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Peregrine Harker & The Black Death

3.02  ·  Rating details ·  87 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews

Peregrine Harker is about to learn you're never too young to die.

London 1908: A secret society stalks the murky streets, a deadly assassin lurks in the shadows and a series of unexplained deaths are linked by a mystery symbol…

When boy-detective Peregrine Harker stumbles across a gruesome murder he sparks a chain of events that drag him on
ebook, 150 pages
Published June 3rd 2013 by Sparkling Books Ltd (first published May 3rd 2013)
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Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess
May 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Not quite four stars, but at the same time 3 would be a little harsh.

If you read this then I'd advise you to completely disregard the first chapter. That's right, don't even bother reading it. It has pretty much zilch to do with the book and lowers the WHOLE tone - it's childish and unnecessary and I wish I hadn't read it.

At times this book feels childish, too childish even for it's young protagonist. It is fantastical almost to a fault. Perhaps it's too boyish for me... If anything it's a boy-b
Dec 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Luke Hollands obviously knows it's every guy's secret fantasy to be a suave secret agent, saving the world from evil criminal masterminds and getting the spunky damsel in distress. His character, Peregrine Harker, gets to do it all, uncover dastardly plots, fight for his life - multiple times, and yep, get the girl. So I have to say, even though Peregrine Harker and the Black Death is kind of silly and doesn't offer much in the way of character or plot development, I still enjoyed it as a fast p ...more
Experiment BL626
The book was a head-banging read. It was told in a way where the protagonist was practically mute and so detached that the dialogue was communicated in incredibly stilted summary and events were literally forced upon him. I think the intention behind the inane narration was an immersive reading experience but in practice it was anything but. I felt as if I was held hostage in a dark room that was the protagonist’s mind where I watched the story through a bunch of filters. Halfway through the boo ...more
Ornella (Nyx)
Dec 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs, stand-alone
2.5 Stars

This book started out as a lot of fun. It was silly, and I was enjoying it, till I wasn't. I guess it just got to be too much. The way Harker spoke got to me after some time. It was much too mature and yet he was so naive at the same time. My biggest problem is actually that Harker didn't actually do much of anything, and he always needed rescuing. The kid got beat up multiple times, and was saved multiple times. Yet they kept mentioning how he was such a good shot, and had fencing less
Sannie Hald
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was ok

Review of Peregrine Harker & The Black Death (eBook isbn: 9781907230493)

I received a digital copy from Sparkling Books Ltd by requesting on

Now, I would have loved to tell you that this was a really well developed children's novel but sadly it is not. It is too fast paced and much information is missing. If only the book was longer there would be more room for all of the potential small side stories which it is so desperately missing.

There are twists and turns that keep the rea
Arra Abella
Jan 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Kids at Heart, Children, Young Adult
Let's admit that there are books that are much easier to comprehend than others. Whenever I've finished a tear-jerking, overly dramatic novels or those stories that give us heavy burdens, I always opt to read books that cater to a younger audience; like Artemis Fowl, the first Harry Potter book or the 39 Clues. What can I say? I am still definitely a kid at heart and will forever be one. Don't you agree with me that such tales are instant happy boosters? :) That's when I saw Peregrine Harker and ...more
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
Have you ever read a book that just feels like it's trying too hard? Peregrine Harker and the Black Death wants to channel early 1900s serialized adventure drama. It reminds me a lot of early radio drama, where it's all bang, sizzle and sound effects without enough of a plot to back-up the story. And while the voice is different, it's a little too punch-you-in-the-face obvious for my liking.

"If you were to deny the humble British labourer his morning cup there would be riots in the street of eve
May 20, 2013 rated it did not like it
Unfortunately, I find myself agreeing with a lot of other advance readers on this one - Peregrine Harker & the Black Death started off brilliantly ridiculous, then very quickly became awfully ridiculous, and by the end it wasn’t even ridiculous; just plain awful.

Despite lightly poking fun at the historical action/adventure genre, Hollands doesn’t do anything to shake things up - Peregrine is your standard Middle Grade narrator: the blandly adventurous white male protagonist who saves the day
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s, netgalley
This book is a pulp melodrama-adventure centred on Peregrine Harker, boy journalist in gaslamp-era London. Peregrine, an orphan whose explorer parents disappeared in South America, is full of high hopes and Penny Dreadful dreams. He is assigned to investigate the price of tea, and instructed to do so without getting caught up in notions of conspiracy and murder.

This was a great setup for me, but sadly it failed to deliver. It was packed with infodumps and Blytonesque racism. The first three non
*This is a review of an uncorrected proof, and quotes/excerpts may therefore differ from the final copy.

