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Peril in the Old Country

(Terribly Serious Darkness #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  89 ratings  ·  49 reviews
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 "question
ebook, 312 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Black Spot Books
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Sam Hooker Sadly, I've never seen Gravity Falls. I just looked up a description, and it seems to me that there are similarities between the two, but I don't know…moreSadly, I've never seen Gravity Falls. I just looked up a description, and it seems to me that there are similarities between the two, but I don't know if I'd directly compare them.

I'm definitely going to give GF a try though, thanks for the recommendation!(less)

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Average rating 3.89  · 
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Montzalee Wittmann
Mar 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Peril in the Old Country (Terribly Serious Darkness, #1) by Sam Hooker is a book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary. The first few pages were difficult to get into but once I got going I enjoyed the clever and witty story up until about half way through. There things got complicated. (At least for me) I never could pick up the same rhythm I had with the book like I had in the first half. I did enjoy the book.
ARC received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

3,5 slow-burning, but ultimately funny and promising stars

When I say slow-burning, I mean slow-burning, but that's what you get when you Main Character is an accountant. :)

More detailed review to come.

Faith M ✨
I received this eARC from Black Spot Books on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of this book in any way.

"You may be a mild-mannered bundle of nerves, Peril, but you're the most earnest and loyal bundle of nerves I've ever met."

The Writing and Worldbuilding

I found this book to be a riot, and I was giggling and laughing basically the entire time. Sam Hooker really got that strange niche of humor I reside in, and I was really happy with the world and mo
Lauren Stoolfire
May 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor, fantasy
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Terrors lurk in the Old Country from goblins, bloodthirsty cannibals from nearby Carpathia, nefarious secret societies, to bloodless murder victims. Then there are the government agencies that might take you in for "questioning" in the middle of the night. Sloot can barely keep himself from drowning in the sense of doom that saturates the Old Country. Any minute could be his last, but now things are looking worse than ever as he's
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Sloot Peril is my favorite sort of protagonist – the kind who comes from a place of honesty. In much the same way that most of us would find ourselves sorted into Hufflepuff if we were totally honest with ourselves, the majority of us have more in common with Sloot than we do the real heroic heroes of fantasy, like Aragorn or Conan. Sloot is a tightly wound accountant with a strong survival instinct and a deep love of bureaucracy and routine. He’s anxious, cowardly and somewhat haughty – sort of ...more
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The author’s voice is what drew me in from the first page. First paragraph, really. With its tongue–firmly-in-cheek prose, the story kept me turning the virtual pages.

Sloot Peril is a great hero because although he is a walking neurosis, he feels real. Most readers probably know someone just like him. His progression throughout the story is cleverly done, so that we see him slowly changing, managing to do some things that he wouldn’t even have considered at the start of the novel. This growth on
 Linda (Miss Greedybooks)
I thought this looked interesting. I kept with it, I rarely DNF. First impression was he was trying too hard to write like Douglas Adams, and not successfully. I guess that's the absurdist part? I continued, feeling meh. 3 stars is generous in my opinion. I thought if it doesn't get better, I will not get book 2... The final sentence was the total deciding factor, absolutely positively, no, just no. ...more
Diane Hernandez
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Peril in the Old Country is a hilarious quest fantasy!Sloot Peril is an accountant who has a nervous condition. He lives in the Old Country where swearing causes goblins to physically appear. There is so much bureaucracy that a union provides professional line waiters. Sloot is a patriot who despises the country just past the Old Country’s giant wall, Carpathia. What happens when he:
Is recruited to be the financial manager of his mega-rich boss’ son
Finds out a shocking truth about himself
Is recr
Helen Whistberry
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another one of those books that won't be for every reader but I enjoyed it. I have a love of absurdist satire and rather hapless heroes and we get both here in abundance. Sloot Peril (his name itself gives you an idea of what you're in for) is the original mild-mannered accountant addicted to his routines and quiet mundanity who is precipitously plunged into the life of a spy and adventurer very much against his wishes. There follows a cascading series of ridiculous yet dangerous events which th ...more
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Peril in the Old Country by Sam Hooker is a book with words. Yes, yes, that might sound redundant, but not every book has words you know. Perhaps you’ve heard of picture books? Got you there! ahem Anyway, this worded book has many passages. Some of them lead through long and winding hallways. Other passages are rather short, but you just can’t help but take your time as you walk through them.

In this book, we follow Sloot Peril, who lives in the Old Country. It has a name, but it’s illegal to say
Nia Ireland
Apr 13, 2018 rated it liked it
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
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: readtoreview
Thanks to NetGalley and to the Editor. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
3.5 stars

I think that with this book my main problem was my expectations because they were just too high. The book is fun, enjoyable and, in some part, even brilliant but... yeah, I was expecting something more. Or something a tad more bright. I have this problem quite enough with comic fantasy to understand that, basically, the problem is mine and not of the book. This much is clear to me, but
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is so fun! plenty of mystery and adventure, plus it was really funny! very enjoyable read.
Tim Slee
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Terry Pratchett died we didn't just lose an author, we lost the entire Discworld universe. It was a fantastically humorous universe peopled with warty witches, goblins, færies, evil despots and hapless heroes.

But rejoice! For Peril in the Old Country is a rollicking story peopled with warty witches, goblins, færies, evil despots and hapless heroes!

There is more than a little Pratchettiness about the prose, but more in the way of an homage than straight fan fiction and it's a very easy and e
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you love the humor of Terry Pratchett, you absolutely must pick up a copy of Peril in the Old
Country.  It is a delightfully absurd novel with elements of the movie Brazil. Witty, astute observations on the nature of man and the reality he creates are paired with strange situations that become more and more convoluted as Sloot Peril endeavors to do the right thing and keep his head attached to his shoulders.

