If Harry Potter was the boy who lived, Peter Green was the boy who died. This initially feels like a Potter knock-off, but that changes quickly. In fact, it may only feel that way to me because the “magic boarding school” genre which I’m told is popular in the UK is not as popular where I am, so the Potter books were my first exposure to it. This is my second.
Title: Peter Green and the Unliving Academy
Author: Angelina Allsop
Original Publication Date: November 20, 2018
ISBN: 1631610643, 978-1631610646
Publisher: TCK Publishing
Cover Price: $14.99 is the price at Amazon. My digital copy doesn’t have a cover price I can confirm.
Buy from: Amazon.com
The book starts with Peter Green “awakening” into his AfterLife. Most of his memories are gone, and he’s sent to a combination orphanage and boarding school. There are engaging characters, and a genuine mystery to be solved.
Actions have reasonable consequences. One of the biggest issues in the Harry Potter books is the amount of shenanigans the students get up to that are overlooked by a principal who doesn’t hold them accountable for… reasons. These students also break and bend rules, but those actions have consequences, which sets it apart rather dramatically from the competition by the time it’s all said and done.
It took more time than I’d hoped before I really felt engaged. I was just over half way through before the book pulled me along as a reader, rather than feeling like I was bringing the book along out of a sense of obligation. (I received a free review copy from the publisher. When that happens, I try to review the book quickly, but honestly. If I had just picked it up off the shelf, I’d have put it down before I hit the half way mark, and that would have been a mistake.)
This is more original than the first quarter of the book indicates. Yes, the boy who died gets sent to a world he’s completely unfamiliar with, and said world is filled with magic, monsters, and secrets. He soon befriends spunky friends that help him on his rule-breaking adventures. There the similarities end. The (unspoiled) conclusion in particular says this book series will head in a very different direction. I give it 4 out of 6.
The imagery is done well enough. You can picture everything you need to, although sometimes things aren’t described until just after the characters interact with them. I give it 4 out of 6.
The story takes time to get moving. The first third of the book or so is heavy in world building, but once we get through that, and particularly past the half way point, things really start to pick up and the book gets much more engaging. I give it 4 out of 6.
The characterization is fairly clear. It takes time to get there, because our lead character doesn’t really know who he is himself for most of the book, so he starts out a little more passive than we are used to in our heroes. Those around him are well defined from the start, and Peter gets there before it’s all over. I give it 4 out of 6.
The emotional response is pleasant enough. The book is a bit of a chore to read at first, because the world building is just band, and invites the Harry Potter comparisons just a little too clearly. It takes time to work past that and get engaging, but it does get there. I give it 4 out of 6.
The editing works well enough. I did notice a couple of typos in chapter 25 or 26 out of 28, but of course, proofreading is only a small part of the editing process. The structure of the book is much more important, as well as guiding the author’s creativity when he or she is stuck. I see no such major issues here. I give it 5 out of 6.
Overall, it’s a book worth reading if the concept sounds interesting to you. While I see no title or release dates for the second book in the series, I’d like to read it, so that’s definitely a vote in the positive column. I give it 4 out of 6.
In total, Peter Green and the Unliving Academy receives 29 out of 42.