The Fiddler's Gun by: A.S. Peterson
Revolution. Secrets. An Unforgettable Adventure.
America is on the brink of war with England, and Fin Button is about to come undone. She’s had it with the dull life of the orphanage, and she’s ready to marry Peter and get away from rules, chores, and a life looked after by the ever-watchful Sister Hilde. But an unexpected friendship forms between Fin and the fiddle-playing cook, Bartimaeus, which sets her on a course for revolution.
With Bart’s beloved fiddle and haunting blunderbuss as her only possessions, Fin discovers her first taste of freedom as a sailor aboard the Rattlesnake. She’s hiding some dark secrets, but there are bigger problems for the crew—they are on the run from the Royal Navy, and whispers of mutiny are turning the captain into a tyrant.
When Fin finally returns home, will she find Peter still waiting, or will she find that she’s lost everything she once held dear?
Note!!!! Before segueing into the review part of this blog post. I wanted to thank Rabbit Room Press and A.S. Peterson for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. Receiving this free copy or other free copies for earlier book reviews will have not bearing on the promised authenticity of these reviews. Every review posted on here is authored by my own hands with the onset of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Hopefully, you will not begin spreading false rumors about Fantastyfreak's fabricated views on promoted books. Believe me, this review site still exists as a place to honestly share my feelings about books.
THE TRUE REVIEW: Instead of adopting the piratical vernacular for this review, I'll be maintaining the original, pretentious tone instead. Before ever settling down to read this book, I felt largely ho hum about the book's potential to be good. First of all, pirate books or other sea faring books produce negative feelings in me due to the relentless amount of bland sea related books offered through the public school system. Therefore, how can any right minded person expect me to look at this book with glee when Moby Dick nearly detonated my rationale? Replace supposed excitement with dread and you have my exact response to the predicted subject matter of this book! In summary, it became a rebellious female pirate on the sea versus the old, deceased man at sea.
Fortunately, this book happens to be absent of characterless whales, incomprehensible natives, curmudgeonly men at sea, forced philosophical subtext, and chapters that explore the color white. Basically, A.S. Peterson caters his story to actual readers who are savvy for adventure, well developed characters, and subtle meaning. For those who desperately need strong female characters to make their lives complete. "Fiddler's Gun," stars a strong, dynamic female who happens to have an equal amount of strengths and weaknesses.
Her struggles seemed believable and more importantly, relatable. Even if we ourselves have never been confronted with any actual life and death struggles or fights of epic proportions. A.S. Peterson's firm handling of the characters, specially Fin's, permits us to empathize and fully participate with the events of the story. With these very interesting characters, boring sea related subject matter becomes thrilling.
I've always been greatly disappointed by the score of current writers who expend their efforts in crafting overly complex worlds, and populating these worlds with stale characters.How can these writers expect readers to have a need or desire to return to their fictional realms? Especially since their books resemble How To Plunge A Toilet? manual guides. The goal for these authors is to disguise their ineptness with character formation with complicated mechanics. Some writers excessively pack their books with pointless fight scenes, overwrought description, or lame magic systems. By page ten of these books, we become perturbed with the writers and wonder if they even care about real human emotions. Or do they really believe we are a bunch of lego figures who blindly follow their archetype storyline? At page 10, unnamed male hero fights in about ten useless ways. In the end, he successfully defeats around two hundred Orc's singlehandly. Neither the orc's or the hero himself are given any interesting dialogue besides moronic one liner's.
The perpetrators of the overwrought prose describe trees, rock formations, or other useless physical traits for twenty pages. For some reason they believe really wants to read these descriptions because who cares about story when your writing is nearly scientific with it's formations. Some writers even recycle the same trite wind description with every book. In some instances the characters do not even appear till after the wind has been justly described. Within the Wheel of Time books, the wind descriptions are a reoccurring force that pays no importance in the books other than to amaze readers with fanciful wind descriptions.
Reversely,A.S Peterson engineers his fanciful prose to amplify the flow of the story rather than impede it. Normally, poetic prose stalls the readability of the book and the transitions between important story events as mentioned above. More impressively, A.S. Peterson meticulously places the correct word without overusing a certain word. This truly shows A.S. Peterson's skill level with story telling, not manual writing. Unlike the previously mention mistakes, he uses these mistakes beneficently and greatly improves the cohesiveness of the story with them.
Strangely, I finally figured out that these books were described as being "Christian," novels. Yet, these books are far too intelligent to even be considered a mainstream Christian novel. A better comparison to draw would be to compare these to Jeffery Overstreet's recent fantasy series. Because his books deviate from the normal pathway of most Christian books and becomes in many ways, a misfit in the Christian fiction genre.
A.S. Peterson's own book features a strong female character who is not devilishly used to criticize strong, capable female characters. In some, respectfully unmentioned Christian fantasy series, female characters are deviously used in order to promote unsound arguments about the ineptitude of women. Basically at the beginning, we are glad for the presence of a strong female character. Until at the end, she spontaneously loses all her strength and develops damsel in distress syndrome. The misogynist Christian writer laughs manically and then informs the reader that God intervened and stopped this women from being an individual. He magically makes the sanctimonious male hero appear, save her, and reeducate her all the while about the proper duties for women. "EXCUSE ME PRINCESS! If you dare defy me or surmount my power, I'll minimize your efforts with superficial readings of the bible. Now God commands you to go back in the kitchen and to make your saintly husband a sandwich."
In reading this book, I have regained some hope in the future of the Christian publishing company. Offered in this book was an edifying message about finding personal strength in yourself and not through the illogical drivel from other individuals. Fin was a well shaped character who used her strength to overcome various challenges in attempts to stand for righteous things. Thankfully, this female character was not used to show sexual freedom of females through promiscuous habits. Because, I certainly cannot stand female characters who act whoreish than name themselves strong, capable women. Refreshingly, the female character, as with Maria V. Snyder's characters, was placed to spread a universal message that knows no gender limits. In this book, there is no hidden political message except the potential strength for one individual to rely upon to untangle one's self from challenging circumstances.
The only fault I found in the pages of the book was the slower pace in the middle during the endless description of pirate raids. Though, A.S. Peterson quickly alleviated that problem by producing some needed drama to propel the story towards the "end" direction. Enough said, I highly recommend this book because it's certainly a treasure in the Young Adult section. I really wish for readers of any kind to check out this story that appeals to any human being that desires a richly written adventure story. Forgo CGI laden films this summer and read this book instead!
Again, thanks A.S. Peterson and The Rabbit Room for this free copy. I have found a new publisher to depend upon for deftly written novels! Now, I'm off to listen to my favorite podcast, "The Hog's Head," to hear the interview between Travis Prinzi and A.S. Peterson. Anyone desirous of intelligent conversation about Harry Potter and The Hunger Games should definitely check this site out. (If link's not working above, access http://www.thehogshead.org/)