An ordinary young man in extraordinary times! Gideon Hawke is a fifteen year-old with problems. What does he want to do with his life? Should he go to college or get a job? The girl he likes couldn't possibly like him, could she? Her father sure doesn't! Then it happens: on April 19th, 1775 British troops march into Gideon's hometown of Lexington, Massachusetts, fighting breaks out, and Gideon is at war. Amidst savage fighting in Lexington, on the Concord Road, and on Breeds Hill, Gideon learns the hard way to be a soldier, and loses some of his closest friends. He is soon adrift and alone, but a chance run-in with military discipline places Gideon in an elite unit: Thompson's Rifle Battalion. With his new comrades Gideon is once again in the thick of battle. Soon he is leading men in a critical mission that might prove decisive in the struggle to end the British occupation of Boston.
Robert Krenzel is an impressive historian and author. In fact, I only have one criticism of this book and it is this: As a narrative, I wanted this story to focus more on Gideon, himself, and focus less on troop movements. I'm hoping as this series continues, the focus will narrow in on Gideon and the central characters.
That said, I stand in awe of the amount of historical detail that went into this book. I felt like I got an extensive history lesson about the first year of the Revolution, and as a historical researcher, myself, I imagine I might go back and refer to the comprehensive war narratives from time to time.
I look forward to finding out what will happen with Gideon and company, as well as Ruth Munroe in book 2!
I believe this is the first book by this author and in some instances this shows. The tale is fine and the characters are predominately well-thought and likable, however there are times in the book that could have used a little more tweaking, particularly some of the conversations in the book. This did not make the book unreadable and towards the end I felt the author improved his skills.
This one is a bit hard to classify. One one hand I would say this is a young adult book as the main characters are teenagers and in fact the author mentions one of the reasons was he felt he could do better than a book his family listened to and the family called him on his bluff. :-) On the other hand it deals with a significant number of deaths and some rather violent deaths (all completely in line with the story as it deals with the Siege of Boston) though none are graphic or gory, but I could see some parents objecting to this. My closest thought is this is a coming of age story that takes place in a different time and thus deals with things a little different. A small side note, in keeping with the times there are a few religious passages and a few longish passages where the Bible is recited. No biggie to me but I could certainly feel the importance of religion to the story and I believe the author.
One might read the above and think I did not enjoy this tale. Far from it, I thoroughly enjoyed the tale and the author's tweaking of actual historical events. I would recommend this book with the caveat that is clearly the early work of a talented author who shows great potential. I will certainly pick up the next novel in the series when it is released. I also want to add a kudos to Mr Krenzel for stepping up, taking on his family's challenge and creating an enjoyable and entertaining read. Good job sir.
Giving me a historical fiction is both a curse and blessing. One I am history buff so I am holding you to the truth (for the most part) and a blessing because it is my genre of choice. This book focuses on a young man coming of age during a time of war. The perspective of the young during troubled times have become a great way for young people to become interested and learn more about the time period being covered. It gives them something to relate to when learning about the time period. This book does this really well. The author focuses on telling the story of the revolution while at the same time giving a young person a perspective they can relate to. I enjoyed the read and never got bored with the more technical side of things but I fear some youth may. However if it one they should try, get a history lesson and a good story what could be better?
Gideon Hawke's story follows the events of the early part of the Revolution, with great historical detail. Robert Krenzel has obviously done his research. The book is both informative and interesting. My only complaint would be that I like a little more character development in a novel, though we do get to know Gideon quite well.
I wrote this, so naturally I think it's brilliant! I would greatly appreciate additional reviews, and especially constructive feedback. I'd be happy to discuss any questions you have on my author's page.