Tuesday 29 August 2017

The Relic of Perilous Falls - Raymond Arroyo - Will Wilder Book 1

The Relic of Perilous Falls
Will Wilder Book 1
Raymond Arroyo
Antonio Javier Caparo (Illustrator)
Crown Books for Young Readers
A division of
Penguin Random House of Canada
ISBN 9780553539592
eISBN 9780553539615

I read this book and I did really enjoy it. But it reminded me of other books and series. It reminded me a bit of the 39 Clue Series, it also reminded me a lot of the The Grey Griffins Series by Jon S. Lewis and Derek Benz, and also of Roland West, Loner by Theresa Linden The book does have a great pace, is full of surprises, and it is a fun read. But again as I was reading it I kept comparing it to other books and series I had read. I finished this book a few months ago and have picked up book 2, but book two keeps getting bumped in my reading list because of those nagging but's. I did really enjoy the explicitly Catholic element of the story. In many ways it is like a young Catholic Indiana Jones story. I can't wait until my son is a little older and will reread this book with him.

Will Wilder seems to have a knack for getting in trouble. He is head strong. Smart; and some might say a little too smart. But with an emerging gift and a darkness rising. Will's impulsive behaviour might put a lot more at risk than just his own hide and that of his friends and family. The book is full or surprises, and finding out that Great Aunt Lucille is much more than a curator is one of the biggest. As darkness is on the rise, Will along with his close friends must put things right and fix the mess that Will has created.

The writing in this book is very solid. It is the first of Arroyo's fiction that I have read. I am part way through a couple of his non-fiction works. The pace is good, the characters flesh out well, even if Will's growth is rather rapid. But when one is thrusted into extreme situations it is usually sink or swim and he does an admirable job of keeping his head above water. There are some great secondary characters like Shen and Bart are a great addition to the story. Along with his aunt and his friends Simon and Andrew it is time to face an ancient enemy and to battle darkness.

There are a number of illustrations by Antonio Javier Caparo. These pencil sketches have a lot of details in them and help bring the story vividly to life. The book has previously been published as Kerman Derman and the Relic of Perilous Falls I am not sure I would have ever picked it up with the original title and cover. But I am glad I did for it was an enjoyable read and I look forward to more in the series.

I especially enjoyed the prologue giving us some background going back to the Nazi's and WWII. It was a great set up for the story. Overall a really good read. If it was not so similar to other books and series I had read would likely have been a 5 out of 5 stars. I do look forward to reading book 2 and rereading this volume with my son in a year or two. And looking forward to more reads from Arroyo in the future.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Raymond Arroyo:
Non Fiction:

Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles
Mother Angelica's Private and Pithy Lessons from the Scriptures
Mother Angelica's Little Book of Life Lessons and Everyday Spirituality
The Prayers and Personal Devotions of Mother Angelica
Mother Angelica Her Grand Silence: The Last Years and Living Legacy

Of Thee I Zing: America's Cultural Decline from Muffin Tops to Body Shots (with Laura Ingraham)

Will Wilder Series:
The Relic of Perilous Falls
(Previously published as Kerman Derman and the Relic of Perilous Falls)
The Lost Staff of Wonders

Contributed to:
Shaken by Scandals: Catholics Speak Out about Priests' Sexual Abuse

1 comment:

Raymond Arroyo said...

Steven, Thank you for the kind review. As a quick note, the book was never published as Kerman Derman... that was the preview cover for a book that was never published. Will Wilder: The Relic of Perilous Falls is the only version out there, despite the cover floating around on the internet. Grateful that you enjoyed the book. You'll love book 2! Raymond Arroyo