Book Review : Peter Green and the Unliving Academy

I received this book for free from TCK Publishing (www.tckpublishing.com) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review : Peter Green and the Unliving AcademyPeter Green and the Unliving Academy: This Book is Full of Dead People (The Unliving Chronicles 1) by Angelina Allsop
Published by TCK Publishing on January 1st 1970
Genres: Adolescence, Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic
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two-stars
Source: TCK Publishing (www.tckpublishing.com)

Fourteen-year-old Peter Green can’t remember how he died.
All he has are his pajamas, a silk tie, and a one-way bus ticket to Mrs. Battisworth’s Academy and Haven for Unliving Boys and Girls, a strange and spooky school for dead orphans like himself. But that’s all he needs: the Unliving Academy has everything, from vampires in the hallways, to monsters in the cafeteria, to ghosts in the basement.

And that’s just the teachers; the students are far stranger.

As Pete learns to fit in with his new supernatural schoolmates, he starts to discover his own uniquely undead abilities, and even begins enjoying his life after death…but he just can’t shake the feeling that he’s forgotten something (or somebody!) important.

Somebody he left behind in the land of the living.

Somebody he loved very much.

Somebody who’s in terrible danger.

Peter Green and the Unliving Academy is the captivating first installment of Angelina Allsop’s Unliving series of young adult fantasy novels. If you like reading about fun-filled adventures, fully realized new worlds, and the most unlikely of heroes, you’re sure to love Allsop’s spirited coming-of-age tale.

Peter Green and the Unliving Academy is a fast-paced young adult fantasy novel with a colorful cast of characters, a great sense of humor, and a unique setting. However, the novel is simply too fast paced, and not enough time is spent on character development or in between moments of action. I also could not shake how similar Peter Green and the Unliving Academy felt to Harry Potter.

 

“Fourteen-year-old Peter Green woke up knowing only three things: the proper way to put on a tie, that lemon custard was disgusting, and that he was dead.”

 

I did enjoy the humor of this novel. I found myself chuckling aloud throughout the book. It’s clear that the author had a lot of fun writing this novel. The setting itself is a testament to that as well. Peter Green and the Unliving Academy takes place in Purgatory, a place where very few things change. One character even jokes that since Steve Jobs died, you’d think they’d have better technology in Purgatory, something that made me snort, and another that shows how impossible it is for times to change in this unique realm.

 

“You may have heard. Purgatory is a strange place, with strange magic. It was meant to be a temporary place, a lovely place to wait for those you love to come to you. Sometimes, there are those who get stuck, those who like the predictability of it, the unchanging nature of it. And then there are those…whose soul gets altered.”

 

A major problem in the novel is that the characters have no memories of their deaths or past lives due to the risk of going mad in Purgatory. This means that the main cast of characters have virtually no complexity or conflict in their lives. Each character is only determined by one or two traits. For instance, Charlie, one of Peter’s friends, is very flamboyant and gossipy, but we never learn why he is this way or what makes him tick.

 

He was nervous, and there was an annoying tingling in his skin, as though he were forgetting something important. He couldn’t help but feel that though he seemed to be in the right place and doing the right things, there was something very wrong.”

 

What’s more is that this same problem of no memories rendered me indifferent to what actually happened to Peter’s family in real life. View Spoiler »

 

A lot of the novel really reminded me of Harry Potter as well. Peter Green joins the BASA, a secret program that teaches new dead-people skills such as Shadow Walking, dueling, and Teleporting. This reminded me a lot Dumbledore’s Army and Apparating. There’s also a half-demon girl in his class that he’s strangely attracted to, which reminded me a lot of Fleur Delacour and the Veela’s of Harry Potter. Similarly, Peter ends up dating best friend Charlie’s friend Alex, who reminds me a lot of Ginny Weasley. There’s even a giant snake roaming the halls of the Unliving Academy, which made me think of the Basilisk of The Chamber of Secrets.

 

Peter also deals with a bully practically from the moment he arrives at the Unliving Academy. Shelly, aka the Draco Malfoy of the novel, tries to get Peter harmed or killed at every possible opportunity. But I still cringed when View Spoiler »

 

Ultimately, despite having a fun sense of humor and an interesting setting, this book was just not for me. I couldn’t get attached to any of the characters due to a lack of development and never felt a sense of tension about what would happen next, as everything happened and was resolved so quickly. I could see a younger audience, perhaps middle school students, especially those that like Harry Potter, enjoying it quite a lot.

two-stars
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Book Review - Peter Green and the Unliving Academy - Blogging with Dragons

Posted February 15, 2019 in Book Reviews, Young Adult

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