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The Book of Peril

(The Last Oracle #2)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  670 ratings  ·  65 reviews
As the custodian of the oracular bookstore Abernathy’s, Helena has faced any number of challenges in learning her new role. But when the store begins giving out false prophecies, Helena comes up against her greatest challenge yet: how can she fix Abernathy’s when she doesn’t truly know how it works?

Armed only with a few special talents and her desire to protect her magical
Published July 3rd 2018 by Curiosity Quills Press
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Abernathy’s Bookstore is a powerful oracle, used by the community of mages to answer important questions and foretell the future. Its proprietor, Helena Davies, is a critical part of the bookstore’s oracular function: she takes augury slips of paper with questions on them from customers, wanders among the bookshelves until she finds a book that glows to her eyes, and sells the book to the customer as the answer to their question. The price for the augury
Jacob Proffitt
This is second in a series and there's enough establishing in the first that I highly recommend reading in order.

So this is another book written by the love of my life (and not in a creepy, stalkery way, but in the we're-married-and-very-happy-together-thank-you-very-much way). So weight this review as you will for the circumstances. This is, as always, my honest opinion but I can hardly call it unbiased.

I really like the relationship developments in this story—particularly in illustrating Helen
Melissa McShane
Jun 13, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Re-read 7/3/20: Reviewed the audiobook before its publication. It was still very enjoyable, and I love the narrator's interpretations of the characters.

Having introduced Helena into the fantasy world of The Book of Secrets, I knew I had to enlarge on that world in the sequels. There were a lot of things I could play with, particularly Judy Rasmussen's character (because I had never imagined she would become Helena's friend), but I wanted this second book to be a challenge to the oracle itself. T
Sherwood Smith
Aug 13, 2018 added it
Shelves: fantasy
What a roller coaster of a ride!

This second installment in the series works like gangbusters. The first (which readers really should read) I had trouble with in the sense of tone, mis-reading several aspects. Either the storyline in this second volume found the right tone, or more likely, I'd been trained by the end of the first book, because this second book came in with a strong, sure voice.

I really enjoy a series that begins to develop an over-arcing storyline but also a smaller arc so that t
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Book of Peril is a magical mystery. I love that a non-magical user has been put in charge of something so magical. Twists and turns, highlight McShane's 2nd edition in The Last Oracle series.

I received this ARC copy of THE BOOK OF PERIL from Curiosity Quills Press. This is my honest and voluntary review. THE BOOK OF PERIL is set for publication July 3, 2018.

My Rating: 4 stars
Written by: Melissa McShane
Series: The Last Oracle
Sequence in Series: 2
Genre: Scifi | Fantasy

For more reviews check ou
Jana Brown
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So I loved this book. I'm a fan of a lot of Melissa McShane's books, and this series is no exception. I love the strength of her characters, all while still being flawed people. And I love seeing the changes which have come about since book one, especially when it comes to Judy and seeing how someone who was such a pain in the butt can change.

The paper magic at the heart of this book is tremendously fun, and I like the unique aspects of the powers in the Abernathy's world.

Don't even get me sta
Karlene Browning
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I got an ARC copy of this book because I couldn't wait to read it and I basically begged. Loved it. The quirky characters are back in a new adventure. The magical bookstore is under attack again. The perfect blend of magic and cozy mystery. Highly recommended. ...more
*Source* NetGalley
*Genre* Fantasy
*Rating* 3.5


The Book of Peril is the second installment in author Melissa McShane's The Last Oracle series, and the follow-up to The Book of Secrets. The story takes place 5 months after protagonist Helena Davies became custodian of Abernathy's. Abernathy's is a magical place where prophecies (auguries) are given out for a price. Helena, along with her assistant Judy Rasmussen, have been trying to understand not only her role, but how the Oracle actuall
E-book/NA/Urban Fantasy: I think this book is better than the first one. Granted the ending part of the mystery didn't explain everything fully as I wanted, but the book makes me jealous because I want to be Helena. The book is narrated in first person so you get to know Helena and all her faults and triumphs. This book brings back the same crew as the first book so I was familiar with everyone.

