Title: Peter and the Crown (The Phantom of New York Vol. 1)
Author: A. L. Janney
Publisher: Sparkle Press
Publication Date: December 11, 2017
Genre(s): Middle Grade, Mystery, Action-packed Contemporary
Source: Sent for Review in Collaboration with YA Bound Blog Tours
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When twelve-year-old Peter Constantine wakes up in the Crown Hotel with a new identity, life is over as he knows it. But perhaps that’s not such a bad thing…
A dangerous man Peter only knows as “The Client” is after his family, so they’ve relocated to New York City. With help from unlikely friends living at the glamorous hotel, including the ghost on the tenth floor, life begins again. However, Peter soon learns of a plot to destroy his new home, a plot only the Phantom can foil.
Peter and the Crown is the first book in the Phantom of New York series, an adventure for readers aged ten and up. If you like smart, funny characters and “can’t put it down” escapades, then you’ll love A.L. Janney’s Phantom of New York series.
So, as many of you know, I’m a sucker for a good cover and that’s really what sold me with this book. That being said, I was convinced this was a graphic novel until actually receiving the e-book. This story could work quite well in graphic novel format, thought the actual story works well in a traditional text format as well.
As for the story, I felt like the plot had a bit of a slower start, but once I hit the 30% mark, I found myself starting to get gripped and by the end, I was incredibly invested in the story. While this isn’t a fantasy novel, per se, there are several elements that fantasy lovers will enjoy about this story. There are conversations with ghosts, masked vigilante’s, and a mystery that slowly unveils an unlikely connection between our main character and an unexpected ally.
As this is a middle-grade book, the language used is more approachable for younger readers. That being said, there were times I felt like there was too much exposition, though this will help younger readers understand what’s going on. I also thought that some of the character descriptions came at random placed and it took me out of the narrative, though that’s more of a nitpick. Also, I thought some aspects of the kids (especially Peter) were a bit unrelatable, but again that’s more nitpicky. If I had to honestly critique something, it would have to be some of the dialogue. While most of it was pretty good, some passages felt a bit clunky.
Unrelated side note, there were some pictures in this book that really added to the story! This one is probably my favorite!
Overall, I’m thrilled I picked up this book. I read it in one sitting and by the end I was on the edge of my seat, eager to see what would happen next. I could nitpick aspects of the story, but overall it was an enjoyable read. Readers young and less young are going to enjoy the fast-paced mystery and creative plot. If you’re looking for a quick and gripping book for your next readathon, this is one I’m definitely recommending.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 4/5
Winner of the 2016 National Indie Excellence Award!
You work hard.
I write adventures.
Let me entertain you.
My favorite adventurers: Ender, Frodo and Sam, Rand, Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, Katniss, Spenser, Peter and Alicia and Amy (from The Passage), Jack Ryan, Dirk Pitt, and many others, including my two sons and my super hot wife.
To learn more about A. L. Janney, you can visit his website here.
Thank you to YA Bound Book Blog and A. L. Janney for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour and providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
All thoughts are my own.