DiscoverAction & Adventure

Lady 355

By

Not for me 😔

A rushed spy adventure following a key member of the Culper Ring during the American Revolution and how she helped save the new nation.

Synopsis

The Culper Ring was George Washington’s group of spies in New York during the American Revolution. Despite having provided the intelligence that saved the fledgling nation on at least three occasions, the identity of one of the ring’s key members still remains a mystery to this day. Known only by the code “Lady...355”, Sarah Harkin, an operative for the secret order known as The Enclave, can honestly be called The Mother of Freedom. This is her story.

This was a two star read for me and I think a lot of that rating is due to this book not being what I expected and the low wordcount making the story feel rushed. If you saw the blurb and expected a realistic take on a member of the Culper Ring, know this is not that kind of book, although the American Revolutionary setting was fun. This is a historical adventure about a secretive enclave founded by a man who knows an important secret from the Templar Knights that allows him to remain forever young. So while this is about spies, Sarah felt more like a James Bond kind of spy rather than a realistic woman spying for America.

 

Sarah is part of the enclave and this book explores how she got her start spying during the American Revolution and her current life in the present as she connects with a young girl who reminds her of herself. If you are someone who loves stories about the Templars and spies, this might be more up your alley. This is the second in a series and while the prologue gave enough information to understand the background of the Templars, I recommend starting with the first book in the series The Templar Lance.

 

This is a short book just past the novella range at 60,000 words. For me that made the story feel too fast paced. It also lacked emotional exploration on heavy topics like abuse and murder that made the events feel downplayed and the characters underdeveloped. This story switches between the past and the present but the story of the past versus the story happening in the present felt like completely different stories at times. I think the book would have been better served by telling one or the other instead of both.

 

The story felt more character driven than plot driven at times, but due to the lack of character development I just wasn’t enthralled with the characters enough to stay hooked. Overall the fast pacing and low wordcount just simply didn’t give the story and characters enough time to properly develop.

Reviewed by

I'm a publishing pro who loves to support all sides of the publishing industry. As a reader I enjoy a wide variety of genres. Visit my website for my editing services and publishing advice and my instagram for book pictures. Kate Valent is my pen name.

Synopsis

The Culper Ring was George Washington’s group of spies in New York during the American Revolution. Despite having provided the intelligence that saved the fledgling nation on at least three occasions, the identity of one of the ring’s key members still remains a mystery to this day. Known only by the code “Lady...355”, Sarah Harkin, an operative for the secret order known as The Enclave, can honestly be called The Mother of Freedom. This is her story.

Fall 1772

Sarah Harkin stood in the back corner of the classroom facing the row of pegs that, come winter, would be full of the children’s heavy coats. Now though, only the girls’ mobcaps and the boys’ felt hats hung there.

She would rather have been outside, but Mrs. Withers knew that, so there she stood staring at the teacher’s cap and shawl hanging in front of her. She shifted from foot to foot as she imagined what prank she could play on her strict teacher.

“Stop fidgeting, child!” Mrs. Withers snapped the willow switch against the top of her desk.

Sarah froze while some of the other children snickered under their breath. She didn’t want to feel that across her backside again. One thrashing didn’t deserve a note home to her parents, but two certainly would. And her father’s response to yet another report about her behavior would be far worse than three whacks with the willow branch.

Hold still. Hold still!

The tension built inside her, commanding her to move. She seemed to always be in motion.

Tonight. Tonight will be a good time to tell everyone the Widow Withers’s secret. You won’t be so high and mighty when everyone knows what I know about you.


About the author

Rob Johnson (1959- ) grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania, graduated from Bucknell University, and has worked in the computer field ever since. Since his boyhood, he has written short stories, many technical articles, whitepapers, and research papers. The Enclave series are his first novels. view profile

Published on February 07, 2020

Published by

60000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Action & Adventure

Reviewed by

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