Author:  Ned Vizzini
Expected publication: September 25th 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Categories: Adventure, Fantasy

I received an eARC  from Balzer + Bray  via Edelweiss. Thank you.

This book was unexpected. Some were funny, some were totally crazy, and few bits were geeky. I haven’t played RPG, like ever. Unfortunately, I have a very low tolerance for games (all kinds of video games). Since I absolutely have no idea how these things work, I thought it’ll be a refreshing read, very unique experience for me. Well, it was indeed refreshing, although admittedly some parts had me confused.

Perry Eckert loved the game Creatures & Caverns.  He loved it so much that it made his parents worried with his fixation to this game. They thought he had himself isolated, that according to his mom he wasn’t ‘socially progressing’ so they decided to send him off to camp. In camp Washika he met Mortin Enaw, one of the consultants of the game. He asked Perry for his help to save the world (Mortin’s world). All he needed to do was to kiss a girl in the camp named Anna Morgolis. Anna was like an equivalent version of their princess who was captured by Ophisa. And ever since she was captured their world was in chaos. If he kissed her, she (the princess) will be freed and it’ll stop their world from destruction.

So the gist is: he needed to kiss a girl and he can save an entire world. He’ll be a hero! Sounds easy, right? The funny thing though it was long, tedious job for Perry. He did plenty of attempts, and failed miserably (but no worries, it was interesting turned of events. Like I totally didn’t expect it.) He also met Ada, Mortin’s intern; she helped and explained stuff about his task. And well, let’s just say she has bigger role to his life now.  I don’t want to give away more important things (I think I have spoiled you enough, sorry). But like I said earlier it was unexpected and I liked how it turned out in the end.

The lowlight for me was that it wasn’t a very smooth reading for me. There were mind boggling things and were not necessarily in a good way. The stuff about the game (I blamed my lack of knowledge) or some conversation, particularly between Mortin and Perry wasn’t really clear for me. There were words popping up and I needed to go back and see if I get it right (I don’t even know why Mortin smokes pebbles). There were even things inserted in a middle of the conversation that were totally random (or maybe I just didn’t see the connection). Another confession, some dialogues that I think were supposedly funny, instead of me laughing, I was wrinkling my brows because I was confused. But not all the time because on most parts when it was funny, it was really funny (and I actually get it this time, thank goodness).

It took me long enough to warm up with Perry’s character. There’s nothing really noticeable, nothing that stands out to me. He’s so normal (no pun intended), like the typical passionate gamer-boy. But throughout his so called adventures, he grew. I liked how his character matured during the entire ordeal. And I most especially liked how the story wrapped up, with Perry gaining a lot from this experience. Like from hating his name—Peregrine—to loving it because he finally realized that his name means something relevant.

I liked it. For something that is entirely out of my comfort zone, I enjoyed most of thing the book has to offer. If you want something new, something fun, you will definitely enjoy this one. Besides, this book is not only about saving princess or saving the world. There’s more to Perry—and the story— than that.