The Book of Peril
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
As the custodian of the oracular bookstore Abernathy’s, Helena has faced any number of challenges in learning her new role. But when the store begins giving out false prophecies, Helena comes up against her greatest challenge yet: how can she fix Abernathy’s when she doesn’t truly know how it works?
Armed only with a few special talents and her desire to protect her magical charge, and with the assistance of her best friend Viv, her reluctant assistant Judy, and the enigmatic and handsome Malcolm Campbell, Helena must navigate the treacherous depths of the magical world, where secret enemies lurk behind illusions capable of fooling even the most powerful of magical entities. Helena is the only one who can see past those illusions, but will her abilities prove strong enough to save the oracle?
Second book in The Last Oracle series
The Book of Peril by Melissa McShane is the second book in The Last Oracle series. Helena Davies is the custodian of the oracular bookstore Abernathy’s. She has been busy cleaning the shop after the attack and the shop is brighter and definitely smells better. Helena’s birthday party thrown by her best friend, Viv, is interrupted by her ex-boyfriend, Chet. He has decided he still loves Helena and is determined to win her back despite Helena’s objections (oh dear). On Monday, Helena performs an augury requests and the oracle provides the wrong prophecy. She tries it again and it works perfectly. When it starts happening more frequently, Helena needs to discover what it is transpiring. Helena needs to learn more about Abernathy’s (the manual does not have an index and it puts her to sleep) and so she visits The Athenaeum (the spiritual successor to the Library of Alexandria). When Helena continues to have difficulty with auguries, a magical team sweeps the store. They discover magical origami in Helena’s kitchen. Someone is deliberately sabotaging Abernathy’s. When Judy Rasmussen, Helena’s assistant, is arrested for the crime, Helena works to prove her innocence, find the real culprit and evade Chet.
The Book of Peril is not a standalone novel. You need to read The Book of Secrets first or you will be lost. I thought the story was well-written, to have a steady pace and engaging. I like that we are learning more about the oracle and the magical community. Melissa McShane has created a special magical world (the neutralities, the various types of magic, the oracle, sanguinis sapiens, etc.) in this series. The handsome Malcolm Campbell is back, and Helena finds herself drawn to him. However, there are those pesky rules called The Accords that might thwart their budding romance (there has to be a way around them). I appreciate the strong female characters in The Last Oracle series. Helena is slowly learning her role as custodian, and I find her smart, curious and spunky. Viv adds humor to the story and is the perfect counterpart to Helena (she is growing on me). It is wonderful to see the changes in Judy since The Book of Secrets. She is helping Helena update Abernathy’s and I like that Helena trusts her. I do want to warn readers that there is a violent scene where a female is badly injured (if these type of scenes upset you, I suggest fast forwarding past it like I did). I was not thrilled with the ending. We are left with unanswered questions and we must wait for the next book to get answers. The Book of Peril is a fast-paced paranormal novel that will have you reading late into the night to get to the end (and then you will be upset that you finished it so quickly).