I do want to see Helena do more than work at the bookstore. If you think about it, she is in a dead
Lissa Hawley
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cozy mystery meets urban fantasy in this follow up tale about a clever magical bookshop.

The book nerd in me connects emphatically with Helena, the realistic shy nerd heroine.

But oh the ending broke my heart. I am definitely going to need more books in this series.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book pulled me in immediately. The story, the world, the mystery, the action and the subtle romance kept me turning pages. There are some great twists and great reveals. I quickly found myself invested in what happened to the oracle and to Helena.

I love the characters in this series! Helena is so genuine and real. I love her loyalty to her friends and the way she cares about the oracle. I enjoy learning about this world right along with her. Malcolm – sigh! There is just no way to gush enou
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the first book in the series, though I felt it could have had more of a sense of urgency. In this one, I didn't feel that lack; not that it was a sky-high-stakes, high-octane thrill ride, but it didn't seem excessively relaxed either.

The main character is a principled, courageous, determined, and competent young woman, which is my favourite kind of protagonist. There's a mystery and a potential romance, which means plenty of plot. All in all, a strong, enjoyable urban fantasy.

I had b
All Things Urban Fantasy
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

THE BOOK OF PERIL was an entertaining cozy paranormal mystery with quirky characters, intrigue, and danger. I was most interested in how the bookstore works as an oracle of sorts. It's a unique take on the concept of the oracle though there were some world building issues I had. I couldn't really understanding just how customers get the answers to their questions. Do they have to read the whole books for the answers? Granted this might have been answere
Bethany Kok
This book was a bit of a damp squib. I understand that as the second book in a nine book series, there are supposed to be dangling possibilities for future exploration, but so much was left unresolved (and not even addressed as being unresolved) that I start to question the integrity of the writing. In particular (massive spoilers for the ending ahead):

(view spoiler)
Erica Sebree
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Book of Peril was even better than the first! Helena has just settled into her position as custodian of Abernathy's, with Judy—her former adversary turned co-worker...and possibly friend—when the oracle starts giving false auguries. Discovering that her charge is not only malfunctioning, but is at risk of destruction, Helena takes matters into her own hands. As Malcolm and Lucia's teams hurry to track down the paper magus responsible for planting illusion-casting origami all over the city, H ...more
Joanne Watkins USA
Disappointing ending

I really enjoyed the first book and had high hopes for this one. But sadly it fell flat. The ending leaves a sad disappointing taste and leaves the core character story in ruins. Not how I want to finish a fantasy romance. I also don’t feel the book added anything. It felt the same, bumbling through, false accusations and accidental resolution.
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
feels in between

i don’t like the in between feeling of this book. the big bad did not get caught, but the solution was to much of a set-up for the future. it should have been more...complete. and the people thing? well, the will linger in an annoying way. still a good world and i plan to read the next one shortly.
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Book of Peril by Melissa McShane is the second book in The Last Oracle series. Helena Davies is the custodian of the oracular bookstore Abernathy’s. She has been busy cleaning the shop after the attack and the shop is brighter and definitely smells better. Helena’s birthday party thrown by her best friend, Viv, is interrupted by her ex-boyfriend, Chet. He has decided he still loves Helena and is determined to win her back despite Helena’s objection (oh dear). On Monday, Helena performs an au ...more
Feb 01, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second book in the series and the second one I started and finished in one sitting. It was just really fun and light, thou it had its' serious moments, nice character and relationship development. I would say that the mystery was not particularly complicated and a little bit out of the blue - probably it's a set up for bigger events to come. I will mention that it doesn't feel like something I haven't read or heard before, but again - so much fun! Random thing I appreciated most - how MC was ...more
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent second installment! And I stayed up till 3 finishing it. Again.

