Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

Thomas Fawkes is slowly turning to stone and the only cure for the stone plague appears to be participating in a dangerous plot. People wear masks infused with color power. They are divided into the Igniters and the Keepers, with each group blaming the other for the plague. All Thomas wants is to receive his color mask from his father, but he hasn’t seen his father for 13 years.

He leaves school and travels to London to find and ask his father for his color mask. But his father – Guy Fawkes — wants something in return. His Keeper father involves him in the Gunpowder Plot to assassinate the Igniter King, which will in turn supposedly stop the plague from consuming Thomas. How can Thomas refuse? But at what cost? it pits him against the girl he loves. Will the Gunpowder Plot succeed?

Brandes does an excellent job of combining fantasy and historical fiction elements. Told through Thomas’ point of view, Fawkes makes one think of the struggles between Catholics and Protestants in England, with their opposing views and allegiances. Although the novel started slowly, Thomas became more fascinating as the story unfolded, drawing in the reader as Thomas faced his dilemma: save his girl or stop the plague?

Brandes concludes her novel with a what’s true/what’s not section, as well as discussion questions. Kudos to Ms. Brandes for breaking out of the dystopian genre into historical fantasy.
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Guy Fawkes: Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot
This is a strange book, and I say that in a distinctly positive manner. It is a book that is impossible to pigeon hole: is it historical fiction or a fantasy adaptation? Is it a romance or a coming of age tale? Is it a warning against rebellion or a clarion call to arms? Fawkes, by Nadine Brandes, is actually all of these things, and much more! It is a book that has found its way on to my extra credit reading list for the coming school year, and also a book that I would recommend to my adult friends.

Image result for tower of london gifAlthough I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I didn’t give it a full five stars for two (very small, and perhaps petty) reasons. First, the main character, Thomas Fawkes (the infamous Guy’s son) is thick-headed and annoying for about 85% of the story, until he finally gets a reality check in the form of death and carnage. Second, at times the story got a little weighed down with detail, particularly in the form of Thomas’ grousing about the unfairness of life. However, Nadine Brandes does an excellent job of illustrating what the sights and smells of historic London were probably like. She deftly weaves in the idea of nature-based magic, and a society revolving around that magic, into that backdrop, making the whole far-fetched tale seem entirely plausible. So, even with these two flaws in mind, I would still urge people who enjoy historical fiction and fantasy to read this book!

Image result for Guy Fawkes Night gifThe thing that drew me into this book the most was the creative take on an old story. We all have learned about the bubonic plague in school, but in this telling of history, the plague has magical origins, and is turning people into stone. Similarly, most of us learned at least the basics of Guy Fawkes and the plot to blow up Parliament and the King, but in this adaptation the reason is not religious based bickering over the throne, but bickering over what way to wield magic is best. Yet the thing about magic, at least in this book, is that it behaves an awful lot like a deity, and those who use it think that their way is the most respectful way to do it. As the story unfolds, Thomas is forced to question the long-lasting feud of his society, and the necessity of taking a side. Through his evolving relationship with a girl who practices magic differently from his family, Thomas finds himself wondering if either side is wholly right, and if it wouldn’t be better for them to try to arrive at a mutual understanding.

See the source imageSo, although Thomas did annoy me for long parts of the book, his eventual awakening was refreshing, and poignant. The story’s conclusion will leave readers pondering how societies can become so heavily divided that they fail to be able to compromise, or even to see those who are different, as fellow citizens of humanity. At what point, for example, do men and governments decide to start killing or oppressing those who are different? At what point is rebellion both good and necessary…and can treason ever be a force for positive change? Guy Fawkes and his historical co-conspirators do meet their factual demise, but the end of the story avoids being too sad or grim, offering up a promising road into the future for those who are willing to follow their hearts.
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I was unable to review this story within the allotted time due to time constraints. Upon reading I chose to give it a rating of 4 stars. Fantasy isn't my normal genre of preference but this one was a huge win for me
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I'm a sucker for historical novels and this one was a lot of fun. Engaging story, a good amount of history tied in with some fantasy, and interesting characters. Definitely a fun young adult pick.
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*thank you to Netgalley and Thomas Nelson for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

2 stars.

