Title: The Luck Uglies
Author: Paul Durham
Series: The Luck Uglies #1
Riley has lived all her life by a few simple House Rules. Don’t talk to strangers in masks. Don’t let Shady outside. Don’t ever remove the pendant from around her neck. But when Riley starts to break those rules, she encounters monsters of legend: the Bog Noblins, creatures from the forest who eat people. The only ones rumored to stand against them are the even more notorious Luck Uglies. Now her village is in danger, and Riley is beginning to uncover far more about her world than she ever wanted to know . . .
This was mostly just okay for me, although I really like Harmless. Riley’s world is dark and oppressive and poor and dirty, and although that scenery is painted well, it got a bit depressing for me when nothing really livened it up. And there’s the Earl, who’s completely full of himself and a huge bully, but nobody really protests much. On the other hand, there’s also Harmless, the mysterious stranger who always keeps his word, treats Riley like an adult, and deals swift and deadly vengeance to those who cross him.
Riley herself is a child who tends to break rules, and has enough klutziness to balance out any good luck she might have. Early on there were some hints that she might have extraordinary luck (in both directions), but if so that’s never really brought out. I would’ve liked to see more of the world and its differences, too.
Overall, I didn’t care enough for the world to get that enthusiastic about this, but I suppose that could change if there are sequels. And there’s no problems with the story, though it might be a tad violent for younger children. I rate this book Recommended.