Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Oasis Listen in Prime Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable intro to the Bakumatsu period, 23 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Milligan and the Samurai Rebels (Milligan Adventures Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I picked this one up on a whim, as I normally steer well clear of the numerous successors to Flashman that are popping up on the e-book market. However, one of my biggest regrets was that Flashman never made his way into the Bakumatsu period (1853-1868) when Japan suddenly discovered the world. It's a really cool era in world history, with loads going on and lots of iconic people and happenings. 'Milligan and the Samurai Rebels' manages to cover most of the most notable events between 1862 and 1865, when things started getting really interesting.
The action's fast-paced, sending the lily-livered hero careening across most of Japan in an entertaining fashion - it's not Flashman, but I wasn't expecting it to be so, so I wasn't disappointed. The plot stretches the boundaries of credibility in places, but it works well enough and keeps Milligan on the move.
The best part of the book is the historical and cultural aspects. I'm quite well-versed in Japanese history, so I didn't learn much that was new, but for someone fresh to the topic, they couldn't go far wrong with this. The historical background (Perry, the coming of the Black Ships) is all there. It's nice to see the French getting a look in as well. Viewers of the Tom Cruise film 'The Last Samurai' may be surprised to learn that the character he plays is based on a Frenchman. Trust Hollywood to obfuscate history to pander to the US market. I enjoyed the breezy factual parts so much, it was quite a shock to reach the end and find no historical note! Definitely a failing - a historical fiction novel needs one, even if here it's quite easy to sort out fact and fiction. Similarly, a list of real historical personages wouldn't go amiss. Saigo Takamori's significance might well escape a casual reader; ditto with Sakamoto Ryoma.
This brings me on to the most necessary thing: a sequel! The Bakumatsu has yet to reach its dramatic climax in 1865. Milligan's started off very promisingly: it would be a real shame if this was an orphaned series. Surely he has to cover the Boshin War? There's hints too of waht will become the Satsuma-Choshu alliance - will we see it come to fruition?
Finally, two trivial things: I was saddened not to see Milligan get mixed up in the fight at the Ikedaya, one of the cooler swordfights in Japanese history, with the iconic Shinsengumi swordsmen duking it out with fanatical Choshu rebels. And as for Choshu, having lived in what was once Choshu Han, it was a novelty to see them portrayed as a bunch of fanatical maniacs: not how the museums in Hagi tell it at all!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail
Tracked by 1 customer

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Sep 2012 12:52:13 BDT
Last edited by the author on 23 Sep 2012 12:53:28 BDT
Andrew,
Many thanks for your review. Glad you enjoyed the book.
I hadn't considered adding a historical note, but I take your point that it would be helpful for some readers. I'll think about creating one.
A sequel is definitely planned, but may be a while yet!
Regards,
Simon Alexander Collier

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Oct 2012 13:25:52 BDT
I'm glad to hear there's a sequel in the works! I'll be keeping an eye out for it for sure!

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jun 2013 04:29:05 BDT
Historical Timeline, Real Historical Figures and Japanese Terms Used sections now added to the e-book. Thanks for the suggestion! The sequel should be out early next year.
Regards,
Simon Alexander Collier

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jul 2013 10:44:39 BDT
Ooh, lovely! Great news about the sequel - I'll keep my eye out for it with considerable anticipation...

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jan 2016 06:57:40 GMT
Andrew - ebook of the sequel (Milligan and the Reluctant Shogun) is now up. The paperback should be up in a few days.
And your comment about the famous fight at the Ikedaya Inn gave me an idea for this second book. I couldn't get the Ikedaya incident to fit the timeline, as it happened during the setting of the first book, but a similar bloodbath at an inn happens in the new novel. Thanks for the idea! And hope the sequel doesn't disappoint.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jan 2016 10:02:27 GMT
Oh, how splendid! Talk about something nice to come home to! I've just moved back to Japan after 2 months in the UK, so I'm definitely in the mood for some samurai shenanigans. I'm sure I'll enjoy it!
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details