I love the variety of characters who feel absolutely real, and the magic is fresh and unique. The pacing of the book and the overall series is great, and I can’t wait for the next one!
Julien Dixon
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another enthralling story fro Melissa McShane which captures the reader's attention from the first page. The tension builds throughout the book and the reader is left not sure at the end whether all the problems have been solved or if there must be a follow up book. I do hope so. A story that is well worth reading. ...more
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Reviewed at my blog: Babbling Books
“If I knew what evil lurked in the hearts of man, I’d have a better-paying job than this one.”
I was excited when I got approved to read the next book in The Last Oracle series because I enjoyed the first one considerably. It’s funny, I like to go back and read my previous reviews of a series before writing a review of a next book, and in doing that for this series I found that it kept that uniqueness of the series as a whole and really delivered on
Cassandra **The Bibliophagist**
As usual, I enjoy looking at the cover of a novel before discussing the story’s content. This is what catches our eye first after all. I noticed that the red curtains from the top of the first novel are present in this book as well. The woman, I assume Helena, looks very different in this image. Her hair is shorter and a different color. She looks more comfortable though, which would be true now that she has settled into her position. I love that books still surround the image.

Now, I reviewed th
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018

This world is so unique and engaging, I found it incredibly hard to put this book down. Even as the second book in this story, it kept me guessing every step of the way.

If you’re new to this world, you should really start from book 1 (but could probably muddle through from here). Helena is the newly appointed custodian of a bookstore that doubles as a sort of oracle. Opposing factions of the magical world come by to get their future read or to find answers to their troubles. It’s not free, and r
Lisa Venerussi
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Yay! A sequel I actually liked better than the first in the series! Don’t get me wrong; I liked The Book of Secrets, but it took me a while to get into the world of that novel. The sequel popped me straight back in, and I found myself really loving being there. In this book the characters are developed much more deeply, and we start to see hints of their backstory, which I enjoyed. In fact, I had trouble putting the story down! I particularly enjoyed the pop culture references and the high-tech ...more
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I did read the first book in this series, and I was excited to read this second installment. And, I was in no way disappointed. While I really did enjoy this first book, this second book really hit its stride. The characters were developed so much more, we learned a lot more about this world, and the plot was more detailed. I love where Malcolm and Helena’s complicated relationship might be headed. The end just made me a little sad even though I know the author will probably pull some of her own ...more
Aug 02, 2018 rated it liked it
This has second book of a trilogy syndrome in a series that I'm not sure is a trilogy. There is no proper ending. The bookstore is giving books to the wrong people or can't figure out which book to pick. Does Helene figure out the culprit? No. They find his accomplice but it's a random person who's never been introduced.

The main character still feels like she should be in high school when she's around her friends. Her ex-boyfriend shows up and wants to get back together with her. People think sh
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this follow up to the first book. We get to see more of the Oracle and also more of Helena and her friends. I like how the relationship between Helena and Malcolm is developing. We follow Helena on another mystery, this time why the Oracle is acting up. We explore some new places but as always come back to the bookstore. I like the mix of books and magic. I really hope there are more in this series. I would really like to see Helena grow in this role and also see what happens between h ...more
Dave Higgins
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Expanding on the metaphysics and politics of the previous book without sacrificing pace or characterisation, McShane provides a second instalment of urban fantasy that will appeal to readers across the gamut of the genre and beyond.

This book is the second in The Last Oracle series. Appositely enough, readers who proceed beyond this point before completing the previous volume might receive insights into the future.

Fulfilling a major prediction for the Ambrosites has proved to most of the magical
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Melissa grew up a nomad, following her family all over the United States, and ended up living in the shadow of the Wasatch Mountains with her husband, four kids, and three very needy cats. Her love of reading was always a constant during those uncertain years, and her love of writing grew out of that. She wrote reviews and critical essays for many years before turning to fiction, and was surprised ...more

Other books in the series

The Last Oracle (9 books)
  • The Book of Secrets (The Last Oracle, #1)
  • The Book of Mayhem (The Last Oracle, #3)
  • The Book of Lies (The Last Oracle, #4)
  • The Book of Betrayal (The Last Oracle, #5)
  • The Book of Havoc (The Last Oracle, #6)
  • The Book of Harmony (The Last Oracle, #7)
  • The Book of War (The Last Oracle, #8)
  • The Book of Destiny (The Last Oracle 9)

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