ARC Review: Fawkes

Hello world! How are you doing? I’m starting to think about changing things around, here on the blog, but it’s just an initial thought, I’m not sure about anything yet, I just know that I want to make some changes. When you change your blog, are you so indecisive in the beginning or it’s just me, and you instead know exactly what you want?

Anyway, while I am thinking I can go on and use the time to write a review, so here I am again, to speak about a book that, sadly, really disappointed me, even if it’s not a bad book.

A big thank you to NetGalley and to the editor. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Title: Fawkes
Author: Nadine Brandes
Publication Date: July 10th, 2018
Page count: 448

Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.
Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.
But what if death finds him first?
Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.
The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.
The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.
No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.

Ok, people, let’s just take a moment to stare at this gorgeous cover! It’s a piece of art but, sadly, it’s the only very beautiful thing about this book, sigh!
Mind me, it’s not that the book is awful, there are some good things going on in there, to be completely honest. For example, I loved the magic system. Color magic, how cool is that? I know that some of the readers found it unoriginal, but I loved it! Truth, I’d have liked to see more of it, because I liked that the MC could hear the voice of the White color in his mind and a little bit more of it would have been great, also a more deepened system would have been great, but it wasn’t so bad.
And we have a great friendship going on because Emma and Thomas are friends and their relationship is well developed and here we have the best thing in this book: Emma. Thanks to Emma we can see a real character because I think she’s the best developed one, and she carries on some important thematic (I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoiler anything) and she’s the voice of the reason.

But the negative or disappointing things are, sadly, more decisive in my opinion. The biggest disappointment here is on a personal level, but this book it’s about the son of the notorious Guy Fawkes. He’s a sort of romantic figure, not in a romantic relationship way, but as the romantic hero, not just a rebel but the rebel. And that was one of the reasons that made me request this book. It was about Guy Fawkes!!! How great it’s that????
But nope… he’s a douchebag. A complete, total, awful douchebag! I know that the book is about his son, and I would have been ok with not seeing Guy around at all because the book is not about him. And I think that this could have been the best thing to do, in this case. But nope. The author chooses to use a character such charismatic, so important in the history, and she chooses to make him a hateful character. But why??? That’s so frustrating! And annoying! And to be completely honest, this book is about the son of Guy Fawkes, but it’s also a retelling of the history of Guy Fawkes, and in this story Guy is the bad guy. I mean, he’s not the villain of the story, but he’s one of the bad guys, and it’s not even a charismatic or fascinating one. It’s just a sad excuse of a father for the most part. I think I can go and on ranting about my disappointment, but I think you have the gist of it, right??

Anyway, let’s go on. Thomas is the main character and I didn’t like him so much. It’s not that he’s bad, he’s childish sometimes but we see his growth on the pages, so that’s a good thing, but I didn’t care a lot about him, sadly. Maybe I would have liked more the book, and him, if the story was told with Emma’s POV, Emma is a relatable character, or at least she’s more relatable than Thomas.
And all it’s quite… shallow? I mean, we have this big fight between two different kinds of magical users, and it’s a big thing, it’s the point from which all this story origins, but we don’t see a lot of it, the author said that we have these two different factions, but we don’t get much more than that. So yeah, it’s all quite summary.
And we don’t have outstanding characters. They are all forgettable, even Emma, and she’s the best of all the characters in this book.

So yeah, I had great expectations from this book, because it seemed so good and I was so disappointed in it. It’s not an awful book, it’s not trash, and the author could definitely do something good, her ideas are great, but for me this one is a big, fat NOPE!


Have you read it? Have you liked it? And did you have some problems with Guy Fawkes as I did, or it was good for you? Let me know!

Happy reading!

7 thoughts on “ARC Review: Fawkes

  1. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate says:

    Oh I’m so sorry this didn’t captivate you, Susy! The cover really is to die for and I find the magic system quite interesting too – though not the most original is true, I think that it’s the execution that matters and not if it has been done before or not since literally almost everything has been done before, deal with it!

    I’ll try to keep my expectations low when I pick this one up, if I ever do. Wonderful review, hon! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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