Jack Absolute by C. C. Humphreys
Book 1 in the Jack Absolute series
ARC, E-book (kindle), 288 pages
May 7, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction, Adventure
Source: Received via Netgalley from publisher for review
“In 1777 Jack Absolute, the charming lover in Sheridan's comedy The Rivals, is famous throughout London. However, this notoriety comes as something of a shock to the real Jack Absolute when he arrives in England after four months at sea. But there's barely time for outrage before he finds himself dueling for his life. Even worse, as soon as he's won the duel he's forced to flee London by the quickest means possible, becoming a spy in America's war of Independence.
Thus we meet Jack Absolute - rogue, duelist, charmer and Captain in the Light Dragoons. From the field of honor in London through the pivotal battle of Saratoga to a hunt for a double agent in wintry Philadelphia, this novel marks the impressive debut of this new series.”
Many of you know that I love reading a good novel (or non-fiction for that matter) set during the times of the American Revolution. I think that this is such a pinnacle moment for the country and so many of the heroes of America were created during this time that it is fascinating to read about. I have read many novels set during this time period and all have been from a colonial viewpoint – until now. Jack Absolute takes the reader on an adventure through the rebellion with the titular character at the helm – the thing is…he’s a spy in the British army.
Now, being an American, I was a little nervous about reading a book on such a pivotal moment in our history, from the perspective of the other side of the battle lines. However, Humphreys makes is easier to identify with Jack in that (like many of the time) he agrees with the colonists in many ways, however he still holds for the Crown. There are moments when Jack has to make up his mind about events transpiring and how committed he is to the cause he is fighting for. I felt that the events were given fairly level handling considering the perspective that we are living it through.
There was never a dull moment here, right from the first pages. It is certainly an adventure novel and the pages just keep turning. Whereas sometimes attention paid to action decreases the attention paid to the character development, this does not happen here. I found myself vacillating again with my regards for General Benedict Arnold and Major John Andre. I also have to admit that the author kept me guessing as to the identity of the spies in question. I had no idea until almost the end. There is defiantly the feel of “when we next meet our heroes” as this book closes – almost as you would the end of a television serial – which was a fun moment. It sort of leaves you hanging on without feeling like a cliff hanger. I can’t wait to meet Jack again.
Author C.C. Humphreys also has written two other books in the Jack Absolute series (that I hope are going to be re-released by Sourcebooks like this one was) The Blooding of Jack Absolute (#2) and Absolute Honor (#3). He also has written several other historical fictions including: Vlad: The Last Confession, A Place Called Armageddon, The French Executioner, and Blood Ties. You can visit the author’s website or blog for additional information about the book.
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