Sunday, July 20, 2014

Boxers - Gene Luen Yang

Title: Boxers (Boxers & Saints #1)
Author: Gene Luen Yang
Pages: 325
Published: 2013
Challenges: I Love Libraries, Complete the Series, Historical Fiction
Genre: Historical Fiction, Graphic Novels
Edition: Paperback
Source: Library

Description: China, 1898. Bands of foreign missionaries and soldiers roam the countryside, bullying and robbing Chinese peasants.

Little Bao has had enough. Harnessing the powers of ancient Chinese gods, he recruits an army of Boxers--commoners trained in kung fu--who fight to free China from "foreign devils."

Against all odds, this grass-roots rebellion is violently successful. But nothing is simple. Little Bao is fighting for the glory of China, but at what cost? So many are dying, including thousands of "secondary devils"--Chinese citizens who have converted to Christianity. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: I first heard about this book from Michael Kindness on the podcast Books on the Nightstand, that he co-hosts with a colleague, Ann Kingman.  Not that I am gaining anything from this, but I would highly recommend downloading the podcast, as they have excellent book recommendations and discuss some really important topics and generally have a good time with it.

Anyways, after hearing the recommendation for the book and its sequel, Saints, I immediately sought out the books and being a fan of the Maus books by Art Spiegelman, it piqued my interest, even though this is more a fictionalized representation of the Boxer Rebellion.  I wasn't disappointed with the book and was able to get through the book more quickly than I had expected to, especially since it took me sometime to get through Blankets a number of years back.  I did think that it would take me awhile to get through the book, even though it was a graphic novel.

Bottom line: If you have read and enjoyed other historical graphic novels, both fiction and non-fiction, and have an interest in historical events in general, you probably would enjoy this as well.  The illustrations are well done and fit well with the tone of the book.  Highly recommended.

Rating: 4.5/5

Pages for 2014: 7398

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