I could not put this book down. It should definitely be part of the American School curriculum. I learned so much and it filled me with a new passion for historical fiction. The author has created a sensory rich atmosphere filled with characters and locations that come to life. The book enables us to put ourselves into the skin of a young African boy and see, smell, hear and feel all his incredible adventures and horrors as clearly as if we were there.
The first part of Nobody's Slave is a nail biting experience. We know that Madu isn't being baked for consumption in the hold of the ship but everything down to the ship is new to him. His fellow slaves and Madu make assumptions about the "red-faces" based on what they've heard that seem natural but the reader knows not to be true. The ending slows down considerably and is perhaps preachy for the modern audience. Madu, in the end, is the real focus of the novel and drives the plot and is a fascinating character to read.
Nobody's Slave is a good novel for readers who enjoy historical fiction. I didn't notice any typographical errors in the novel. Tim Vicary is an author who very clearly loves history and does his best to present events in an entertaining manner.
I enjoyed this historical fiction. The story starts off with a lot of drama and action. There are some points where it seems to become a little slow, however. I thought the narrative could use some work. For example, one chapter started off with two, uncredited lines of dialog, and no scene setup. This jolted me out of the narrative. I had to re-read this part a few times to understand what was going on. Another issue was that the POV jumped from one person to another during some of the later chapters. It's okay when there's a scene break, but it's confusing when it happens from one paragraph to the next. This doesn't occur in the early parts of the book, so the sudden appearance of POV shifts was jolting. Despite these issues, I have no regrets for the money and time I spent on this work, and it inspired me to learn more about some of the history that is depicted in the story.
The book starts so slowly that I was tempted to quit, but intrigued enough by newly presented characters to continue on a bit more. I’m glad I did. It’s obvious to see the relationships of the 2 sets of boys presented at the beginning of the book set the foundation, rocky though it may be, for the future of the 2 surviving boys. Also, the idyllic peace of the jungle home and on a large English boat contrast sharply with the upcoming war, cruel death, & the barbarism of a slave galley. Perhaps most horrifying of all are the attitudes that once accepted slavery as a normal aspect of life. History reflects well in this book, revealing that both good & evil exist in all races & cultures and the desire to be master of one’s own fate is endemic to all. Ranging from Africa to Mexico to Panama, the battles may be historic, but the characters prove that the basic human heart is moved by the same needs throughout time.
Tim Vicary's novel tells a story of slave trading with feeling and emotion both from the eye of the slaves and the captors. Based around real characters and events in the mid 1500's, this novel brings you on an action packed voyage with the renowned explorers Sir John Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake into the wilds of Africa and across the sea to the Spanish colonies of the Americas.
Nobody's Slave gives us an insight of what it might have been like for a captured slave through the eyes of Madu, a courageous African boy, taken just as he was about to become initiated into manhood by his tribe. Madu is brought on a voyage filled with fear and his faith in humanity, especially the "red face" is all but crushed. In the midst of the chaos, Madu forms an unlikely friendship with a young English sailor Tom Oakley and their faiths become intertwined.
Nobody's Slave captivates the reader with vivid characters, adventure and wise messages throughout the story. It's hard to believe what little thought was once given for fellow human beings, captured and sold as commodities like cattle and sleep. The book is shocking in places, the horrifying lengths that people went to just to make money exposed. I would recommend it to anyone interested in historical fiction and action/adventure. It is a definite page turner to the last.
I had my high school World History class read this to get a better understanding of the complexities of this time period. I found it to be a well-written story that puts human faces and feelings on the horrors of slavery. Ultimately though, it is a story about friendship and understanding between two young men coming of age in a turbulent time in history.
The life of two very different boys, from opposite ends of the earth, are fated to a union that will transform both their lives. One, an African boy, Madu, living his life in Africa and bordering on manhood in his own right. An English boy, Tom Oakley, on a sea voyage to capture African slaves. Neither of these boys could ever have fathomed what their meeting would bring about but would soon be in a life and death struggle together. This book really really touched my heart. What a wonderful read - sad, terrifying loses on both sides but together the boys manage, not only to survive, but to respect one another for life. The lesson they will learn will change their lives forever. The heartbreak both must suffer will teach both of them how precious and sacred life really is! Finding out, at the end of the novel, that all the historical events were true, even though the story is fiction, almost blew my mind. Sure puts a very different spin on the history we learned in school - and what a lesson for all of us to learn! I can't recommend this book enough. Read it in two days. Hard to put down. Enjoy! After finishing this book, I had to check and see what other books Vicary had written. Lo and behold, I already had purchased 6 of them..... yeah!!! Just had not read a first to get to know Tim Vicary's writing style. Very very much enjoy his style.