Portal Doors, Talking Marmots, and Disembodied Heads: A Peculiar Peril by Jeff VanderMeer

Release Date: July 7, 2020
Series: The Misadventures of Jonathan Lambshead #1
Publisher: Ace
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction



“Jonathan Lambshead stands to inherit his deceased grandfather’s overstuffed mansion—a veritable cabinet of curiosities—once he and two schoolmates catalog its contents. But the three soon discover that the house is filled with far more than just oddities: It holds clues linking to an alt-Earth called Aurora, where the notorious English occultist Aleister Crowley has stormed back to life on a magic-fueled rampage across a surreal, through-the-looking-glass version of Europe replete with talking animals (and vegetables).

Swept into encounters with allies more unpredictable than enemies, Jonathan pieces together his destiny as a member of a secret society devoted to keeping our world separate from Aurora. But as the ground shifts and allegiances change with every step, he and his friends sink ever deeper into a deadly pursuit of the profound evil that is also chasing after them.”


My Thoughts

PeculiarPeril-coverThe basic plot involves Jonathan, Danny, and Rack journeying across Aurora to get to Prague so they can take a door back to England. They’re joined by two adults – a scheming woman named Alice who, like everyone else, has her own secret plans that make her Jonathan’s ally only while their plans happen to line up, and Mamoud, a member of the Order – and other non-human allies. Enemies, those sent by Crowley and Wretch and others up to their own devices, as well as allies who want what Jonathan has and can do also give chase. Mishaps ensue and wild adventures are had. It’s hard to explain in detail what goes down without either spoiling key plot points or just listing off random and weird occurrences with no context. Suffice it to say, the plot is straightforward but the execution is wholly Jeff VanderMeer…

Read the rest of this review at Tor.com.


Thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s