Review: Peter and the Vampires by Darren Pillsbury

Darren Pillsbury; Published October 17th 2011 by Parker Publishing
For fans of J.K. Rowling (the HARRY POTTER series), Orson Scott Card (ENDER’S GAME), and Darren Shan (CIRQUE DU FREAK)…
When ten-year-old Peter moves into his grandfather’s creepy old mansion in a small town, bad, baaaaad things start to happen. A family of charred boogeymen who haunt the garden decide they don’t like trespassers…A classmate with a crush comes back from the grave, and decides to make Peter her Undead Prince Charming…A creature from Fairieland changes place with Peter’s two-year-old sister, leading to a VERY strange babysitting job…A prehistoric predator snatches children from the town lake, forcing Peter to literally dive into the belly of the beast…With his troublemaking neighbor Dill, his grumpy grandfather, and only his courage and wit to guide him, Peter has to survive all these things, plus the Greatest Horror Of All:
Fourth grade.
PETER AND THE VAMPIRES is the first in an ongoing series that includes PETER AND THE WEREWOLVES and PETER AND THE FRANKENSTEIN. This book is 120,000 words (370 pages) and contains some mild language, violence, and scary situations. Learn more about Peter, Dill, and the author at his official website,
Goodreads on Peter and the Vampires

The cover looks sort of ominous, doesn’t it?
I loved reading this book. It’s got everything you could want, lovely, lovely characters, humor, great writing, some dead things that go bump in the night(or try to find their Undead Prince Charming…) – a lot of fun.

Taking place in a picturesque environment, the plot is something of an intriguing web that will just weave itself around you, subtle but strong, and you’ll find yourself irrevocably immersed. Peter’s family life is not fun at all; the struggles his mother goes through are very touching, and I couldn’t help but wonder what would come of their little family.

When they move in with Peter’s grandfather, in a big scary house, the real adventure begins. Peter makes a new friend very quick, Dill the awesome, and together they start exploring a mysterious new world with that sense and wonder of adventure that most of us shed as we grow older. All kinds of oddities go on in their little town.

What I loved most, and a lot, were the characters. I loved pretty much each and every one of them, in fact. Darren Pillsbury is greatly talented in building fabulous characters. Peter Normal, our brave little hero, is absolutely adorable; he’s had it tough, but he has great spirit. His new friend, Dill, is equally as adorable, or perhaps even more, he’s that kind of very fun kid that says strange things, thinks fast and makes everything into a great adventure.

They form a great dynamic duo, adventuring and discovering the world. The fresh curiosity, the vibrant spirit, the unmistakable cuteness kids have are all there. The attention-seeking, absurd little quirky girl is there as well, Peter’s sister Beth is quite amusing. I could just picture her, walking around in her armor-swimming suit.
The one I liked most of all as a character though was Peter’s grandfather. He’s the grumpy, sort of stern, proper sort of man, that acts tough enough but is quite a dear deep down, and I find his interaction with everyone, especially the kids very entertaining.

It’s been a long, long while since I’ve had this much fun reading a novel; I felt like a kid, and I loved every minute of it. You could call it sort of dark-ish, maybe, but to me it doesn’t seem too much so. It’s not really scary, but it will be a lovely little scary story for kids above 13 or so.

I do recommend this to anyone who wants to feel very young again, and this is a great read for all ages alike. Go ahead, read it, I’m absolutely sure you’ll love it just as much as I did!


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