BY NEIL PERRY GORDON
Publication Date: May 31, 2020
Paperback & eBook; 324 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Two teenage boys from San Francisco set off in the summer of 1898 into the goldfields of the Alaskan wilderness.
Warned by his father to conceal his Jewish heritage from the ruffians he may encounter, Samuel Rothman changes his name to the less conspicuous Percy Hope. This fateful decision gives a yet-unnamed mining village a new identity and catapults Percy into a world where the good and the righteous must face greedy and ruthless adversaries.
Along a waterway known as Turnagain Arm, the newly named Hope City and the more established Sunrise are like opposite sisters. The good and virtuous Hope, with a Catholic church led by the influential Reverend O’Hara, admonishes residents against committing the seven deadly sins. In Sunrise, villainous saloon owner Magnus Vega tempts prospectors with whiskey, gambling, and women.
Hope City weaves the tale of a young man falling down a rabbit hole of unexpected hardships and struggling to find his way out, amid a wild and unforgiving environment where ambitious men and women seek their fortunes.
This fast-paced adventure is full of unforeseen twists and will delight all readers looking for a rich and dramatic page-turner with a shocking twist.
AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | INDIEBOUND
Praise for Hope City
“… Gordon’s beautifully imagined prose has clarity and dimension, and he keeps the pacing relatively quick and does justice to the impressive array of characters. Samuel’s emergence from a typical teenage self-doubt is beautifully imagined. Ripe on unforeseen twists and shocking turns, this fast-paced adventure will delight action-adventure fans as well as lovers of nuanced coming-of-age tales. This is a complete entertainment package.” -The Prairies Book Review
“The hunt for gold was a time of discovery and excitement for many people. Neil Gordon Perry has crafted a story that takes this time period and allows readers to connect with two friends on their journey in Alaska. Hope City is the type of story that will remind people of the beloved stories like Call of the Wild that bring the adventures of the past to a present audience in an engaging way…” -The Nerdy Girl Express
“…But the real treasure in Hope City is to be found in its character development with Gordon once again demonstrating a gift for nuance that vividly brings his characters to life. A rich and dramatic page-turner with a shocking twist, Hope City proves a must-read and is highly recommended.” -Book Viral
Sam Rothman and Liam Kampen are headed for the wilds of Alaska in an attempt to strike it rich and have some adventure. After a stirring speech by Jack London at their high school graduation, Sam and Liam leave their hometown of San Francisco to venture to the Turnagain Arm region. Before departure, Sam's father warns him that his Jewish name may not be the best to use in Alaska and Sam decides on the name of Percy Hope. Upon the boy's arrival, Magnus Vega, a local saloon owner, declares that he will name the neighboring town after the first person off the boat. Percy becomes the talk of the town before even striking gold. As Percy and Liam get settled and learn the ways of the land, they see that Hope follows the rules of the Catholic church and Reverend O'Hara while the neighboring town of Sunrise is ruled over by Magnus and his devious ways. Percy and Liam find out what they are made of as they are captured in the rivalries between towns, enemies and religious groups.
As Jack London tells Sam, every good story needs conflict, danger, a battle between good and evil, a relatable hero as well as twists and turns. This is exactly what Hope City delivers in a fast-paced and exciting read. I loved the setting of wild Alaska during the gold rush and the many different settings that Sam and Liam's adventures took them through from the rivers of the Turnagain Arm, to the new towns, the native villages and the open waters. Both Liam and Sam were great characters who took different paths while in Alaska offering two different views. The point of view switched between Sam/Percy and Magnus which confused me a little at first, but became clear after the first few chapters. Through these two different points of view the fight between good and evil was evident; however, what makes a person good or bad was more difficult to tell. The inclusion of the Asatru religion made for many more interesting twists and turns as well. With a very exciting and unexpected ending, Hope City makes for a wonderful historical adventure.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
About the AuthorBeginning with his debut novel in 2018–A Cobbler’s Tale, followed by Moon Flower, The Righteous One, The Bomb Squad and Hope City, Neil Perry Gordon has established himself as a well-respected and prolific historical fiction novelist. His story telling ability has earned him high editorial praise from the likes of Kirkus, Midwest Book Review and others, including hundreds of four and five star reader reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.
Neil attributes his love of the writing process from his formative education at the Green Meadow Waldorf School, where he learned that subjects such as music, dance and theater, writing, literature, legends and myths, were not simply things to be read about and tested, but lessons to be experienced.
His creative writing methods and inspiration have been described as organic; meaning that he begins his work with a general storyline for his characters, rather than working with a formal, detailed outline. This encourages his writing to offer surprising twists and unexpected outcomes, which readers have celebrated. His novels have the attributes of being driven by an equal balance between character development and face-paced action, which moves his stories along at a swift page-turning pace.
Readers can learn more about Neil Perry Gordon, by visiting his website and blog at: NeilPerryGordon.com. You can also follow Neil on Facebook and Goodreads.