Ohh I am almost in tears with this. It's one that I would call a 'popular ya novel' you know the ones. The really hyped up ones that everyone is reading so you see it everywhere etc. Well... yeah. The cover grabbed my attention. It's looks amazing. The storyline is different from what I usually read but I still had high hopes. I was finally reading something that was hyped up. But.....Unfortunately I just couldn't get into it. Parts of it were good and that came down to being because the author does know how to write as it really isn't written badly at all. I just don't think it's my type. Now that I have a better idea of the kind of book this is, I'll keep it in mind and give it another go, maybe, at some stage and if so, I'll update this review. But for now, this is it, and it's a pass from me. But I would recommend that you try it for yourself.
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A poetic and engaging read. A fabulous blend of fantasy and historical fiction. Would definitely recommend to a friend.
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A bit slow in parts, and I couldn't connect with the main character, Thomas, very well. However, the world-building is PHENOMENAL with the way the author combines history and fantasy. And Emma's storyline was intriguing! I would have loved a POV from her.
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I loved this story and strongly recommend it to any readers looking to get glued to the pages!!! Was so into the characters as I got to know them.
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I got this book ages ago — I think it's almost been a year — from Netgalley. I am so genuinely sorry I didn't get this read and reviewed in time. But honestly, I started it so many times and just could not get into it. I saw the audiobook available on Libby this week, and figured I would use it to try to get over whatever hump was bothering me.

Unfortunately, it didn't help. For whatever reason, I could not relate to Thomas. And the magic system in the book was a bit jarring. I have read the summary several times, and I'm not sure how I missed that it was a fantasy, AU historical novel. Nevertheless, I pushed through. 

But seriously, I am apparently really getting persnickety about my magic systems. Why the mask? How does a mask hone in the magic? I get kind of why a parent must carve the mask, but it seriously has to be the parent that is the same sex? In a time that life expectancy was so low? What was magic like all over Europe, if it is available? Is this just part of England?

While I do like the comparison of types of magic to the religious conflicts of the time, the story is just so overshadowed by Thomas's whining and indecision. Instead of acting or doing anything, he spends most of the book just reacting. The father/son relationship issues could have been done so much better too. Guy Fawkes is portrayed as so aloof that it is detrimental to the story. 

Interestingly, I love Emma. She both fits into the time period well while also trying so hard to find her own path. And it isn't a path that makes her seem 21st century feminist — she feels real to the time period. (At some point I'll write my review about The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein which was a frustrating book about a woman who also acts  more within her time period than most YA heroines do.) 

Overall, this book just lacked a foothold for me to find my way in. It overall was still written well, and I liked the idea behind the book, and seriously THAT COVER, but I'm definitely in the minority in just not caring for this book too much.
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I normally don’t get into these kinds of books, but this was an exception for me. It had intrigue and mystery and I never knew what was going to happen. I do hope there are more books to come by this author!
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Fawkes is a great example of a well done alternate history novel. 
It has everything I could want: I learned something new about a part of history I wasn't familiar with, it twisted this history to include a really interesting magic system, it has some very well developed characters and finally this book is fulled with action and intrigue. 

There were some slower parts, but I really enjoyed the book nonetheless. It actually surprised me a bit, I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this book but I certainly did not expect to get this attached to the main character and to get this invested in the plot. 

I would certainly recommend this novel and I'm curious to see what Nadine Brandes comes out with next.
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This is just the type of historical fantasy I love. What a great take on the entire Guy Fawkes affair! I recommend this one if you like fantasy or are a history nerd. I'm looking forward to what the author has in store for us next!
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This was a good fantasy/dystopian book with many great characters. I did enjoy this book however it wasn’t one of my favorites. The plot didn’t pull in wanting more like I expected it to throughout the entire plot but the ending definitely reached a much higher climax than the rest of the story.
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Reviewing for NetGalley 

