Friday, April 26, 2013

Artful Readers Club April - Pursuit of Liberty by Glenn R Petrucci

My book for this month is Pursuit of Liberty by Glenn R Petrucci, the sequel to Timecachers which I read, enjoyed and reviewed back in 2011

As with the first book, the author was kind enough to send me a copy, and it arrived just as I was putting my reading list together for the Artful Readers' Club, so it just had to go on the list

Those of you who know me well will know that geocaching is one of my hobbies - and that's what attracted me to these self-published books in the first place, as the heroes of the stories are fellow geocachers - that and the cool mix of two of my favourite genres - sci fi and historical fiction.

In a nutshell, the stories centre around the invention of a device called a LANav - which is just like a normal handheld GPS but with one rather useful additional feature - time travel!

The first book saw the four lead characters - male and female boffins, a historian (handy), and a wide boy who brings the funny - very unexpectedly transported back to 1830 and witnessing / taking part in the Cherokee Trail of Tears.  A lot of the dramatic tension in the first book was based around the fact that the four had no idea the LANav was a time travel device and therefore were entirely unprepared in every way for suddenly finding themselves in the past.

I did wonder how this new book would generate the same kind of suspense etc now that the story has moved on a year, and the characters now understand full well what the device can do.  But this was cleverly resolved by having the story open on the theft of one of the LANav units, the thief subsequently being unsuspectedly thrown back through time, and our four heroes having to chase him throughout colonial Boston, attempting to recover their property and apprehend the criminal before he does too much damage to the timeline.

Along the way they find themselves directly involved in many key events in American history including the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and the first battle of the American Revolution at Lexington

Like the first Timecachers novel, I enjoyed this book - it's written in a style that I respond well to, with plenty of historical and scientific detail, although that does occasionally get in the way of character development a little, even after two books I don't feel that I really know all of these characters well.  It was a great history lesson too - the author is American as are the majority of the intended audience for this book - so I got the impression that he did expect at least a basic knowledge of the events and historical figures mentioned, but it wasn't all lost on me - and I now know a lot more about the American Revolution than I did before.

All in all a good balance of entertainment and education - even if we Brits were the bad guys :) I look forward to book three!

And now onto this month's artwork - I'll admit that I was a bit stumped with what to do for this one, I was thinking along the lines of illustrating one of the big events described in the book - like the Boston Tea Party or Paul Revere's ride... but there is already so much great art old and new dedicated to these historical landmarks, that I didn't think I could compete!

So in the end I went with the time travel thing instead - not exactly true to the book as there is no vortex or anything when you travel back via the LANav - neither did anyone actually make the jump on horseback - but let's call it artistic licence :)

Next month I'll be reading and arting up "Rivers of London" by Ben Aaronovitch - I've already started it and am thoroughly enjoying it so far - so I'll see you in the merry merry month of May


Unknown said...

I think my hubby would love this book as he loves American Civil war history but I think the sci-fi stuff would ruin it for him lol. I have to say love the art work you did for the review. Happy ARC Dxx

Virginia said...

Oh Sarah that art is fantastic, love the stencil work on it! The book sounds intriguing, not sure if I've managed to read a self published book (well not knowingly anyway)

Janet said...

A very enjoyable review! I do not think the book is for me but I do like your artwork.

Janet xx

Šolanje na domu-Waldorf said...

I love your review and the way you artistically expressed its content. :) Time travel is very tricky for me to read so it has to be very well written for me to like it.

Joanna said...

I will be putting a LANav on my Christmas list, I NEED one!

Great review, what an unusual storyline - perfect for you given your interests.

The artwork is superb (I do believe that is an Andy Skinner mask I can see there....?!).


San @ Made in Hem said...

I might like this LANav-thing too! Just to get more hours in the day... No, I wouldn't want to change anything in my past, I'm not that bad! ;)
I love your Art-piece! I have to look into this stenceling. ♥

Gina said...

Oh I love that image!!! Looks so old and yet modern at the same time. It is definitely one of those pages you want to stroke!!! :D XXX

Carmen Wing said...

I really love your art work - that flag is gorgeous - looks so old and I love the thought of jumping through a vortex on horseback... but then I did consider getting some roller boots this weekend so I may just be having a funny 5 minutes!

Both books sound so much fun, I think I might be adding them to my list!

SusieJ said...

The book sounds fascinating....very keen on history and I'm growing to like some sci-fi..:)
The art work is perfect! Great use of the Andy Skinner!
Hugs xx

Leialoha said...

What a FABulous review of Pursuit of Liberty...I enjoy reading about historical events...very striking dimensional art piece.

Jez said...

It's a great review, so much so that I am tempted to read it even though I don't go for time travel, but the history would be up my street. Went to Paul Revere's house in Boston, and loved Boston, so another temptation there. You gave a good insight into the book, and the artwork is stunning. So much movement and energy in it, and that could be Paul Revere on his ride.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I apologize for taking so long to get here, but was thrilled to read about time travel, sci fi, geocaching, and history. What a super combination. I really appreciated that. I'm one of those Americans who probably knows less about the Revolution than you.

I've been a science geek all my life, but I admit I visited Revere's house while I was in Boston one year while contemplating attending MIT. If I had liked Boston, it would have been a good fit, but I found Boston stuffy and most of the people aloof.

I thoroughly enjoyed your review, though. Your art brought this book to life, even with what you perceive to be artistic license. To me it was just good art!

Jen said...

Super artwork and a good review.
Jen x

abby j said...

What a great way to review American History...painlessly and in such a fun way. Sounds like a book I'd enjoy...great review and fabulous art!

Darcy Marshall said...

great art, i think it sums up your review nicely, even with the horse lol. I am loving that stencil too. I am intrigued by this book, not a fan of history books, but the time travel aspect appeals to me.

Magaly Guerrero said...

Hey, I don't care if the book as no vortexes or if no one reaches the past on horseback, I LOVE the movement of your art and the possibilities it implies.

Shirley said...

It is great to read a book that when you have finished it leaves you wanting more. Love the fact that time travel is linked in with American history and nice to have a new take on actual moments in time when life was changing so dramatically. I am sure Dr Who meeting the Timecachers would make a brilliant storyline. Love your artwork as always and artistic license is always good in my book.

Julie Lee said...

I think it's great that you read a self-published book; it's so hard to get published these days that it's excellent that you're willing to support someone like this. Your art work is marvellous - so full of movement and drama! xxx

Maz said...

Nothing wrong with a bit of artistic license! The books sound great so I may have to check them out. x