Gail's Reviews > The Kingdom on the Waves

The Kingdom on the Waves by M.T. Anderson
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Jul 03, 09

bookshelves: young-adult
Read in July, 2009

I can't remember the last time I've ever been so disappointed in a book's sequel. After finding such pleasure in Volume I of Octavian's story, I had high hopes for the second.

Let me preface my comments with noting that this book was 560 pages long. It EASILY could have been 200 pages less with little lost to the storyline save pages of repetitive description and scenery. In Volume II, the author picks up where we left Octavian in the first, having fled the College of Lucidity with his mentor, Dr. Trefius, in the early stages of the Revolution. After a stint in Boston, Octavian joins with Lord Dunmore's Royal Ethiopian Regiment but by book's end, discovers that — rebel or British — it doesn't matter who he fights for, either way, as an African American, all he is to the white man is a commodity.

I think my biggest complain with this novel is its length and the Revolutionary dialogue and language (which I found quaint and appealing in the first volume) but wore me down by the second. There were supporting characters I should have cared more about, if I could have kept them straight, and by the end, I had nearly lost the attraction to Octavian (never a good sign when a reader loses interest in the protagonist).

I still recommend the first novel and for those with spare time on their hands, the second. But the first is enough to give you a taste of this time period and the promise of these characters. IMO, it's all downhill from there ...
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