Tuesday, October 14

Book Review: The Year of the Hangman by Gary Blackwood

Author: Gary Blackwood
Title: The Year of the Hangman
Genre: What-if, YA, and Historical Fiction
Pages: 272
First Published: 2004
Where I Got It: On my shelf (Book Fair at school)

"In 1776, the rebellion of the American colonies against British rule was crushed.  Now, in 1777-the year of the hangman-George Washington is awaiting execution, Benjamin Franklin's banned rebel newspaper, Liberty Tree, has gone underground, and young ne'er-do-well Creighton Brown, a fifteen-year-old Brit, has just arrived in the colonies.  Having been shipped off against his will, with nothing but a distance for English authorities, Creighton befriends Franklin, and lands a job with his print shop.  But the English general expects the spoiled yet loyal Creighton to spy on Franklin.  As battles unfold and falsehoods are exposed, Creighton must decide where his loyalties lie...a choice that could determine the fate of a nation."

I bought this book years ago, but I could not get through it. There were many reasons why, but I never got rid of it. Why? Because I wanted another go at it. I love giving books second chances. If I didn't have this protocol I would have never read the LOTR books and been addicted as I am now. 

Well, I am glad I went back and tried this again.

Anyways, one reason I had not liked the book was because I didn't care about Creighton...I wanted the POV to be someone who actually mattered during the war. Creighton is a fictional character and that made me mad. I still wish that the POV was someone who mattered in the war, but I accepted that in this what-if world this character did make a difference in what happens. He is stuck in the middle and his loyalties will determine the future. I did not like Creighton, but he did prove himself later on.

Things happened quickly and it annoyed me, but it oddly worked sometimes. I hated how quickly the Americans trusted Creighton. He was a horrible liar. Maybe Franklin knew and was trying manipulate Creighton on switching sides. I don't know, but I can totally see Franklin doing something like that. 

Anyways. This was a pretty good what-if story. The ending was sudden and left me in the dark. I wish that the author gave more of what happens to the characters and to the fate of the cause. I would recommend this to those that like YA and like a decent what-if story about the American Revolution.  The story was interesting and the character were interesting. I'm glad that in this world Benedict Arnold got some spotlight. Out of five stars I shall stamp this with 2 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Peter and Franklin
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Creighton


Blodeuedd said...

I can't say that I am rushing out to get it ;)

Carole Rae said...

LOL I don't blame you.