Sixteen-year-old genius Matty Ducayn has never fit in on The Hill, an ordered place seriously lacking a sense of humor. After his school’s headmaster expels him for a small act of mischief, Matty’s future looks grim until King Hadrian comes to his rescue with a challenge: answer a question for a master’s diploma.
More than a second chance, this means freedom. Masters can choose where they work, a rarity among Regents, and the question is simple.
What was January Black?
It’s a ship. Everyone knows that. Hadrian rejects that answer, though, and Matty becomes compelled by curiosity and pride to solve the puzzle. When his search for an answer turns up long-buried state secrets, Matty’s journey becomes a collision course with a deadly royal decree. He’s been set up to fail, which forces him to choose. Run for his life with the challenge lost…or call the king’s bluff.
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Fascinating, mysterious and awesome fantasy
It was the intriguing cover and the mystery of what January Black was that made me want to read this book even though I am so pressed for time when it comes to reading these days. I’m glad I decided to read it because I really enjoyed this book! It was so fascinating and intriguing from start to finish.
I have to admit I still can’t picture what exactly the setting looks like, but it was really fascinating and nostalgic. I don’t know why but it struck me as kind of like steampunk but more digital and high tech. It was futuristic, but with remnants of the Old World and I can’t help but picture the place as an old country village, only everything is digital and connected to a network. That’s how I saw it in my head. It was very interesting.
I loved all the characters–Matty, Hadrian, Iris (Matty’s girl), Matty’s parents, the king’s guards–and I loved the twists and turns of the story. I loved the mystery of January Black and I loved the dive into history. I loved the infusion of science. It was a great story and I loved the ending.
If you like historical conspiracies and the old world and the digital mixed in together, you might like this book. :)
Disclosure: I received a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to give a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the Author
Wendy S. Russo got her start writing in the sixth grade. That story involved a talisman with crystals that had to be found and assembled before bad things happened, and dialog that read like classroom roll call. Since then, she’s majored in journalism (for one semester), published poetry, taken a course on short novels, and watched most everything ever filmed by Quentin Tarantino. A Wyoming native transplanted in Baton Rouge, Wendy works for Louisiana State University as an IT analyst. She’s a wife, a mom, a Tiger, a Who Dat, and she falls asleep on her couch at 8:30 on weeknights.
More Information: January Black 100th Amazon Review Giveaway