EXCERPTS OF REVIEWS (See complete reviews below)


KIRKUS REVIEWS

"A captivating tale that should appeal to history buffs, period drama fans, and readers who want to learn about the War of 1812 through the human experience rather than the textbook." —Kirkus Reviews


MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

"Using the War of 1812 as the setting for "Backlash," author Mike Klaassen has based his fictional account on non-fictional facts. The result is a novel that is extremely engaging and with Klaassen's attention to detail and accurate portrayal of the life and times of that era, "Blacklash" is not only highly entertaining but also very educational . . . Impressively well written and a compelling read from beginning to end, "Backlash" will prove to be a very welcome addition to community library Historical Fiction collections." —Midwest Book Review












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KIRKUS REVIEWS


​A historical novel intertwines the adventures of an array of characters, recounting important events of the War of 1812 through multiple perspectives.

The story begins through the eyes of Lemuel Wycliffe, a 16-year-old boy who joins a Kentucky militia with his father to avenge the deaths of his mother and sister, murdered at the hands of Native Americans. Almost immediately, Lemuel's camp is ambushed and the reader is thrown into an action-packed scene of carnage, with no gory details spared. The following chapters cut to different perspectives, including that of Canadian Lt. George Sherbourne, on his way to join the British army in England; Muscogee teenager Hadjo, inspired to fight alongside his people to protect their land; 17-year-old Silas Shackleton, who is offered the chance to join the British navy after being forced from an American vessel; and 20-year-old Rachel Thurston, newly arrived in Washington City alongside her father to discuss politics with President James Madison. The War of 1812 itself serves as both the setting and the plot structure, the common thread that ties the diverse cast of characters together. As the epic story unfolds, each character's will is tested in the cruel face of adversity and violence. Klaassen (Scenes and Sequels: How to Write Page-Turning Fiction, 2016, etc.) delivers a riveting, well-informed novel that strives to breathe life into dusty history books and highlight the stories of the human beings behind the text. The author's attention to detail and truthful representation of life during the War of 1812 makes the story engaging and instructive: "The air reeked with the stench of festering wounds and the various potions administered by the doctors. . . Lemuel could see more than a dozen men packed into the room. . . some sat with their back against the walls, but most of the wounded lay on furs spread across the floor in irregular rows." The reader is transported into a different era with Klaassen's use of tangible descriptors. But the extensive cast of characters becomes confusing at times, and the abundance of historical references may grow tiresome for readers unaccustomed to educational accounts.

A captivating tale that should appeal to history buffs, period drama fans, and readers who want to learn about the War of 1812 through the human experience rather than the textbook.


MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

Small Press Bookwatch: July 2016
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575


The Fiction Shelf

Backlash: A War of 1812 Novel
Mike Klaassen
www.mikeklaassen.com
Book Baby
www.bookbaby.com
9781682229712, $24.99, PB, 466pp, www.amazon.com 

Synopsis: The War of 1812 between the English and the Americans had no clear victor. It was a conflict that will continually be debated among historians and has been described as the war that both sides won and the war that nobody won. A Canadian historian suggested that Americans think that they won the war, that Canadians know that they won the war, and that the British are blissfully unaware that the conflict took place. It is a complex story. Using the War of 1812 as the setting for "Backlash", author Mike Klaassen has based his fictional account on non-fictional facts. The result is a novel that is extremely engaging and with Klaassen's attention to detail and accurate portrayal of the life and times of that era, "Blacklash" is not only highly entertaining but also very educational. Readers will enjoy the drama and are sure to learn something new. 

Critique: Impressively well written and a compelling read from beginning to end, "Backlash" will prove to be a very welcome addition to community library Historical Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Backlash" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

 


  Mike Klaassen

REVIEWS

BACKLASH: A War of 1812 Novel