Reviews

Call of the Penguins

Veronica McCreedy can’t resist the promise of adventure . . .

Nine-year-old Daisy and nearly ninety-year-old Veronica make an unlikely pair of friends.

Fiercely independent and impeccably dressed, Veronica has lived an incredible 87 years. Most of them alone, in her huge house by the sea. But with the arrival of brave and resilient Daisy into her life, Veronica finds she has a renewed thirst for adventure – and that they both share a passion for penguins!

So when Veronica and Daisy are invited to travel to the other side of the world together and visit the penguins of the southern hemisphere, they both jump at the chance.

Veronica had thought her days of new friendships, family and love were over, but perhaps it’s never too late for one more adventure?

I read Away with the Penguins in December as a buddy read and we enjoyed it so much that we decided to buddy read the second book. This time Veronica popped off to The Falklands to film penguins for a documentary which was a nice way for the original story to progress. While I did enjoy this story, I actually preferred the first book as this book seemed to have missed a few opportunities for excitement.

The original characters were all in this book but Daisy got more of a starring role and we were formally introduced to Sir Robert. Sir Robert was was sort of a cross between the glorious Attenborough and a basic outdoorsy presenter, initially charming and charismatic but I found him to be quite creepy and passive aggressive. Half way through the book, after an argument, he turned and was really horrible to Veronica for most of the rest of the book and the reason behind it made me so mad. I disliked him so much that I referred to him only as Sir Penguin.

This book, like the first book, had multiple narratives and followed the points of view of Veronica, Patrick, and Terry. I absolutely loved the multiple narratives, I think it worked so well in this book.

Patrick was tasked with finding out more about his father which took him off to the USA and to Canada. He met family he didn’t know he had and really struggled to piece his father’s life back together. Patrick even found an old friend of his father’s and learned the truth about his father. I felt so sorry for Patrick who learned so much about his father and really found it hard to handle, which was completely understandable. I actually found myself feeling more sympathetic towards Patrick than in the last book as I learned more about him and just want good things for him.

Veronica went through so much during this book, I just wanted someone to give her a huge hug. Her relationship with Daisy was just lovely to read about. She may not have had the opportunity to be a granny to Patrick when he was wee but it really felt like Daisy taught her how to be a granny and helped her to open herself up and to allow people into her life again after being hurt so much in the past.

Like in Away with the Penguins, this book was filled with lovely penguin moments and descriptions of beautiful scenery. It was like a lovely nature documentary. It was so lovely reading about Daisy falling in love with the penguins just like Veronica did.

The reason I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the last book was because there were multiple points during this book where I thought the book was going to take an exciting twist but then nothing happened. There were a few points where the book was building to a big reveal and the reveal was very disappointing. While I did really enjoy this book, I felt disappointed by it at points. It wasn’t a bad book, not at all. I did give this book 3 stars because I gave the last book 4 stars and I enjoyed that book so much more.

If there’s a third book in this series then I would definitely read it. I do enjoy Veronica as a character and the more I read about her, the more I warm to her. I thought that this book was a lovely heartwarming read and I thoroughly enjoyed unravelling the details of Patrick’s father. I definitely recommend this book but do read the first one first as this does pick up shortly after the last book ended.

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