Although I listed a bunch of reviews for Danger Peak last month, more are trickling in, including from a few big names. (Looking at you, Kirkus.) And, to prove that I’m playing fair with you guys, at least one of these reviews is not 100% positive. (Again, looking at you, Kirkus.) Here they are, in no order:
Danger Peak by Michael Thomas Perone is a feel-good, coming-of-age story that follows 13-year-old Robert and his best friends Chris and Rinnie, who are part of the motorbike racing club known as the Wild Boars. Readers are taken on an adventure filled with nostalgia, courage, and determination as Robert sets out to conquer Danger Peak. Perone transports the reader back into the ‘80s, filled with references to Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones, and good times like getting into mischief with friends. This nostalgic book reminded me of The Sandlot, but instead of tackling “The Beast,” it is Danger Peak this time.
The characters are well developed, and the author perfectly portrays the teenage attitude where all kids want to do is hang out with friends and have a good time, making this a relatable read to young readers. Robert’s determination is inspiring, and there are times when you feel sad for him, especially when he has flashbacks of his older brother Danny. I also enjoyed the fact that Robert’s family didn’t come off as the perfect family, and they were going through real problems. The author’s writing is not elaborate or detailed and is perfect for middle-aged readers.
Danger Peak is an entertaining, page-turning read that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster. I highly recommend this book to middle-grade readers and even those who want to reminisce about the good old days of growing up in the ‘80s.
5 out of 5 stars.—Literary Titan
In Perone’s 1980s-set novel, a young man grieves for his brother, embarks upon a dangerous adventure, and gains maturity.
After his brother, Danny, dies while biking the 12,000-foot Danger Peak, 13-year-old Robert Kin has one goal: to bike the peak himself. Robert, along with his friends Chris and Rinnie—motorbiking members of the Wild Boars—prepare what they call “The Action Bike” for their adventure. To do so, they must obtain tools and tires from Robert’s critical, authoritarian father as well as two items that their eccentric science teacher, Dr. Forrest Howard, invented. Specifically, they need Danny’s turbocharger and the mad doctor’s new laser, designed to shatter rocks. However, they learn that the challenge not only involves the bike’s mechanics and finding technology to beat nature; it’s about developing relationships and making important life choices.
In the prologue, Perone immediately engages the reader with Robert’s first ride through his neighborhood as well as with references to 1980s music, television, history, and culture. It’s clear from the start how the young protagonist sees the world after Danny’s death, and readers can taste the freedom of adolescence as the Wild Boars emulate chase scenes from CHiPs and plan like the title character of MacGyver to get what they want. That said, there are moments when the connection between Robert and his father lacks believability, and some of the scenes seem to escalate too quickly. Also, the author’s use of flashbacks sometimes has the effect of taking the reader out of the adventure; this is also true when the third-person point of view switches to Robert’s father’s perspective instead of Robert’s. Overall, though, Perone’s debut novel is reminiscent of Chris Crutcher’s Ironman (1995), presenting an engaging, throwback coming-of-age tale.
A compelling bildungsroman about grief and finding wisdom.—Kirkus Reviews
(Danger Peak is) a debut coming-of-age novel that grabs you and doesn’t let go. I really enjoyed (it). It’s a great debut novel that is a really nice, quick read. The characters are very engaging, and I really liked the relationship of the three boys. This feels like a very personal book for Perone, and I am looking forward to what his next book might be.—5-star Amazon review
Exciting and heartfelt. Danger Peak is fun for all ages. A lot of action with some mystery sprinkled in. Great book to read while you are on the beach or sitting by the pool.—5-star Amazon review
Danger Peak now has over ten 5-star reviews on Amazon. Thanks, peeps!
I also may as well take this opportunity to announce that Danger Peak was a finalist of the 2022 American Fiction Awards in the category of Inspirational.
This was already mentioned in my social media channels (and I placed the award seal on this site’s homepage), but this is the first time I’m making an official announcement in my blog. Honestly, I thought this award submission was a longshot, since “inspirational” probably isn’t the first word that comes to mind when you think about Danger Peak (“action-adventure,” “coming-of-age,” “magical realism,” and even “nostalgic” all beat “inspirational” to the punch), but I’d like to think there are inspirational moments in my story, particularly towards the end. I’d like to thank the American Book Fest for this award if they’re reading this, but let’s be real here; they’re probably not.
P.S.: Next week’s blog: It’s a Danger Peak Goodreads Giveaway!
P.P.S.: Danger Peak is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble: