Bobby Simic's Reviews > The Kingdom on the Waves

The Kingdom on the Waves by M.T. Anderson
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Dec 17, 2008

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bookshelves: youngadult, historical

I give this one 5 stars for its ambition, authenticity and for its ability to take the reader back to the Revolutionary War. But as an enjoyable read, only 3.

I loved the first one and didn't really have a problem getting through it despite its language, but this one almost became a burden. I read the first one over a weekend. This one took me two months.

I think my problem was that the story felt more standard than the first book, which was such a unique reading experience for me. This is a "war is hell" book more so than the first's "we can be hell" stance.

I was drawn to the first and could get past the difficult language because the premise -- a young African-American boy is raised as a social experiment -- was so different and so scary -- the worst kind of horror story, one that could actually happen.

We pieced Octavian's horrific story through various sources. But with this one, most of the story is told through Octavian's journal, which eliminated much of the intrigue for me.

I wanted to love this one as much as the first, but the same magic wasn't there. And that saddens me. It's still a worthy sequel, written beautifully and thoughtfully, it just seems a bit more typical.

As an aside, I still have to wonder what Young Adult would read this without having it assigned to them in school.
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06/25/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Evelyn I completely agree with your review. Octavian is a singular character and I preferred him in a singular setting, though I did appreciate that he was a counterrevolutionary.

As an answer to your aside, the kind of young adult that would read this book without having it be assigned is a literary nerd (such as myself) who enjoys slogging through intricate language.


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