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The Smuggler's Gambit (Adam Fletcher Adventure Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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FIVE STARS - "... family-friendly and highly recommended for anyone interested in history or a good adventure!" -- Linda Phelps (Amazon Reviewer)
"...Perfectly paced with characters and dialogue so real the reader feels they are right in the middle of the action... No doubt, this book will leave you yearning to find out what's next for Adam Fletcher." -- Kevin Duffus, author of The Last Days of Black Beard the Pirate and 2015 NC Historian of the Year
"Sara Whitford has successfully woven a fast-moving adventure of intrigue, romance, deception, and betrayal." -- Captain Horatio Sinbad, Privateer MEKA II, Beaufort NC
"With a seamless plot and vivid characters, this novel, set in Port Beaufort, North Carolina, in 1765, captivates the reader's imagination. When seventeen-year-old Adam Fletcher chooses to recklessly defend his single mother's reputation with his quick temper and fists, he is given two choices: jail or an apprenticeship. The delinquent's only consolation is the hope that he will work under the impressive Richard Rasquelle, a local hero and a successful port merchant. Adam, however, lands in the care of the elder Emmanuel Rogers, a staid member of the coastal colony and the only competitor of Rasquelle. It does not take long for Adam's impetuousness to land him in a tangled web filled with spying, betrayal, and life-threatening danger. When Adam finally uncovers the true evil players and the reasons behind his master's imprisonment, he is kidnapped and led away to a deserted coastal island. Readers will not be able to put down this historically accurate tale until they discover how Adam redeems himself and reveals the truth. Ages 15 and up." -- Krisan Murphy for ChildrensLit.com
From the Author
- ASIN : B00TNQ0HFU
- Publisher : Seaport Publishing; 1st edition (March 18, 2015)
- Publication date : March 18, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 1277 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 326 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,810 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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So what's wrong with the book?
1. The setting: I was a couple chapters in before I realized this wasn't in England. Granted the first chapter did say Port Beaufort North Carolina, but I missed that and consequently it was several chapters later before the author mentioned anything about the location. I've read a lot of historical fiction, and Ms Whitford did a very bad job of immersing her readers in Pre-revolutionary America. There were almost no descriptions of the buildings, streets, city or clothes of the people that would have set the scene.
She clearly has no idea what apprenticeship meant in the preindustrial world, as Adam is forced into it as a punishment. So much wailing and gnashing of teeth is spent on this that you'd think he was being sold into slavery. His mother even goes so far as to beg that he goes to jail for a few days instead! Yes! God FORBID, the kid learn a trade!
2. The characters: Most of the characters are barely fleshed out, even Adam, the hero, is closer to a cardboard cut out than a real breathing individual. His mother, Mary, on the other hand, is horribly written. I understand she was young when Adam was born but the way she's written, she comes off as being somewhat mentally challenged and barely more mature than her 17 year old son, which would be okay if that were the author's intent but it clearly wasn't.
3. The author plays "the pronoun game" where you refer to a person or persons by pronouns. Mary makes much about how "they" tried to take Adam from her when he was born and another character says "they" took him from his mother as a child, but no one ever explains who "they" are and what authority "they" have.
4, Much is made of Mary's pregnancy and it's continually mentioned that she's thought of as a prostitute even though she's never gotten pregnant since Adam, there's no evidence presented to call her a whore and she has a solid job, home, father figure in her life and she visits widows to provide companionship.
5. Suddenly at the halfway point, the book switches POVs so we can see what's going on in town, while Adam is missing.
6. The ending is rushed. The whole disaster, court trial and kidnapping are wrapped up in some 20 pages.
I have read much, much worse but with a bit more revision, attention to detail and characterization, this could have been a fantastic book.
Reviewed by Author Roy Murry
This first book of the Adam Fletcher Adventures I picked from a list because I like the word Gambit. Those who play chess know the importance of planning one's moves (Gambit) before playing and changing it to your advantages to produce the result desired, that being to win the game.
In Smuggler's Gambit, Adam is a young man full piss and vinegar, seventeen, who gets in trouble with the law defending his mother's honor. Forced into an apprenticeship, he becomes a pawn in a game he is too young to understand, smuggling.
A criminal minded man, who makes the first move, using his popularity posture, leads Adam into a deadly game of life. His ward is a respectable smuggler, considering the historical period before the American Revolution when the King's subjects disliked his taxes in which the story evolves.
Adam's resolves his confusion between the two men and makes an unorthodox move that gives the upper hand to the criminals. Through ingenuity, Adam's near-death experience after a happenstance with those undesirables is his last adventurous move that gives him and his new family a checkmate.
The game was played well by Adam with little experience in such matters. The Smuggler's Gambit is a must read to start the series.
I would not recommend to readers of any age due to the above mentioned historical inaccuracies and attempts to portray historical events using modern-day expressions and actions.
Top reviews from other countries
No, an excellent read