One glance at the ratings I have given books since January tells you that I’m either a stingy reader or 2013 is not my year for good books. I don’t seek out books I know I won’t enjoy, because reading a book I dislike is anything but pleasant. It’s frustrating, and it robs me the experience of getting lost in the wonder of someone’s fantastical creation. I don’t find myself absorbed into a cha
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks
Review: Peregrine Harker and The Black Death
By: Luke Hollands

Description by Netgalley:


Peregrine Harker is about to learn you're never too young to die.

London 1908: A secret society stalks the murky streets, a deadly assassin lurks in the shadows and a series of unexplained deaths are linked by a mystery symbol…

My review:

Is 1908- London, Paris and India. There's a terrible problem: the cost for tea is raising. Then, there's Peregrine Harker, a fifteen-years-old yo
Drennan Spitzer
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
In Peregrine Harker and the Black Death, author Luke Hollands gives young readers what feels like an old-fashioned melodrama, in the very best sense of the term. Peregrine Harker, an orphaned boy, works as a reporter cum detective and adventurer in 1908 London. When he is sent out by his editor to investigate the rapidly rising price of tea, Harker stumbles upon a smuggling ring headed by a villain much more dangerous than he could have anticipated. As Harker works to discover just who is behind ...more
Review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7

I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Luke Hollands's debut Peregrine Harker and the Black Death is a fun adventure set in a time long-past where mysteries were daydreams, and danger a way of life for over-curious detectives. Hollands's world is explored by his young protagonist, Peregrine, as he strives to uncover the surprisingly intriguing mystery surrounding the sudden shortage of tea.

Peregrine isn't one of those p
Jun 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
" 'If you wouldn't mind awfully jumping in, sir, we can make good our escape' " (27%).

I reqeusted this title from Netgalley (thank you!) because I love juvenile/middle grade adventures. I also happen to love Peregrine as a name, and hey, the black death is always intruiging (if gruesome). Plus, the cover looked delightfully steampunk-inspired. The galley I received did not specify if it was an uncorrected proof, but I am rather praying that it is.

So, in the above situation, is Peregrine supposed
The Good

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

The childish tone. I understand this is a middle-grade book, but it reads more like
Sharon Tyler
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Peregrine Harker & The Black Death by Luke Hollands is a historical mystery set in 1908. Fifteen year old Peregrine Harker is a dreamer trying to earn a living as a newspaper reporter after his parents disappear and are assumed dead on an adventure. His day dreaming about being a boy-detective right out of the penny-dreadfuls becomes reality when a simple interview about the price of tea throws him into a mystery that involves a secret society, murder, and smuggling. Death seems to be stalki ...more
Original Link to the review at my blog Le' Grande Codex - here

HAPPY RELEASE DAY........ Entertaining .............. but not quite. Presenting Peregrine Harker & The Black Death by Luke Hollands.

Here is the summary of the book:-

Peregrine Harker is about to learn you're never too young to die.

London 1908: A secret society stalks the murky streets, a deadly assassin lurks in the shadows and a series of unexplained deaths are linked by a mystery symbol…

When boy-detective Peregrine Harker stu
Feb 08, 2013 marked it as dnf
Shelves: arc-netgalley
Originally published at yAdult Review.

Peregrine Harker begins his story by having a terribly cliche dream about saving the Crown Jewels and a damsel in distress. The first chapter is a dream. Don’t let it discourage you. Peregrine reminded me of a Victorian Artemis Fowl, which is kind of funny considering Peregrine is supposed to be fifteen and Artemis begins at eleven or twelve. So Peregrine’s inner monologue is a little immature. I also think maybe Hollands is a little too fond of the comma sp
Oct 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
When I read and review a book, I try very hard to take in to consideration the intended audience, knowing full well that it may not be me (though I don’t know why not…I like reading just about any kind of fiction!). So who is this book targeted toward? This book is clearly aimed at the younger teen-aged male reader. One could easily think of this as a James Bond for teen and pre-teen boys who don’t know James Bond yet. It is action packed, mostly fast paced, and relies a little on the skill of o ...more
Jan 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Peregrine Harker, boy journalist, dreams of adventure. Unfortunately, his editor's dreams are a little more mundane - he wants real stories, not fiction - so he sends Harker out on the least adventurous story he can think of - why the price of tea has jumped so drastically. And with this inauspicious start, begins an adventure so dangerous and so harrowing, it outstrips even Harker's vivid imagination.

