About the book, Liberty Bell and the Last American
- 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.
Purchase and discussion links for this book:
Paperback | Kindle | Goodreads
About the author, James Stoddard
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.
Connect with James:
Website | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads
The blurb for Liberty Bell and the Last American calls it “a humorous and poignant celebration of America and its Constitution,” and there is no more accurate description. Part speculative fiction, part romance, part action-adventure, part coming-of-age novel, and all heart, this book is a pun-filled romp through a version of American History that might be seen through a fun-house mirror from a thousand years in the future, and I loved it. Sure, the puns (Liberty Bell, the young protagonist, is from the Southern Bells, and her siblings include her sister Tink, short for Tinker) and pop-culture references (going to hell in a walmart cart) fly freely, but consider: if someone from that far in the future peered at us, then added a global Black Out and took away all context, they’d probably come up with similar references and turns of phrase. It’s important to note: this novel is much closer to Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy than it is to Piers Anthony’s Xanth books, but could be considered a descendant of both.
In Liberty Bell, author James Stoddard has given us a vibrant young woman, traveling away from home for the first time and getting thrown into a series of adventures that include plummeting from a moving train, showing off the kind of survival skills that would impress any Girl or Boy Scout, and holding her own in both political and philosophical dialogue with characters who are all her elders, though some are older than others. (There’s really no way to give any level of detail without risking spoilers.)
Stoddard, like Adams, has also made this novel, in part, a book about another book. In this case that’s The Americana, which seems to be a combination of commonplace (though many of the quotations are mis-attributed, out of context, or just altered) and historical commentary about the (fictional) world these people inhabit. (Note to the author: Publishing that as a companion to this story would be awesome.) Some of the quotes and comments are hilarious, others are provocative: where did the author of The Americana get that story or piece of data?
What I really loved about this book is that beneath all the puns and preposterous situations, there’s a close look at the true meaning of patriotism and what it means to be an American, and what the constitution really says. The author notes that this was written before the 2016 election and is not meant to endorse or criticize any party, which is true, but it’s also true that the real love story isn’t Liberty Bell and her accidental partner in crimes and misdemeanors with a cause, but the author, the reader, and their love of country.
This book is written in an easily accessible style, the story is well-paced and the plot makes sense, but I feel the best audience for this novel will be those who have a better-than-average knowledge of American history, because the references are much more enjoyable if you are familiar with the source material.
Goes well with: grilled freshly-caught fish and clear spring water.
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
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.)
Visit the Other Stops on This Tour
Click to visit the Lone Star Literary Life tour page for direct links to each post 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||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|
|10/30/22||The Plain-Spoken Pen||Review|
|10/31/22||Shelf Life Blog||Review|
|11/01/22||Forgotten Winds||Author Interview|
|11/02/22||Rox Burkey Blog||Review|
|11/03/22||Chapter Break Book Blog||Review|
blog tour services provided by
Always love your excellent reviews & food/drink pairings. This sounds like a hoot of a book. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Thank you so much for your wonderful review. You have a beautiful website. Originally, I was told the book should be aimed at the Young Adult market, because of Liberty Bell’s age. I disagreed for the very reason you mention: although young adults would understand the references to Washington, Martin Luther King, etc, older cultural references to Lucy Ball or Waynejohn the Pilgrim were before their time. Likewise, details of the Louisiana Purchase or the Alamo (except in Texas) might be lost to them.
Rereading your Note to Author in your review, I thought I should mention that a bit of folklore from “The Americana” can be found in my short story, “The Battle of York,” which can be read for free at http://www.james-stoddard.com/the-battle-of-york/ and a list of the quotations by famous Americans that I used can be found at http://www.james-stoddard.com/quotes/ Thanks again!