Hapless characters go around haplessly happlessing from one kingdom to the next, with none quite so hapless as Sloot Peril, mild-mannered and rule-abiding financier of the Domnitor. An accountant is the perfect character to tell this story.

He’s singularly unqualified to be going on adventures and uncovering mysteries, but that’s the situation he’s thrown into. He’s incredibly neurotic and dry in his humour, which is what makes him a very easy character to empathise with and enjoy reading.

However, it was the pacing and structure of this book that threw me a bit – the dry humour and absurd situations were great fun, but it was very drawn out and somewhere near the middle of the book I started to forget what was even going on. A book about absurdities really needs to hang on tight to the plot and pacing, in my opinion, otherwise it becomes hard to remember where you even hope the story ends up. It’s for this reason that I’m not convinced I’ll be reading the next in the series, there’s no way I’ll remember what happened in the first book well enough to remember what’s happening.

The book does cover some excellent points in a wonderful wry fashion – propaganda, social class and how independent thought should really be discouraged in a population if you want to run it without argument.

The author’s humour is the guiding force of this book, if you like your funny dry and dark, this is the perfect book for you.

*Thank you NetGalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review*

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