History lovers will be hooked by Brill’s foray into colonial Boston, especially his portrayal of key battles and memorable strategists who were instrumental in establishing American freedom. Though he takes plenty of creative license in re-imagining significant events, the engaging characters and wry style carry the story line. Brill pairs an amusing satiric style with period appropriate prose, and readers will chuckle at his characters’ catchphrases (“Flog the frog. I’d been had”) and Leeds’s playful narration, such as the barbed “‘Not to overstate the obvious,’ I said, overstating the obvious.” Brill’s sense of play at times flirts with anachronism, as when he concocts a perfectly reasonable justification for Leeds to exclaim “WTF?”
Sally continually risks life and limb in the name of freedom and exhibits plenty of her own gusto, upending mores as the story navigates bordellos and revolutionary politicking. While this power couple has strong appeal, their romance here proves anticlimactic. Still, fans of witty historic adventure will be left wishing for more of Leeds and his covert printing operations–activities that eventually transform him into a “spot-on American.” This bantering account of early colonial freedom fighters and their innovative maneuvers is equal parts rousing and amusing
Takeaway: A playful tale of colonial America, with wry humor and a rebel heart.
Great for fans of: Edward Carey’s Little, Theodore Sturgeon’s I, Libertine.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A