Stranger Days on Peculiar Hill

The Vale of Strange

Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
400 Pages
Reviewed on 02/21/2020
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Author Biography

Grimly Darkwood was born in the year nineteen hundred & blinkety blonk, which was a very long time ago. In those days, things were very different from how they are today. Carts were more common than cars, mobile phones had not been invented, and if you were very lucky, the highlight of your day was to find a free plastic spaceman in a packet of corn flakes.

Grimly thought that the sights and sounds of such days were gone forever. He was therefore surprised when, while studying the night sky with his telescope, he began to observe life on a planet which had much in common with those distant days. That he could see this place so clearly was remarkable in itself. Normally, only the brilliant stars which provide such planets with light can be observed at such a distance. But Grimly found out that he could see the planet because it possessed a phenomenon called strangeness, of which he was soon to learn a great deal more.

Stranger Days on Peculiar Hill is the second of Grimly’s accounts of life in a part of that distant planet, a vicinity known as The Vale of Strange. He is determined more such tales will follow, in spite of attacks from mysterious ‘intergalactic forces’ which, he says, are trying to sabotage his telescope and clog up his ball point pen

More info about Grimly on his website
where you can also read 2 free sample chapters of the book!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Peggy Jo Wipf for Readers' Favorite

Stranger Days on Peculiar Hill by Grimly Darkwood continues the tale of The Vale of Strange. Darkwood flawlessly ties book one to book two by making you feel you hadn’t been away from The Vale of Strange for longer than a minute. This book is a roller coaster ride the whole way through as new adventures come to Peter and Amanda. Peter and his Uncle Bob are called to the big old house at the top of the hill to assist a new family when all manner of strange events and mysterious people begin to appear. Guatemala (Mala) is a girl Peter’s age that lives with her explorer father, Mr. Flipper, and her Uncle Percival Crow. Who knew that excavating a swimming pool would bring about a trip to The Vale of Strange for Peter and Mala, with a disgruntled Amanda?
Grimly Darkwood skillfully moves Stranger Days on Peculiar Hill along at a breath-taking pace as it sweeps us into a plot that keeps the reader both interested and intrigued. The previous characters continue to add humor, snarky attitudes, and moral correctness to a story with many twists and turns. The new characters add their own qualities of loyalty, persistence, and excitement. The author’s vivid imagination, exceptional story-telling and brilliant writing make this a fantasy novel you will recall in years to come. The novel is bizarre enough for readers to enjoy the creativity of the author and expect more from this country that is trying to find a solution to their “strange” problem.

K.C. Finn

Stranger Days on Peculiar Hill (The Vale of Strange) is a work of fiction in the fantasy genre, aimed at children and penned by Grimly Darkwood. The book continues the saga of the Vale of Strange, with returning and new characters coming to the Vale to investigate the disappearance of a renowned explorer. Their investigation is continually made murkier by the ongoing unusual occurrences taking place within the vale ranging from unusually proportioned Australians taking umbrage with a particular resident, bubbles of strangeness appearing on our hero’s lawn, and a swimming pool passionately being built by a man who seems to detest swimming. The second in a series, this book is intended to stand alone for readers new to the Vale of Strange.

Whimsical, fantastical and indeed very, very strange, this is a delightful and charming work for children who want to be truly captivated and swept away into a world of imagination. Author Grimly Darkwood returns to the Vale of Strange with more vim and vigor than ever, presenting characters old and new with added layers of intrigue and fascination for our young hero Peter to explore and uncover. As an adult reader, Percival Crow draws the eye at once, someone who is delightfully despicable in his unpleasantness, but young readers are sure to be rooting for Peter and his friends in their intrepid adventures throughout the tale. The descriptions and atmosphere give cinematic realness to the magical features of this faraway land and, overall, Stranger Days on Peculiar Hill is both a solid stand-alone tale and a fantastic extension to the current series.

Liz Konkel

Stranger Days on Peculiar Hill by Grimly Darkwood is the second book in The Vale of Strange series. Peter makes a new friend in Mala whom he joins on an adventure in search of her missing father, explorer Augustus Flipper. The two friends venture into the Vale where an outbreak of strangeness occurs and things only get stranger from there. Peter also tries to understand what Australians are doing with his uncle, why mysterious lights and bubbles keep appearing on Mala’s lawn, and why Amanda isn’t too thrilled about taking another adventure into the Vale.

Grimly Darkwood returns to the Vale of Strange with an all-new adventure that blends action, humor, and strangeness for a thrilling journey. This adventure weaves together several intriguing elements which include Mala’s missing dad, the strange lights, and mysterious Australians. The story is playful and humorous with beings such as bogeys, trolls, and even spiders. The use of fun language adds to the world where strange is real. Antagonist Percival Crow has a poignant goal which consists of subtle commentary on the whole idea of being strange. He’s interested in seeing strangeness being used as opposed to not used, with the use of strange for productive means. Darkwood shapes this reality of strangeness in a real and lighthearted way that brings to life a variety of quirky situations, creatures, language, and personalities of the characters. This world is dangerous and adventurous, full of imagination, which is what makes Stranger Days on Peculiar Hill a delightful and strange tale that pulls children of all ages into this world and will make them immediately love everything Darkwood has in store.