Rebels is an interesting mix of history and fiction; the illustrations are excellent and the storytelling crisp. The perspective is very much the author’s home area in Vermont; the first 6 chapters follow a young man from the area who is drafted into the rebellion through Ethan Allen. The last 4 chapters are single stories from various perspectives: a redcoat, an Indian, and two women. Yes, this is very jingoistic; the author makes no bones about it. But this is also grounded and a great way to explore the history of the time.
The illustrations are well done though I admittedly had a hard time following the story at several points. But the look and feel of the era are well written and drawn. All the characters can be classified as simple decent folk; the hardships they leave behind in order to join the war are given as much time as the battles themselves.
The latter stories do feel a bit rushed – they are meant to be vignettes and so can feel far less personal than the earlier story of Seth Abbott. Certainly, Seth Abbott was modeled on the author’s father and therefore there is a lot of nuance to him as well as the rest of the Green Mountain Boys.
The book includes extras – author perspectives, covers, illustration notes, and the process to create the graphic novel. I would have loved more information about the history than what was given but do appreciate the extras all the same.
In all, a beautifully presented and subtle perspective on the American Revolution. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.