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The Shop on Peculiar Hill (The Vale of Strange Book 1)

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4.24  ·  Rating details ·  25 ratings  ·  17 reviews
When Peter comes to live with his aunt and uncle at the shop on Peculiar Hill, he has a lot to learn. What are bogeys and heeble-greebs and the other fierce creatures which live in the nearby Vale of Strange? Why is it so important to wear a hat and sturdy boots? And what is this stuff called strangeness which comes bubbling out of the ground? When Peter discovers the dark ...more
Kindle Edition, 197 pages
Published December 1st 2018 by Journey Fiction
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Lorraine
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Grimly Darkwood The Shop on Peculiar Hill


This debut fantasy novel by Grimly Darkwood is targeted at 8 - 12 year olds, but might appeal to any age group - it certainly appealed to me (73 and three quarters). The story charts the adventures of Peter, orphaned and newly fostered by an aunt and uncle, in a very peculiar environment indeed. This is a world populated by strange and threatening creatures - although the dark side of the story never, in my view, gets out of hand; we somehow know it will
...more
Jane Potter
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, arc, fun-fantasy
Thanks to Grimly Darkwood for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

When I read the summary for this novel, I was intrigued. It sounded like a fun, clever new fantasy world. However, I didn't connect with this novel as I hoped I would.

The first part of the novel was slow for me to get invested in. While I enjoy the way we are thrown into the middle of the story, it felt a bit contrived for me. I didn't connect with the setting or the characters like I expected it. Also, I felt t
...more
Pegboard
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simon Ounsley’s pen-name, Grimly Darkwood, gives the reader a good idea as far as what kind of author they will find. The Shop on Peculiar Hill is mysterious and intriguing as it introduces the reader to new creatures and a different land. Peter moves to this area and is unaware of the dark secrets this town keeps. His Uncle Bob’s reluctance to explain the dangers places Peter at risk because of the surrounding hazards. And Peter is not sure how serious he should take his Aunt Maggie because of ...more
Mani
Firstly, I would like to thank the author for sending me a review copy of this book.

This is Grim Darkwood’s debut and first novel in theVale of StrangeSeries. It’s originally aimed at readers aged 8-12 year olds but after reading it I think it’s a great read for any age.

For someone who hasn’t read a book in the age group for ages I really found it enjoyable.

The book is beautifully written, with an interesting story full of adventure and strange creatures. It was also funny and gripping  all at t
...more
Jill Hand
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Shop on Peculiar Hill follows the adventures of an orphaned boy named Peter who goes to live with his aunt and uncle who are the proprietors of a very odd shop. Some of the products they sell are intended to protect people living near the ominously named Vale of Strange from being attacked by creatures called heeble-greebs and bogeys, among others. Peter's uncle is reluctant to tell him exactly what these are, only that they should be avoided at all costs.
This is a dark fairy tale, one that
...more
Lisa Denn
Not much of a fan of Grimly Darkwood's The Shop On Pecular Hill of which I received an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy to read, review and post online).
The message (lesson to learn) that can be gathered from the story seemed to be that we should care about others. A great lesson to share with middle schoolers BUT my admiration for the book ends there.
I question the appropriateness of the content choices the author made to deliver his "lesson." Strange beasts killing tourists with a silent nod from loc
...more
Cassandra Morris
Sadly I found it difficult to read this book and honestly didn't get more than a third of the way though before giving up. Overall my biggest issue was the pace and flow of the writing, and perhaps this was simply because I am not the target audience. While the story had some whimsical elements simular to what can be seen in Terry Pratchet or Diana Wynne Jones books, i felt thrown into a world with little explanation or setting. I was shown small snippets of the world without the context i would ...more
Charlie
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*I received a free copy of this book from the author via voracious readers only in exchange for an honest review*
This was a very strange and compelling story about a young boy who comes to live with his aunt and uncle on peculiar hill after his parents die. This story is all about this young boy struggling to understand the weird and wacky ways of the vale of strange and what really happens to the tourists who frequent it.
It was a well written story that was enjoyable to read even as an adult a
...more
Christine Hunter
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Very Strange Story

People are peculiar on Peculiar Hill. That being said, Peter has been sent to live with his aunt and uncle in Peculiar Hill. From here on the journey becomes more and more fantastical. You'll think you're at Willie Wonka's or riding along with Lemony Snickets. It's a fun book to read and I wouldn't think twice about letting my middle school kids have a go with it. Just remember to wear a hat.
Hayley Heaton
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fantasy readers
Recommended to Hayley by: voracious readers only
this book is really creative and does wonders for the imagination. for anyone who likes to read about strange things and about strange creatures i would recommend this book, and all the other books in this series. peter and amander have a bumpy start but learn to trust each other to save a child from danger.
Abi
Jul 23, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this book would probably be quite enjoyable to children and young adults as it is a fantasy work with many strange and wondrous things. Personally I found it to be too much like having a fever dream and the main characters were annoying. However, it would be completely appropriate to read to younger kids or to let older kids read on their own.
Jennifer Stone
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I did not know what to initially think of this book when I started reading it, but it was really good! It definitely has an air of Lemony Snicket in the storyline and the imagination of JK Rowling coming through. I very much look forward to the next book in the series to see what happens next!
Charlene Snider
First of all I didn't realize this was a young person's book so never finished it. I do think it would be a good book to read out loud to children so they could use their imagination for the characters! Good descriptions, this is the kind of book I would have liked as a child.
Ron Welgush
Apr 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took awhile to get into the book but once Peter and Amanda got into the vale, the story picked up. Amanda is the stronger character and look forward to her escapades pulling Peter along. There is more to Amanda ! Good read. Liiking forward to the next book.
Amanda
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazingly well written book. Made me use my imagination again and I havent done that in forever! Would highly recommend and cannot wait to read the next one!
Tracy
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Wanted to like it, but such frustrating kids. Not my thing.
Martin
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a quirky and original children's fantasy. There are eccentrically named monsters, adventure, mild peril and some really great gags. Darkwood is not afraid to address chunkier issues such as 'why do we discount the lives of people we don't know?' which adds extra depth to this highly entertaining book.
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3 followers
Grimly Darkwood was born in the year nineteen hundred and blinkety blonk, which was a very long time ago. In those days, things were very different from how they are today. Carts were more common than cars, mobile phones had not been invented, and if you were very lucky, the highlight of your day was to find a free plastic spaceman in a packet of corn flakes.

Grimly thought that the sights and soun
...more

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