My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was acquired by me for free on Amazon after the author contacted me directly to request a review at The Romance Evangelist.
When I first started reading THE CRY FOR FREEDOM, I was entertained by the introduction of our heroine, Hannah Corbett, when she met Marcus Durham, a mysterious handsome stranger who took a special interest in her while she was attempting to avoid yet another in a series of boring social events. As the story progressed, our Hannah morphed into a Mary Sue character whose only faults (headstrong, tomboy, more interested in the outside world than in parties and social gossip, etc) are the ones that our modern sensibilities would see as assets in the conflicts about to tear her world apart. Although at first it appeared to me that Marcus would be set up as Hannah’s eventual love interest, in THE CRY FOR FREEDOM, they only encounter each other sporadically as the conflict between those who support the Crown and those who want freedom from its rule morphs into full-out war.
THE CRY FOR FREEDOM features a whirlwind of activity as Hannah’s insular world is blown apart by enemies both within and without. After suffering incredible personal losses, Hannah insists on volunteering as a spy in the New York household of her own grandfather. Of course, in the grand tradition of all Mary Sues, she manages to overhear all kinds of incredibly useful information, thus proving wrong all those who thought her too young and inexperienced to be an effective asset. While Hannah’s life has been in upheaval, her brother Jonathan has suffered just as greatly, and we see periodically how the tragic events occurring in Virginia have affected his personal life as well. Meanwhile, the mysterious Marcus pops up here and again throughout the story, including in New York, where Hannah isn’t sure whether she could ever trust someone working on the same side of the people who tried to destroy her family. And then the book just…ends.
The Amazon blurb for THE CRY OF FREEDOM claims it’s the first in the Winds of Betrayal series, but for me, that description was incredibly misleading. This isn’t the first book in a series — it’s the first book in a serial. In a serial, each succeeding installment is structured like an individual chapter in a book, instead of a complete story connected to additional complete stories as the word “series” would imply. This distinction became all too obvious in THE CRY FOR FREEDOM, when just as it seemed Marcus and Hannah might have an actual romantic moment together, the next line was a title promotion of the third Winds of Betrayal book, followed by a brief excerpt. (Wait, wasn’t I just reading Book One? What happened to Book Two?) There is also a Book Four scheduled for release later in 2014, but for me, the Winds of Betrayal series/serial ends here.
Ultimately, THE CRY FOR FREEDOM had just enough plot to keep me reading, but not enough for me commit to additional books/chapters. Your mileage may vary.