[Review] Fawkes

Friday, May 11, 2018

Title: Fawkes

Author: Nadine Brandes

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Publishing: July 10, 2018

Source: Copy provided by NetGalley.

Quicklinks: Amazon | Goodreads

Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

But what if death finds him first?

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did it. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.

The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back. 
Fawkes is considered a historical fiction with a fantasy twist. In the Fawkes world, gifted people have the ability to control colors. Now, I have to be honest. I've never heard of someone being able to control colors and it was really hard to imagine. It felt weird and foreign to read, so much so that it impacted the story itself. It shouldn't have, I know, but it was just so out of the ordinary that while I wanted to picture and believe in it, it was a difficult task. 

Thomas is the main character and while there was some character development within the pages, he seemed like a pretty boring character. In fact, it seemed like most of the characters were lacking in a sense of relatability, making it hard to connect on another level. My favorite character was Emma and those of you who know me, know why. She is strong and independent, breaking the barrier between a woman who can take care of herself and a damsel in distress. She took no one's shit and handled herself well despite everyone else telling her otherwise. 

So most of the book was bland, but I do have to say that I really loved the way the author allowed Thomas to see at one point. I won't go into detail about the reason for it, but the ability to see with the colors was actually very well done. 

Overall, the book itself was just okay. The dialogue was weird (I have to be honest, I'm not quite sure what it was about the dialogue that made me feel this way). The action picked up the pace of a slow-moving plot, but it didn't have me at the edge of my seat. With every hero story, the hero must always lose someone they care about to give them the motivation to become the hero. Unfortunately, the stakes never really seemed that high and those lost held no emotional connection for me to feel like I should be motivated to care about it. The cover is another story though... it's absolutely gorgeous!

Maybe this book just wasn't for me. It was interesting, don't get me wrong. I mean, I finished it, didn't I? It was interesting enough to get me to find out what happens and while that alone won't make an amazing story, it was readable. It's just up to you to decide whether or not it's a story you might enjoy.

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