The Assiduous Quest of Tobias Hopkins by James Faro — A Review

tobyThe Assiduous Quest of Tobias Hopkins by James Faro

RaeleighReads rating: 4 out of 5 coffee cups

“Another shot came from the fort across the bay, this time sending a tower of spray a few yards off the stern. Toby stuffed the arm back amongst the wreckage and got to his feet. There may be something he could use below.”

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Hmm, where to start with this one? Assiduous Quest is a good little read. For those who like the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, you will enjoy the setting of this novel. Although I suspect Faro is more historically accurate.

I was utterly impressed with the writing itself in this novel. The prose flowed nicely, pacing was good, dialogue was character-appropriate and consistent, characters showed depth and growth, and the plot took quite a few meanders off its main path.

My criticisms are that it lacked action (If you’ve been following along, you know I really like action!), and the ending felt too abrupt.

This novel absolutely built suspense, particularly toward the very end, but it was missing a bit of spark as far as the action of the main character was concerned. Many of the side characters experienced quite a bit of actual, physical action in their parts, but Mr. Tobias Hopkins was more of an internal character. Even during the climax of the novel, he didn’t seem as involved physically as I would have liked. Now, there will be those of you that argue with me and say that Tobias is an internal kind of guy, and so him not experiencing a whole lot of running about, pistol shooting, sword chopping, etc. is absolutely within character. And you would be totally correct. Tobias is an introvert. I love that about him, but since he didn’t engage in much action, things somehow fell a little flat with him.

My only other quibble was that there was not nearly enough of this book! After things come to a head and the seamen arrive in the colonies, it’s like we got in a very big hurry to wrap things up and have done with it! I wanted more — more explanation, more time for things to play out with Toby’s and John Fowler’s separate ventures, I wanted to know what happened with Elizabeth, and I was not satisfied with how things went with Mr. Groot. It just all felt too rushed. Now, I consider that criticism a testament to how wonderful the rest of this novel was. I wonder, if perhaps the author would consider turning this into a series. I know I would keep reading to find out what happens to everyone. You made me feel invested in the characters, please don’t leave me hanging like this. 🙂

I would absolutely recommend this book to those who like historical fiction of the 17th century. Those who like Pirates, as I mentioned above, will enjoy being thrust back into the realm of Port Royal, Tortuga, and the colonies. And those who like a book with a bit of mystery and suspense will likely enjoy this very much. Another series that came to mind while reading this was Master and Commander. If you liked those books, you will probably like Assiduous Quest.

Some thoughts you may find useful:

This was my first foray into the historical thriller genre, and it was so enjoyable that I think I may start consistently picking it up over the next few months.“– Riyadad Ullah on Goodreads

The author did a wonderful job at creating mystery and suspense and adventure and combining it altogether. It was an enjoyable read. “– Regina Mhairi on Goodreads

Some other opinions you may be interested in:

“In the opening paragraph, author James Faro poses a question that promises an adventure, and he doesn’t disappoint. “– Tonya from Texas on Amazon

“There is plenty of action and humor to keep us glued to the story and on the edge of our seats.”– Terry W. Sprouse on Amazon


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