Author: Sam Angus
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Source: I received a complimentary ARC in exchange for a honest review.
On the brink of World War II, a family forced out of their London home flees to the country. Wolfie and his older sister Dodo are devastated to leave behind everything they’ve ever known, but they begin settling into their new life.
One day, they come across an orphaned fowl, which they raise as Hero, a strong and beautiful horse who lives up to his name when he saves the children from a fire.
Wolfie and Dodo find comfort in their new life, but the war is escalating quickly and horses are needed for combat. One night, Hero is stolen, and the children are shattered. Years then pass without any indication Hero will return. It’s only when Wolfie becomes a stable hand that he discovers Hero has ended up working in the mines under terrible conditions. Then and there, Wolfie resolves to save Hero, a plan that places both of their lives in jeopardy. Together again, can they will survive?
Last year I read Soldier Dog by Sam Angus and really enjoyed it. Well, maybe enjoyed isn't the right word, since I was bawling my eyes out every few pages, but for a book meant to make you cry, it was good.
Combining that with the fact that I love horses and I was excited when I got the chance to review A Horse Called Hero. Unfortunately, this one really fell short of my expectations.
I think my biggest issue was with the language Sam Angus used. It was very flowery and lyrical and I found it convoluted and difficult to follow. Especially for a middle grade book. I appreciate a good metaphor now and then, but this was a bit overboard.
I also got a bit confused with the passage of time. I thought about 6-8 months had passed, but then all of a sudden Hero was two years old and I was majorly confused.
My third complaint was that some of the events of the book seemed a bit random. Like when Hero entered the race, I thought that was going to go somewhere rather than be a stand alone event.
My favourite part of this one was the historical aspects involved with WWII and the 1940's in general. However, these weren't terribly plentiful and it wasn't even to save this book for me.
Overall, I preferred Sam Angus's Soldier Dog over this one. The language threw me off and there wasn't enough other stuff going on to save this one for me.
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