Opening the Ball – Nathaniel Simpson

Title: Opening the Ball
Author: Nathaniel Simpson

This book is about a young boy called Jonathan who is recruited into a mysterious paramilitary academy for gifted boys. When he and two of his friends are chosen to take part in an elite program, they must survive one of the bloodiest days of battle of the Civil War.

The plot was an interesting one, keeping me gripped from the start. It combines many of the aspects of literature that I like; clever plot twists, exciting action and the right level of emotion that draws you in and makes you really care for the characters. I like the introduction of time travel and the way it was used in the story, along with the way the characters and setting were authentic and believable.

The characters were very relatable and by the end of the book I really was concerned about each of them. Jonathan was a solid and well-rounded protagonist and I think that the author gave just enough back-story to him so that the reader could understand his personality and the way he was. Also I like the side characters as there were interesting personalities and it was surprising who I, as a reader, sympathised with.

The writing style was easily understandable and well-written. I found that the story was well researched and authentic when discussing the Civil War in America; with the weapons and clothing being very convincing to the reader, as well as the characters.

Overall I would give this 4 out of 5 stars because although I really loved the plot and the whole story, I found the ending to be a bit abrupt (this is probably due to it being the first in a series), however, I would still definitely recommend this.

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