Monday, March 31, 2008

Book Review: Saboteur by Dean Hughes

Dean Hughes

Andy Gledhill is called into a top secret meeting, and is offered a job as a spy in France. His interviewer doesn’t feel like he is up to the job, that he is too soft, but Andy is determined to serve his country. His family lives in the little town in rural Utah, in which he always wants to stay. He realizes that he cares deeply for Whisper, his childhood friend. She wants him to commit to her before he leaves to work with the French Resistance behind German lines, but Andy feels hesitant with his future so uncertain. He asks his brother Flip to take care of her while he is gone, and watch out for her. Andy’s family must face the changes that come to them during the war, and worry about lack of contact they receive, because of the nature of his duties.
First off, I love Dean Hughes! He is an able and awesome writer, but this wasn’t my favorite book of his. As always, his characterization is top-notch, but his pacing was off. It took me a while to get into this book, because it moved so slowly at the beginning. I thought the book would be mainly about Andy’s experiences, but Flip and Whisper take up an equal, if not more, amount of the book. I loved the middle of the book when Andy started getting more involved with the resistance movement instead of just going through training and hiding out in attics. I also loved the spontaneous car trip that Flip, Whisper, and their Japanese friend take. So, I don’t know if I would recommend it or not. I thought the writing and characterization was good, but the plot could use a little tightening up.
I got to take a writing class for children from Dean Hughes and he really is an awesome person. Go read his books! He’s written over 90 now, most of them are written for children. Since most LDS people know him for his excellent Children of the Promise series they don’t realize they he wrote in the YA/Children’s market long before he ever wrote the series.

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