Review: Escape from the Past: The Duke’s Wrath by Annette Oppenlander
Author: Annette Oppenlander
Publisher: Lodestone Books
Publish Date: July 31, 2015
Genre: YA Historical
Synopsis: When fifteen-year-old nerd and gamer Max Anderson thinks he's sneaking a preview of an unpublished video game, he doesn't realize that 1) He's been chosen as a beta, an experimental test player. 2) He’s playing the ultimate history game, transporting him into the actual past: anywhere and anytime. And 3) Survival is optional: to return home he must decipher the game's rules and complete its missions—if he lives long enough. To fail means to stay in the past—forever.
Now Max is trapped in medieval Germany, unprepared and clueless. It is 1471 and he quickly learns that being an outcast may cost him his head. Especially after rescuing a beautiful peasant girl from a deadly infection and thus provoking sinister wannabe Duke Ott. Overnight he is dragged into a hornets' nest of feuding lords who will stop at nothing to bring down the conjuring stranger in their midst.
I received a free copy of this book via the author in exchange for an honest review. This will not affect my decision in any way.
Characters: Max kind of had a good heart. He wanted to save the people he grew to love, but sometimes when he was irritated with Bero he just annoyed me. Bero’s and Max’s friendship was a weird one. At times they are on the best of terms, and other times, it’s like they want to fight each other.
I really liked the Duke. TBH I never learned how to say his name. I think it was Werner? He was really cool, and this book got me into knights. The peasant aspect was cool. It seemed as if this could be a real book. Everything seemed so real with the struggles of the peasants and the dangers of being a knight.
Plot: I love how well-researched Escape from the Past: TDW was! There were so many really cool facts weaved into the plot, it was awesome. I actually learned a lot about old-time-y German. I didn’t know they had castles. (I don’t know a lot about medieval Europe.) (Sorry but they don’t teach about that in American schools.)
Physically going into a role-playing video game is a dream come true. I would love to play a game like that, and I really enjoyed the idea that Oppenlander had. The last book that I read about “physically” playing in video games was Nexis by A.L. Davroe, and both books stack up well. I’d say Nexis and Escape from the Past: TDW were almost on the same level. I loved it!
I really liked the quests that Max had to do. It really was like a videogame with different levels of difficulty and multiple challenges in order to complete one. It was well thought out.
Ending: I’m so happy that it ended the way it did. I want more of Max going into the game! It seems as if no one really knows what’s going to happen, so I love the bit of mystery. Jimmy irritated me though. He should’ve believed his best friend. That’s like the basics rules of friendship. Always believe everything your friend tells you unless they give you a reason not to.
Overall: The Duke’s Wrath was a great read. Honestly, there was never a dull moment! It’s not something that can easily be put down. The characters were good, the setting was great! It was action-packed AND suspenseful. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Escape from the Past: The Duke’s Wrath and I cannot wait to see what happens next.
About the Author
Annette Oppenlander writes historical fiction for young adults. When she isn’t in front of her computer, she loves indulging her dog, Mocha, and traveling around the U.S. and Europe to discover amazing histories.
“Nearly every place holds some kind of secret, something that makes history come alive. When we scrutinize people and places closely, history is no longer a number, it turns into a story.”