This book was a DNF for  me. I tried, but I couldn’t get past the first few chapters. I chose the apply for this based on the cover which is truely amazing. I couldn’t call the book that.
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such a fun book! cant wait to read more from this author! the world was really fun and it was a great fantasy with so many fun elements! the pace was a bit weird for me at bits but overrall a super fun read
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So so so good!!  This was such a pleasant surprise.  I'm now a huge fan of Nadine's! Thank you for sending me this eARC.
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Nadine Brandes retells the infamous Gunpowder Plot of 1605 with quite a bit of imagination in her new release, Fawkes. Instead of the traditional religious dispute, the plot is a result of disagreements using a color-power magic system, and Thomas Fawkes, son of Guy Fawkes, finds himself in the middle of the conflict. With plenty of intrigue, action, and a touch of romance, both the history and the fantasy of Fawkes come to life as Thomas begins to discover confidence in who he is, as well as his purpose within the conflict. It’s fun, it’s entertaining, it has great heart—I highly recommend this book.
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Fawkes is a historical fantasy. I don't read that much historical fiction and I'm so glad I was able to enjoy this one!

The MC, Thomas has the stone plague. And he dreams of wielding the power of Gray in hopes of being able to keep the sickness controlled. In doing so, he has to graduate from school and receive a color mask from his father but his world crumbles down when word about his condition have spread and a note from his father tells him that he wouldn't be made a mask.

Let me say that I love good fantasy novels. And my favorite part when reading them is looking at how the author did the world-building. Let me say that I applaud Brandes for creating such a unique world. Color power. Everyone can control a color or in some cases, can control multiple colors. It was truly amazing. Reading and learning more about the world the author had created proved to be a nice experience for a reader like me.

The argument between Keepers and Igniters was also something. It was like traditionalist vs modernist. By following Thomas, you can see how the issue between the two groups have affected the people and the government itself.

This book doesn't just portray fantasy and a little bit of history. It also talks about politics and a revolution. The idea of the stone plague was also interesting. 

By reading Fawkes, you'll see how powerful your imaginative mind can be. It was like watching colors move in your head while reading, thinking about what would happen if color powers were to exist in real life. 

I applaud the author for creating such unique elements and combining everything to build a pretty awesome fantasy read.
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In a world where color magic is the norm, Thomas Fawkes has the Stone Plague, and he doesn't know if he's going to survive. When his father, the famous Guy Fawkes, refuses to bring Thomas his mask for his color ceremony, Thomas goes to find him in London when he is kicked out of school for having no color mask. The war between Keepers (those who only control one color), and Igniters (those who can control multiple colors and speak to White Light), is intensifying to the point where people fear for their lives. Soon Thomas is entangled in a plot to kill King James and hundreds of Parliament members. He also begins to spend more time with Emma Areben, the beautiful and talented girl from school who makes Thomas question his beliefs and loyalty. Torn between loyalty to his father, his search for truth, and desiring to do what is right, Thomas will ultimately have to decide where his loyalty lies before it is too late.
I absolutely loved this book, especially because the author mixed historical fiction and fantasy. The writing was descriptive, heart wrenching, and compelling, and the characters were realistically drawn to the point where I became invested in the story. The alternative world the author created seemed so real to me, and the truths revealed through the story were so accurate and timely. I marked several places where the quotes were so good that I had to keep track of them. People should not be judged based on their appearance, skin color, disabilities, or anything superficial. It's what's in the heart that truly matters. The relationship between Thomas and Emma was sweet and heartbreaking, and I loved the way the story turned out because it seemed appropriate. I highly recommend this book!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. A positive review was not required, and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.
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I love Nadine and I love her writing. She has an unique ability to immerse the writer into unique worlds and to build something from nothing in our minds. I loved how she transformed this book from a children’s nursery rhyme (and maybe a bit of V for Vendetta) and I love the concept she grasped. She made this world and made me almost believe it was real for awhile. The characters were all unique and well developed. The plot was intriguing and engaging. And the pacing was spot on.


However, I did feel that in some parts of the book the author treaded a thin line between what was politically correct to say and what wasn’t. They were hard for me to read because those words had hurt some of my friends in the past and I can imagine that maybe they might hurt someone today too. However, there was a bit of a reason for it (debatable) and the book turned out fantastic in the end.


Verdict: If you liked V for Vendetta or if you like masks definitely check out this book!
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