All Sloot did was correct a memo. Now he is the financier of an idiot nobleman, a spy,
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I just uploaded my book review here! ...more
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Please see my review in the April 1, 2018, issue of Grimdark Magazine.
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The highlighted passages spoke to me more than any piece of literature in the history of the English language.
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was provided this book by Black Spot Books in an exchange for an honest review. The book will be released June 5 2018. With that said I unfortunately cannot give this book 5 stars. I did enjoy the book but I feel like the ending needed to be a little more fulfilling for me, then again this is just the first book of the series....but anyway let me get into the review.

Star rating: 3.5 out of 5

Spoilers ahead!

The main reason why this book got as high of a rating as it did was because the author di
Steve Thomas
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic-fantasy, arc
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. "Panic in the Old Country" by Sam Hooker will be released on June 5, 2018.

I’ve read that a good way to set up a story is to establish what a character is good at and make him do something else. “Peril In the Old Country” by Sam Hooker uses that method with malicious glee. Sloot Peril’s chief skills are accounting and flying under the radar are of a capricious and murderous government ruled by the tyrannical Domnitor, long may he reign. Sl
Joel Mitchell
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Sloot Peril the accountant is a nervous/befuddled/pathetic character on the order of Arthur Dent or Rincewind the Wizard, and he lives in a world that sounds like 1984 as written by Terry Pratchett who has just read a bunch of dark fantasy (be careful which characters you get emotionally attached to). Poor Sloot, the most law-abiding of citizens, renders great service to an important man (correcting an accounting report that implied he wasn't so rich that he didn't have to count his money) and i ...more
Tonya (Rustic Book Reviews)
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was given this book by Black Spot Books in exchange for an honest review.

I thought this was a such a cute book. I loved the book from the moment I picked it up. If you are looking for something that will make you make laugh and have some not so heavy moments, this book will be for you.

Sloot Peril has had his whole life planned and throughout the book, you watch as Sloot starts doing things completely out of his planned out life style. Then when he was asked to correct a financial report, thi
As a fan of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, I am always seeking out the next humour fantasy novels. While Hooker's tone resembles that of Pratchett and Adams, the novel does not really flow as naturally as I would have hoped. The humour stands out uncomfortably between bits of action and storyline. I think, perhaps, the shortcoming is in the overt humour. Adams and Pratchett were overtly silly at times; however, they often subtlely joked about the human condition in a way that connected with ...more
Cheryl Teo
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a brilliant display of satirical wit and humor, Sam Hooker paints an engaging and imaginative tale of a fantastical world where our protagonist, who is plagued with anxiety disorder and OCD, is abruptly thrown into an epic adventure that wildly contrasts with the safe and mundane life he led previously as an underappreciated but extremely meticulous accountant.

Hooker's ADHD-ish writing is reminiscent of the legendary authors, Sir Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, both of whom have an endeari
Yicheng Liu
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
-Netgalley Review-

The story is interesting, and the author's writing style is sharp, clear, and crisp. This drew me in from the first page onward as it captivated my attention and I relished my experience reading with satisfaction, like finishing off a particularly long, cold, and dreary day listening to old records on a xylophone whilst sipping hot chocolate.

Sloot Peril is a great hero because of his many flaws and somewhat odd nature. He feels real. This helps me empathise with him. His
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did enjoy the book and all the ending was just frustrating for me. I mean this book isn’t even out yet and I’m sitting here having to wait for the next book to come out whenever that is LOL. I do not mind books that are part of a series but I really prefer for at least 1 story line to tie itself up at the end of the book. I was left going “that’s it! But what happened? What happens next”. It’s just a bunch of loose ends that I will have to wait to have tied up. Sigh. But if you are into books ...more
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was introduced to this writer after he did an entertaining AMA on Reddit, and I am very happy i saw it!

There was a little bit of a slow start that gave me pause for thought, but then before I knew it I had read half the book in one sitting and wondered where the day had gone.

There was hilarity on every page, a twisting and entertaining plot, a well planned world and a character that was engaging and I think most people could definitely get behind. Personally I was a bit indifferent to the end
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it
~~ An ARC copy was given to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion ~~

The topic of this book intrigued me. I loved the wit and sarcasm of its characters, and the world-building enticed me. Sloot Peril is hardly the hero we expect of a fantasy novel, and that definitely gave me buy-in for the novel. Unfortunately (at least for me), I got lost somewhere in the middle. I don't know if I wasn't following the narrative correctly, or didn't get where the writer was going, but things didn't m
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sam Hooker’s Peril in the Old Country, the first novel in a trilogy, is a new entry on the very short list of books that feel like they were written to spec for me. It has a shy, sheltered character who finds themselves suddenly way over their head in conspiracy and derring-do. The world is full of goofy details (goblins the appear when people swear, for example), with satirical subtext. It’s written with an old-fashioned loopiness with paragraphs that start with exposition and end with jokes do ...more
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
Darker than the Douglas Adams universe, but lighter than Game Of Thrones, a perfectly absurd dark fantasy.
You would think that in a place where swear words conjure goblins, cannibals live in the neighboring nation, and blood-drained murder victims are turning up, that paperwork would be the least of your worries. But in Sam Hooker‘s absurdly humorous fantasy tale “Peril In The Old Country,” over-anxious accountant Sloot Peril’s life is turned upside down after he revises a coworker’s disastrou
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Sam writes darkly humorous fantasy novels about things like tyrannical despots and the masked scoundrels who tickle them without mercy. He knows all the best swear words, though he refuses to repeat them because he doesn't want to attract goblins. He lives in California with his wife and son, who renew their tolerance for his absurdity on a per-novel basis.

Other books in the series

Terribly Serious Darkness (2 books)
  • Soul Remains (Terribly Serious Darkness, #2)

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