Book Blog Tour: LIBERTY BELL AND THE LAST AMERICAN by James Stoddard

LIBERTY BELL AND THE LAST AMERICAN
by
James Stoddard
Alternative History / Science Fiction
Pages: 347 pages
Publication Date: April 4, 2021
SCROLL DOWN FOR A GIVEAWAY!
Americans love their Constitution. In seventeen-year-old Liberty Bell’s era it has become a myth.
Centuries after the Great Blackout obliterates the world’s digitized information, America’s history is forgotten. Only confused legends remain, written in The Americana, a book depicting a golden age where famous Americans from different eras lived and interacted with one another during the same time.
Raised on the stories and ideals from The Americana, Liberty Bell joins secret agent Antonio Ice on a quest for her country. But in the Old Forest, forgotten technologies are reawakening. Historic figures such as Albert Einstein, Harriet Tubman, and Thomas Jefferson are coming to life.
The source of their return, a mystery hidden since before the apocalypse, lies waiting for Liberty. Her knowledge of The Americana holds the key to unraveling the riddles of the past.
Will the American continent return to the freedom of Liberty’s forefathers? Or will it descend into a dark age of tyranny? The choices she makes will determine its fate. For, as The Americana says, “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it—and forfeit all coupons, discounts, and travel miles.”
Filled with quotations from exceptional Americans, here is a humorous and poignant celebration of America and its Constitution.
Click to purchase!
review-2

4 stars!

A clever and imaginative tale of a quest through a future America.

Liberty Bell and the Last American is a highly-imaginative, amazingly clever, fast-paced romp through a futuristic American landscape after the country has been laid waste in the Great Blackout. Hundreds of years have passed since the devastation of the planet and its peoples, in which few physical books and nothing that depended on electricity survived. However, during the ensuing centuries, the remnants of the population left on the American continent had cobbled together a version of their history, verbally handed down through the generations and combined with a single found copy of quotations by famous people to create a foundational work called “The Americana.” Unfortunately, the result somewhat resembled what you got at the end of the child’s game known as “Telephone.” Written in “Old American,” not everyone could read the original version, relying solely on modern interpretations. Liberty Bell was one of the few who learned the old language.

Liberty Bell is a lively and lovely young woman. This is her first trip away from her home on her own, so she’s understandably a bit timid at first. However, as her journey is interrupted (and takes a wild left turn), she rarely wavers in her confidence and determination to do the right thing for her country (of which she has a naïve understanding) and for her companions.

The author is supremely clever in reimagining the language of the day, recombining idioms, maxims, proverbs, or aphorisms into new common phrases. Old ideas jumbled together with current cultural references entertained me to the very end and are probably my favorite element in the book.

But while the malapropisms shine, the author ingeniously uses actual quotations from historical figures to develop their dialogue throughout the story. The literal battle of quotes between chess pieces representing Jefferson and Churchill left me in awe. Winnowing through what was surely hundreds of documented utterances by these two and coming out with such a coherent whole is an amazing feat to me.

The landscape through which the characters wander is also the result of taking reality and revising it to account for the alterations of time, climate, and supposedly lost source documents. At times, I was reminded of Dorothy’s journey through Oz on her way to the Emerald City; not only did the scenery have some of the same ‘look and feel,‘ but there was also the quest-like nature of the journey itself.

Stoddard has created a unique, fresh, and very entertaining work. I recommend LIBERTY BELL AND THE LAST AMERICAN for readers who like tales of quests with elements of magic and SciFi, coming-of-age stories, and especially for those who enjoy and are familiar with American history. (A copy of the Constitution and Amendments are included at the end of the book as an extra.)

James Stoddard’s short fiction has appeared in science fiction publications such as “Amazing Stories” and “The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.” “The Battle of York” was included in Eos Books’ Years Best SF 10, and “The First Editions” appeared in The Year’s Best Fantasy 9 from Tor Books. His novel, “The High House” won the Compton Crook Award for best fantasy by a new novelist and was nominated for several other awards. He lives with his wife in a winding canyon in West Texas.

GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

THREE WINNERS:
2 winners each receive a Signed Paperback copy of
LIBERTY BELL AND THE LAST AMERICAN
1 winner receives a $25 B&N eGift card
(U.S. only; ends at midnight, 11/4/22.)
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
OR VISIT THE PARTICIPATING BLOGS DIRECTLY:

10/25/22

Hall Ways Blog

Author Audio

10/25/22

The
Page Unbound

Notable Quotables

10/26/22

Bibliotica

Review

10/26/22

LSBBT Blog

BONUS Promo

10/27/22

It’s Not All Gravy

Guest Post

10/27/22

Boys’ Mom Reads!

Review

10/28/22

The Book’s Delight

Excerpt

10/28/22

Reading
by Moonlight

Review

10/29/22

StoreyBook Reviews

Review

10/30/22

The Plain-Spoken Pen

Review

10/31/22

Shelf Life Blog

Review

11/01/22

Forgotten
Winds

Author Interview

11/01/22

Jennie
Reads

Review

11/02/22

Rox Burkey Blog

Review

11/03/22

Chapter
Break Book Blog

Review

11/03/22

Book Fidelity

Review

blog services provided by

6 Comments

Filed under Action/Adventure, Book Reviews, Dystopian/Post-apocalyptic, Fiction, Texas author, Texas book

6 responses to “Book Blog Tour: LIBERTY BELL AND THE LAST AMERICAN by James Stoddard

  1. Thanks so much for your splendid review. It’s interesting and gratifying that you mention the dialogue between Jefferson and Churchill, because I struggled with that. Their discussion was originally twice as long, and my editor, Betsy Mitchell, helped me see where I needed to cut it down.

    Interestingly, you’re the second person to compare the book to “The Wizard of Oz,” which would never have occurred to me.

  2. This is such an excellent review, and knowing how the author used so many of my favorite language tools makes me want to read it even more. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s