Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Book Review: Sophia's War

Sophia's War by Avi

Recommended for: Ages 8 to Adult (Interest and reading level)

Rating: PG for disturbing images and a hanging

In 1776, the War of Independence comes to New York City, and to twelve-year-old Sophia Calderwood’s family. William, her older soldier brother, has been missing since the defeat of George Washington’s Army at the Battle of Brooklyn. 

When the British occupy the city, Lieutenant John André of the English Army, is boarded at the Calderwood home. He and Sophia develop a flirtatious friendship, which is tested when the girl discovers that William is being held in The Sugarhouse, a notorious British prison. She hopes André can help. When he chooses not to, Sophia struggles to save her brother herself.

Three years later, Sophia becomes a spy in the headquarters of the British Army. There she finds André, now a Major, working to enable a highly placed American General become a traitor, a treason that will endanger the whole American war effort.  Deciding to stop the treason—and motivated by personal revenge—Sophia becomes desperate. However, as Sophia learns, desperation’s other name is deception. Indeed, the desperate characters in this thrilling tale of spies and counter-spies, act out many acts of deception, not least by Sophia herself. 

Based on true tales of the Revolution, carefully researched, this story will shock and enthrall even those who think they know what happened during the American Revolution. Sophia's War is Avi at his best, a haunting historical thriller.

I got this book from the library and had finished it before the night was up, it was that good. I've read Avi books before, but for some reason always come to them with the expectation that they won't be that good, and always walk away in amazement. This was just such a book.

Writing: 4/5
This book was written in an engaging manner, well-told, and written in a way that the narrator is almost engaging with the reader. The dialogue was well-written and the descriptions were good as well. The reason I don't give it 5 out of 5 is because there is a confusion between the years that passed and the age of the character. This mistake took me away from the book for a minute trying to sort out what happened.

Setting: 5/5
The story is set in New York during the Revolutionary War. It is obvious much research went into this book, it is that historically accurate. It even uses 18th-century words throughout the book to make the book even more authentic. It made it seem as if you were really there. Very well done.

Plot: 5/5
This is one of the areas where Avi excels the most. With  an intriguing plot and exciting action, this book drew me in so I couldn't put it down. No plot holes and well-developed, the plot was one of the best parts of the book.

Character Development: 5/5
This was the other part that was really, really good. The characters were all well-developed, from the narrator Sophia to Major André to the brief appearance of Nathan Hale at the beginning of the book. The even better thing is, excepting Sophia and her family, all the characters are real. The characters were brought to life in this book.

This book is a good read, and if you're looking to learn some history and enjoy a good book at the same time, this is the book for you. I would recommend everyone to read this book.

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