Review of Perilous, by Tamara Hart Heiner

Phyl CampbellStarred Page By Phyl Campbell, 10th Jun 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Crime, Thrillers & Mystery

Perilous, by Tamara Hart Heiner, is a YA suspense novel with some mature themes. However, if you are an adult who prefers adult reads, give this one a skip. I also wouldn't clear any pre-teen under the age of 12 to read it, though a mature young reader can likely handle anything.

Disclaimers -- yup; at it again!!

I was able to get Tamara Hart Heiner's ebooks free during promotions on Amazon and promotions she offered through an online book launch party. I doubt she's read (or will read) any of my books, though I've offered similar promotions.

I have met THH in person and chatted with her on FB. It turns out that we went to junior high and high school together and have some of the same mentors, including our wonderful city librarian (for privacy concerns, I won't name him or her, but he or she is on this list). Through my connection with THH, I have made contact with several other authors in the county above mine, though I haven't yet read anything of theirs to review. THH is by all appearances a lovely person, and her mentors speak very highly of her.

Given all that history, I could write a really giddy review of how great her work is. However, knowing the level I want my peers to achieve, I feel I'm leaning towards being overly critical with my review of this author. Still, I think the assessment is a fair one, and in line with reviews of honest adults reviewing THH's work on

YA book written by a junior-high school student

The group that praised Christopher Paolini's dragon-based world will be equally enchanted to read THH's Perilous. THH wrote Perilous when she was a teenager -- we shared an English teacher, a librarian, and a few schools, though I couldn't say I remembered her or knew her when -- but this book wasn't published until after she was married and had a few kids. And like Christopher Paolini, it kind of reads that way (like it was written by a teenager).

Like fellow local author Kymberley Cook, THH has an editor and a press: WiDo Publishing (KC's publisher is Tate, not WiDo, but both are Christian publishers, which may draw you in or may cause you to reject both. Neither books are overtly Christian, despite their publishers. Neither books are self-published, like other local authors I've reviewed.). That being the case, THH may have gone through many revisions from the work she originally created at 15. However, this book does not really read that way.

The house-cleaning scene, for example, is one of the most far-fetched scenes I've ever read, and I couldn't see what it did for the plot except for moving the girls around. But a younger audience of Cinderella fans might respond to toiling kidnapped girls.

It's an ebook!

This was my first fiction e-book, and I traversed it in two evenings. The ebook was very well created, though the dates mid chapter got lost in the text, which may have contributed to some confusion I had about events that were presented out of order.

Maybe it was just the back and forth dating that I found jarring. Similar complaints have been made of my work, with the caveat of not knowing what dates will matter until the reading is farther in.

SPOILERS -- received, not given, here.

I read this book after seeing excerpts from book 2, so I had some spoilers to prepare me for loose ends. I read a lot of YA fiction, and thought that this book did a good job of keeping the reader guessing and trying to figure out which adults could be trusted by the kids in a high adventure style.

I think the under-15 crowd (and THH's many fans) will really enjoy her debut novel.

Like many other raters here, I had some moderate issues with credibility, loose ends, and the importance of nationalities. Will it bother the YA audience that it was intended for? Probably not. Will it bother adult readers? I think the comments speak for themselves. But I should also point out that like in The Fisherman, THH has a lot of loyal fans writing reviews which may be biased towards their love of a lovely person rather than an honest review of the product.

It's a trilogy, but don't hold your breath for #3

When THH's third book was launched, I was expecting it to be the continuation of the plot set up by Altercation and Perilous. There were so many loose ends from the first two books -- surely that was the reason for the quick launch -- so as not to keep us hanging.

Which might explain why I got 30 pages into Inevitable before I was hitting up the review pages, only to figure out that it was a stand-alone. No mention is made of a 3rd book to end what began in Perilous and Altercation at this time. So, if you are not a fan of being left hanging, skip this duo. (For the record, I have not finished Inevitable. I was too crazed that it was not the end I was seeking!)


Adventure Stories, Altercation, Inevitable, Perilous, Tamara Hart Heiner, Tamara Heart Heiner, Tamra Hart Hiner, Teen Novel, Teen Writer, Ya Fiction, Young Adult

Meet the author

author avatar Phyl Campbell
I am "Author, Mother, Dreamer." I am also teacher, friend, Dr. Pepper addict, night-owl. Visit my website -- -- or the "Phyl Campbell Author Page" on Facebook.

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author avatar Tamara Heiner
11th Jun 2013 (#)

Thanks for the review!

Just a few corrections that you'll want to make because they're factually wrong: #1: it's not a trilogy. It's a two-book series that has been completed. There have been plenty of people asking for a third book, but it would be a new plot if I did.

#2: WiDo is in no way a Christian press or anything like it. They are simply a small press. My book also is not religious in any way.

I appreciate the attention on my books!

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author avatar Delicia Powers
11th Jun 2013 (#)

Nicely done Phyl...

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
11th Jun 2013 (#)

Tamara, thanks for commenting. I'll leave your corrections as written here: you wrote the books and know what you meant, but I'll stand behind my article as written. There's not going to be a 3rd book? Really? Are you SURE? Aww, man!!

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