by Raymond Arroyo, Host of The World Over Live on EWTN, husband and dad
A supernatural thrill ride as a 12-year-old’s quest to uncover his family’s secret past puts everyone he knows in jeopardy in a story filled with hilarity, history, and the battle between good and evil.
Posted by Bridie, loves to read on 20th Sep 2016
Great book! It is pretty fast paced, action packed, and takes the reader to another world. I escaped into this book and I'm an adult. I like to read books that my kids read. My 11 year old son very much enjoyed this book and he recommended it to one of his friends who also liked it a lot. The storyline is very creative, well written for tweens and young teens (girls and boys). Kids can easily relate to the characters which is terrific. I feel like I got to know the characters and that is one of my keys to enjoying a book. I love Aunt Lucille! Perilous Falls is a fascinating place. Will's parents and some of the town's leaders are believable characters. I appreciate all the descriptions as I could easily visualize the scenes. Will has some very good friends and it is wonderful to see that come through in the book. There is no bad language, I consider this book clean. There are good lessons for all in this storyline. I used the book as an opportunity to have discussions with my son. We discussed symbolism versus truth and he made it clear that he knows the differences. It is wonderful to have a book that he loves, that he chose, to use as an opportunity to discuss our Catholic Faith. I had a blast reading the book and recommend it.
Posted by 12 yr. old Thomas on 7th Jul 2016
This book, to the mind of a 12-year-old, was extremely exciting! The life-and-death scenarios were riveting. There were some good intellectual questions. And (SPOILER) there is a cliffhanger at the end.
Overall I, a reluctant reader, really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to other boys my age.
Posted by Unknown on 30th Jun 2016
This book has been compared to Percy Jackson, and I can see why. It's pretty fast paced, has a snarky twelve-year-old boy for it's main character, and involves religion. In some ways, the fact that Catholicism is treated in a similar way as ancient-Greek-paganism fills me with nervousness. If you're writing a book pretending that the Greek gods exist then it's not hard to create all sorts of magical items and such that fit into that world. I am Catholic, and I understand things that this book referred to such as describing relics as 'keys to faith,' but it makes me nervous that (SPOILER) the relic glows bright white and is used rather like a magic talisman to drive a demon back. Or things like the device introduced in the last chapter, the sarcopha-bus. Sarcophagi were used in Egyptian burial rites--by people who worshiped Ra and Horace and Isis, and are not something I expected to be used for travel in a Catholic world (there was also some obvious influence from floo powder from Harry Potter, with all of the warnings to keep you hands tucked in because it would be a rough ride, like a tornado, etc.)(END SPOILER) Raymond Arroyo is Catholic (or that is what I assume since he works for EWTN) so I know his intent is good in writing this book, I think he will have to tread very, very carefully in the following books.
Because this is a middle grade book there were times when I could see flaws in the writing, just because sometimes things moved a little too quickly and you could tell the author was trying not to let young readers get bored, but it felt rushed and simplistic. I almost think that this book could have worked better in the YA section because there would have been more room for detail and depth, but then Will would have had to be at least fourteen, and even then it probably wouldn't have caught the attention of the teen readers...I wish I'd been able to read this when I was around twelve.
The ending of the book was frustrating (why a cliffhanger? why?) but I will probably keep reading this series.