I Love It When My Friends Write Books: a Review of The Hinomoto Rebellion

This month seems to be the month of reading things that aren’t usually my thing. It’s sort of a nice change of pace, although I still love young adult urban fantasy best.

Before I tell you about The Hinomoto Rebellion, I have to tell you a little bit about Elizabeth Staley. Liz and I became friends on the Etsy forums, but we quickly connected about things other than selling handmade items. Liz is an awesome human.

Fast forward to October of 2008, when I realized I was missing writing. I hadn’t written anything besides blog entries in years, except for a few fitful attempts to get back to creative writing, only to give it up when life got busy. Just as I was beginning to think maybe I could get in the swing of writing again, Liz told me about NaNoWriMo. I seem to recall saying to her, “I think I want you to talk me in to this”, and she obliged–with great enthusiasm. I think bribes were involved. She succeeded, and during the course of the month of November she encouraged me when I was freaking out, she read my terrible excerpts and told me they were good, and she helped me brainstorm the tough parts. She became my WB4E. My going on and on about writing all the time is mostly her fault.

And now she has published her book! And I was too cashless to afford a copy, so we worked out a trade, much to my delight. And now I get to tell you all about it. First, of course, the obligatory blurb:

Five-hundred years after a cataclysm, humanity has regained their mastery over technology and science. Those who practice Martial arts are seen by law enforcement and the government as the most dangerous of criminals. Despite being arrested or murdered in the streets by the police, these ronin still struggle to keep their fighting traditions alive. While the Shogun tries to protect his family from a power-hungry Daimyo, a rebellion begins to grow in the bars and underground dojos that will test the limits of a group of Martial Artists as they attempt to restore the balance of power.

This is the second novel I’ve read this month with illustrations in it! I really think that publishers should bring back illustrations in novels. They’re so fun! They really do enhance the story, when they’re done well. The illustrations in The Hinomoto Rebellion were done by the author, so I’m sure you can imagine how well it all went together. After all, the author understands her characters best, right?

Now, this is an interesting combination of genre; it is a martial arts story, but it is also set in an alternate future, so there are elements of dystopian fiction and also some sci-fi elements. But mainly it is the story of a group of friends who are seeking to do something really huge–and though they don’t see how they can succeed, they refuse to give up, because they believe in something larger than themselves. I totally love that kind of thing!

Add to the noble–but potentially hopeless–cause a cast of colorful characters AND fun illustrations and you have a recipe for yummy bookish goodness.

Of course, while I was reading I kept thinking, I want this to be an animated film! It would be so cool! Which is funny, because I’m not a  huge animated film connoisseur. I think I felt that way because I could hear the characters talking in my head, especially Roni, the youngest participant in the story, who seems to me to really be the heart of the team. I think the characters are the strongest part of this novel–they really felt alive to me, with strong personalities. And y’all know I’m all about the personal touch.

So if you decide to pick up a copy, tell Liz Michelle sent you!


2 thoughts on “I Love It When My Friends Write Books: a Review of The Hinomoto Rebellion

  1. Yay for Liz! Is she the one who drew your avatar on NaNo? Because her work is awesome.

    I will definitely check out her book and appreciate, as always, the head’s up on fun new books to read.

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