Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Bronze and the Brimstone

This is the second book in a trilogy and I'll get the review of the first book up soon, but let's start with this one so I can thoroughly get you all confused.

The Bronze and the Brimstone - Lory Kaufman
The Bronze and the Brimstone
Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln, three teens from the 24th-century, are trapped in 14th-century Verona, Italy. They’ve survived many deadly experiences by keeping their wits about them and by introducing futuristic technology into the past. Principal among these inventions is the telescope, which brought them to the attention to the rich and powerful.

But standing out can get you into unexpected and dangerous situations. The nobles of Verona now believe Hansum is a savant, a genius inventor, especially after he brings them plans for advanced cannons and black powder. Being the center of attention is great, but the potential for trouble is now exponentially greater because people are watching Hansum’s every move.

Meanwhile, artistic genius Shamira has fallen for a Florentine artist with bloody and disastrous consequences. Lincoln, considered an incompetent back home in the 24th-century, has blossomed – at least until he’s shot in the head with an arrow. And Hansum, after secretly marrying his new master’s beautiful daughter, Guilietta, is offered the hand in marriage of lady Beatrice, daughter of the ruler of Verona. To refuse could mean calamity for all the teens.

Amazingly, none of this is their biggest challenge. Because a rash illness is spreading across Verona – and it is threatening to consume everyone.

Do they have a future in this past?

OK, now I will say that these books are involved. And by involved, I mean that a LOT of thought and planning went into the writing of all three of these books. Some complaints I have for all three is that in some spots there is too much detail, too much time spent on insignificant things. Some of the dialogue is a little strange but once you get passed that and really look at the story as a whole? It's kind of great. 

These book are "Post Dystopian Fiction" and are written far into the future. As a summary, when you're in school and you do something wrong, instead of going into what we call school suspension, these kids go into what are called "history camps" where they essentially learn how hard it was in the past and hopefully they learn to be more respectful and understand what plight it. Except as is the case with school suspension, these kids don't take it seriously and get kicked out history camp and put into the actual past. There are no "enactors" (teachers playing a part)- there is real danger and they are really thrust into it. 

In this book lots of things change and are a catalyst for book three, naturally. The really cool thing about this being geared towards YA is that people reading this are actually learning history because a lot of research went into this book. I will say that character wise? Lincoln gets on my nerves. I didn't like him in book one and I didn't like him here either. I like Hansum, who is highly intelligent and very inquisitive, but his judgement in bringing modern day technology to the past has terrible consequences. It seems like the best idea but doesn't work out. Shamira is... OK. I don't know how I feel about her. You know her relationship with her artist beau is a problem but the fact she still does it shows that the author has some experience with teenage girls. HA! 

I want to spoil the ending for you because I really liked it and it made me pick up book three immediately after. So, so very excited to finish the third book because there is a baby involved. Take THAT for suspense!


lorylory said...

Thank you for your smart-ass and non-chaotic review, even though it's out of order. Yes, I've had a teenage daughter that went ahead and did stupid things knowing better. So did I. So did we all. Yes, you saw some things in the stories other reviewers didn't, and I didn't either. I'm looking forward to seeing your thoughts on Book 1 and 3 now. -Cheers, Lory Kaufman, Kingston, Ontario.

The Bookworm said...

This does sound well researched. That history camps idea sounds interesting.