So, as part of the bargain for getting a print sneak peak at C. C. Finlay's new book, The Patriot Witch, I get to write a review for it.
And, I'll admit, I have a soft spot for the author--if it weren't for Charlie, I wouldn't have gone to Clarion and gotten to meet him in person. So, OF COURSE I wanted his book, and have ever since I saw him mention "witches in the revolutionary war" on his blog the first time. And it's signed, too. Yaaay! I did download the PDF (still available at www.ccfinlay.com for a little while at least) but without an e-reader I'm less inclined to spend time reading electronic things.
Anyhoo. Good book. Fun, original, imaginative, and I enjoyed all the little bits of detail (though admittedly that's a lot of my writer brain taking notes on how to use historical detail.) It took me a bit to get into; it starts off with a battle pretty quick, and I was really hoping it wouldn't be just battles and fighting through the whole thing. (This isn't to say that the battle's not interesting or good; sartorias liked it, but I'm just not that into battles.) I needn't have worried; it soon moved on to characters and adventures which carried me through the rest of the book. And the climax is really, really good and touching. That battle I liked.
I'll say at this point, Deborah's my favorite character. Strong, determined, but with a flaw or two, and a sketchy past that I'm assuming we'll find out more in the next couple of books. (We'd better!)
Proctor is an all-around Nice Guy, and innocent, and that innocence gets him into a world of trouble. I liked him, but for me he was a little bit too nice. The scenes between him and his mother made me cringe, and I said "Hooray!" for the way he handled the later ones. Proctor does have guts. Plenty of them. I just want a little something more out of him; like, to stop being quite so compliant. But he grows by the end, and I liked him better then.
And because I don't want to have any spoilers--I'll just say, "Hey, there's ______ies! How cool is that, to have ______ies in the revolutionary war!" And I'm generally not into _______ies either, but, dude, these were fun. :>)
(and, hmm, wonder where he got the name for a certain little drummer boy at the end? Hmmm.)
Overall, this book has something for everyone; love, war, good villains, drama, danger. I admit to reading this more with my writer brain than my reading for fun brain, but it made my writer brain happy. A good, solid, well-crafted book, and I truly look forward to reading the rest. Charlie said he feels like it's his best work; I'm inclined to agree.
Don't walk, run to your nearest bookstore or online buying venue. It's worth it. And the next two are coming out in the next couple months so you don't have to wait long to read all three!
Read it, read it, read it.