Sixteen-year-old genius Matty Ducayn has never fit in on The Hill, an ordered place seriously lacking a sense of humor. After his school’s headmaster expels him for a small act of mischief, Matty’s future looks grim until King Hadrian comes to his rescue with a challenge: answer a question for a master’s diploma.
More than a second chance, this means freedom. Masters can choose where they work, a rarity among Regents, and the question is simple.
What was January Black?
It’s a ship. Everyone knows that. Hadrian rejects that answer, though, and Matty becomes compelled by curiosity and pride to solve the puzzle. When his search for an answer turns up long-buried state secrets, Matty’s journey becomes a collision course with a deadly royal decree. He's been set up to fail, which forces him to choose. Run for his life with the challenge lost...or call the king’s bluff.
Refreshingly intelligent and loads of fun!
I lost a few hours as I read this book. It's a Young Adult novel that is refreshingly and astonishingly intelligent, and the love story is perfectly played out.
~Christine Ashworth, Amazon Review
The mystery was intriguing - I loved how Wendy Russo weaved in all her secrets throughout the book, how she incorporated just enough to keep you reading, while never actually divulging much of anything. I was guessing for most of it and that's pretty hard to make me do.
~Julie, Clean Teen Reads
Wendy Russo has created a masterpiece.
~Ivan Amberlake, Author
Author Wendy S. Russo
Wendy S. Russo got her start writing in the sixth grade. That story involved a talisman with crystals that had to be found and assembled before bad things happened, and dialog that read like classroom roll call. Since then, she’s majored in journalism (for one semester), published poetry, taken a course on short novels, and watched most everything ever filmed by Quentin Tarantino. A Wyoming native transplanted in Baton Rouge, Wendy works for Louisiana State University as an IT analyst. She’s a wife, a mom, a Tiger, a Who Dat, and she falls asleep on her couch at 8:30 on weeknights.
GOODREADS * AUTHORGRAPH
I love when I come across a book that has the ability to not only surprise me, but surpass my expectations completely. January Black did this and I was so glad that I decided to venture out of my reading comfort zone and take part in the blog tour for this amazing book.
The premise of the novel sounds simple enough. King Hadrian gives young student Mattie a challenge in order to earn a Masters degree: What was January Black? Readers are then taken on a journey as Matty attempts to answer the King’s question.
I loved the characters of the book! Matty was my favorite, but I also adored King Hadrian and Iris. Matty was a complete sweetheart and his romance with Iris was adorable. Matty was so earnest, it was completely endearing. Matty is idealistic and his ideals play an important part of the underlying themes of liberty and civil rights.
There are so many mysteries presented during the novel, I found myself anxious to keep reading. Figuring out what January Black was makes up only a small part of the story. I was also trying to figure out the setting of the novel and how the kingdom was created. World building was phenomenal and the advanced technology was interesting to read about.
What I also loved about the book is the mass appeal of the novel. There are very few books that I read which I can imagine my husband also enjoying. I plan to recommend this to not only my husband but also my teenage stepdaughter. If you’re looking for something to read that’s unique and thought provoking, I highly recommend January Black.
Rating: 5/5 Stars
I received this novel as part of the I Am a Reader, Not a Writer Blog Tour.
Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
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