Saturday, December 6, 2014

Book Review: The Luck Uglies by Paul Durham

Media Type: Print Book
Title: The Luck Uglies
Author: Paul Durham
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: Hardcover; 400
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Source: Library
Content Screening: Mild Violence

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who love adventure and intrigue in a Middle Grade package.

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / BookLikes
Rye O’Chanter has seen a lot of strange things happen in Village Drowning: children are chased through the streets. Families are fined for breaking laws that don’t even exist. Girls aren’t allowed to read anymore, and certain books—books that hold secrets about Drowning’s past—have been outlawed altogether.

Now a terrifying encounter has eleven-year-old Rye convinced that the monstrous, supposedly extinct Bog Noblins have returned. Before the monsters disappeared, there was only one way to defeat them—the Luck Uglies. But the Luck Uglies have long since been exiled, and there’s nobody left who can protect the village.

As Rye dives into Drowning’s maze of secrets, rules, and lies, she begins to question everything she’s been told about the village’s legend of outlaws and beasts . . . and what she’ll discover is that it may take a villain to save them from the monsters.

In my mind, exploring new worlds is the best part of reading. Imagine my excitement when The Luck Uglies transported me to the Village Drowning and gave me enough rich backstory to fully immerse myself there. I was dropped into a world where magic and mischief rule the day. Where dark things lurk in the shadows. A story where a brave heart means everything. Needless to say, I adored my trip to Drowning. I honestly can't wait to go back.

Rye O'Chanter is a wonderful main character. She's brave and resourceful. The type of young girl who readers of all ages will easily fall in love with. In fact, Durham writes a whole cast of characters who are fully formed. From the dastardly regent of the land, to the blind boy who becomes Rye's ally, each one of them were beautifully done. It's not hard to fall into step with them. I had a lot of fun getting to know these characters.

The story is where this first book suffered a little bit. As I said, the world is large and the characters vivid. It takes a lot of descriptive writing to get them to that point. While there was definitely a fair amount of forward movement in this, and some moments of action-packed goodness, there were big portions of explanations. In my case, it didn't really phase me too much. I love getting to know more about the people and places in my books. Just giving a warning to those of you who might feel that things are a bit slow. Keep going! By the end I promise you'll be extremely eager for more.

Last month was a tough reading month, and this book helped immensely with getting me out of that slump. It was just so much fun to read! I'm thrilled that The Luck Uglies was only the first installment, and that Rye O'Chanter will be back for more adventures. I can't wait to go back to the Village Drowning.


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