The tale takes place in Edwardian England and, with it's references to Bands of evil doers, sm
Beth Cato
Jan 15, 2013 rated it did not like it
I received this middle grade ARC through NetGalley, and the publisher wanted me to note the e-ISBN in my review: 978-1-907230-49-3.

I approach this review with a sense of dread because I really dislike writing bad things about books, and this one had so many aggravating elements I could have thrown it across the room. I didn't because, well, I was reading it on my iPad, and throwing it would be unwise. However, I did close the ebook more than once, disgusted and determined to not continue. I did
Charlotte Jones
Apr 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received this book from Net Galley and I have to say, the main thing that drew me to it originally was this amazing cover. The red, black and white colour combination completely evokes an air of mystery and danger, whilst being striking and not telling you much about the story.

London 1908: A secret society stalks the murky streets, a deadly assassin lurks in the shadows and a series of unexplained deaths are linked by a mystery symbol…
When boy-detective Peregrine Harker stumbles across a grue
Jul 21, 2013 rated it liked it

Kat's Review

If you're going into this book thinking it will be the typical contemporary Middle Grade or Young Adult book, you will be disappointed. If you're in the mood for an old fashioned adventure with a young boy in the eye of the storm, this might just be the kind of adventure for you. This book is fun, and reminded me of the typical adventure story aimed at boys in the 10-13 year range. There is also a pretty fearless young female character, so there's certainly a character for young adve
Chantelle (aka the Blogmonstar)
Rating: 2 1/2 Stars

Peregrine Harker is not your average 15 year old. He works as a journalist and is sent to discover the mystery of why tea prices have soared so high in England lately. Unfortunately this leads to people of all kinds trying to kill him - it must be very special tea. Or rather, something mysterious is going on with the tea and the shipping of tea into England from India. Our hero faces several near-death situations in order to find out the truth.

The story is very fast-paced and
Soma Rostam "IOB"
Jan 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
I didn't know what to expect while reading this book. I didn't know whether to classify it as middle grade or YA. But no matter what genre it is in, I definitely fell in love with its uniqueness and action-packed plot!
Peregrine Harker is a journalist boy with a wide imagination and a strong backbone in the never-aging London. He would do everything to get a good scoop for the newspaper. And when his boss tells him to investigate the reasons for the current rise of tea prices, he is swept in in
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I'm not entirely sure what attracted me to this book but I thought it sounded like an exciting adventure story and that sure was the case! This book isn't very heavy on characterization or world building but every chapter ends with suspense, propelling you forward to the next one, much like the penny dreadfuls that are the preferred reading material of the titular character.

Peregrine Harker is a Victorian London orphan whos
Marthe Bozart
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received an ebook copy from Peregrine Harker on Netgalley, at my request.

So, I went into this book with no expectations at all. Luckily, because if I had, then I would've put it down after the first chapter. It starts out so overly cliche, with a villain and a detective, everything going wrong for the first one and everything going too smoothly for the later. You know those movies where, when the villain shoots, he always misses, and the hero never fails? That kind of thing. Ugh. It annoyed me
I got a copy of the e-book from Netgalley to review and I was not paid for my review. The book needs a bit of work, but I rather enjoyed the story once I got past the 1st chapter (which as another reviewer said should be skipped in its entirety - as it is so cornball it almost made me want to stop reading right there). It reminded me of a combination of a young Indiana Jones, though someone else mentioned Tin Tin and I can definitely see that too. I think it is supposed to be in the style of a d ...more
See more of my reviews @ Moosubi Reviews!

Essentially, I think that Peregrine Harker and the Black Death is a book that’s like your typical middle grade adventure. First, Peregrine – he’s all kinds of intelligent, adventurous, brave and selfless, and never hesitated to snoop especially even if it wasn’t the best idea. I couldn’t help but root him on in his adventures! Speaking of which, his story was exciting and so much fun to read. There was so much action and creativity around every corner,
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: meh

This is a book for the boys. At least that's what I concluded at the end.
To be honest I just couldn't get into this one. At first I thought it might be my mood, so I read something else in between.. and when I came back to it, I still felt the same. So I kinda struggled through it.
See this is not really bad actually. Just not my cup of tea. The writing is kinda classic boy's adventure/fantasy. And I thought I liked those. But maybe not so much?
It's a bit silly and funny, fast paced and h
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LUKE HOLLANDS is a former lion tamer, motorcycle stunt-rider and ruler of a small South American country. He is also a compulsive liar. He learnt how to tell tall tales while interviewing famous politicians, celebrities and criminals as a newspaper journalist. Thinking he should get a proper job he joined the BBC. Since then he has produced and presented quirky radio documentaries, appeared in the ...more
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