Overview: I was requested to review this book as the publicist told me it was reminiscent of Ken Follett, one of my favorite authors. I didn’t really see very many similarities between Follett’s writing and Gaughran’s writing, but it was a good story all the same. Liberty Boy follows Jimmy O’Flaherty as he is living in Dublin, Ireland while the English are throwing down the rebellion. It shows the dynamic from the rebels, the English, and the spies for both sides. Everyone is out for themselves and at any time they can be killed for what they believe.
- Concept: 6/10 – Old day Dublin while under siege from the English while they execute any rebel they can find is an interesting backdrop for the story. We get to see how the English’s actions are affecting common day Irish. My one big knock on this book was that it felt like I was put in book 2 or 3 of a series. They referenced so many people, locations, and actions I was lost for most of them. There were a few times where it did go back and explain what it referenced, but for the most part, it just felt really out of place.
- Writing: 3/10 – I had a really hard time with this book. The Irish slang was very hard to follow and like I said before, it felt like I missed a lot of context for this book.
- How long did it take to get into the book: 8/10 – Liberty Boy started well enough. Who doesn’t enjoy a good hanging?
- Character Development: 7/10 – Jimmy and Kitty both evolved throughout the book. Kitty’s growth was saved for the very end, but they both grew somewhat.
- Plot: 9/10 – Seeing how the English’s occupation was affecting the merchants and everyone else was really interesting. Also seeing how the various rebel leaders’ deaths affected everyone was really interesting.
- Pacing: 10/10 – The book was a quick read and drove the plot very well.
- Ending: 10/10 – What a great curveball at the end. It really set up the second book well. I thought it was going to be a stale tried and true story, but it took a pleasant turn.
- Cover Art: 6/10 – Meh…not a whole lot going on.
- World Building: 7/10 – I don’t really feel like I know what Dublin is like. There were a few sections where we get to read what the city smelled like, but for the most part it was pretty high level.
- Would I read other books by the Author: 6/10 – Maybe? I want to see how this story progresses and what happens next with Jimmy, but the writing was really hard for me to follow. At least the book was short enough that it wasn’t that big of a problem. If the book had been a bit longer, I probably wouldn’t have finished it.
Will Jimmy make it back from the prison colony?
Will Kitty be waiting or will she have completely moved on?