Today I have the honour of hosting a stop on the blog tour for John Kimbrey’s exciting WWI drama In Her Sights. Filled with deep characters, thoughtful detail, decisive action, and realistic repercussions In Her Sights will take you back in time and on the adventure of a lifetime.
Title: In Her Sights
Author: John Kimbrey
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: January 14, 2020
Genre: Historical Fiction
Themes: WWI, Gender Roles, Survival, Friendship, Family
Set at the outbreak of the Great War, the story depicts a young woman from a Gloucestershire village, tired with the constraints of her life in Edwardian Britain.
In 1916, her brother, a weak and introverted man is called up for military service. She sees an opportunity to finally compete with men in their own world and formulates a plan to go to war in his place.
In this unique and compelling tale of sibling love and extraordinary bravery, they learn to swap lives completely and she quickly adapts to her life as a man, seeking to fight alongside her male peers in war- torn France.
With many twists and turns, it demonstrates the very best and worst of soldiers of the time and brings a new perspective to the many aspects of war. With unbelievable conditions, great loyalty and unrivalled friendships, her world is then shattered as the military machine closes in. With her life now in danger, she battles to survive, bringing a conclusion the reader won’t see coming.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49494311-in-her-sights
Gender swaps, high stakes action, bad-ass lady leads and well researched historical settings – this baby has everything I look for in a war fiction read. Top it off with a beautiful relationship between siblings, a touch of sniper training, and the nitty gritty of trench life and no-man’s land and you have a complete experience. I particularly loved the attention that was paid to cleanliness during training, the makeshift latrines on the front lines, and the specificity of detail that was paid to the art of shooting.
Perhaps my only complaint is that some of the information was repeated in description as well as dialogue, but I know that this is an aesthetic preference on my part. With that being said there’s still plenty of action – both at home and overseas – to move the plot along nicely. I adored the hodgepodge representation of basic training, the spectrum of personalities and quirks to be found in the career officers, and the detail given to brewing the perfect cup of tea.
I enjoyed Ed’s spunk, Frank’s loyalty, and Bryan’s commitment to the Mitchell family over the years. And David too! I wasn’t expecting to like him as much as I did, but it was interesting to gain insight into those who were forced to stay behind. But what I loved the most was how even though some of the characters were described as weak throughout the book, that they all displayed strength and fortitude in their own unique ways.
This isn’t kind of book that is all action all of the time, but it’s carefully wrought and deep in it’s explorations. If you like a book that dives deep into it’s main characters then this might just be the one for you. If you like unexpected endings, a bit more realism than the standard happily ever after, and a little diversity in your period writing then I would absolutely recommend In Her Sights.
About the Author
John Kimbrey served in the Royal Marines for twenty-five years and has travelled the world extensively. He visited Antarctica three times on exploratory and scientific expeditions and was awarded the Polar medal. He lived in New Zealand for seven years, and now lives in Lincolnshire.
In Her Sights, his first novel, depicts the heroism of soldiers in the great war, demonstrates the very best and worst of soldiers of the time. It is the first book of a trilogy that focuses on this period, and, unexpectedly, its main protagonist is a woman. She thrives on many challenges the war offers her, and ultimately becomes a cool and calculated killer.
The sequel to In Her Sights is finished and John has several months of editing and fine tuning ahead of him before it is published.
John has enjoyed reading since childhood, and always felt he had a book in him, but now feels there are many more to come. His writing style is open and reactionary, and whether it’s a gift or luck, his creative mind always develops a variety of plotlines. He gets so absorbed sometimes that ideas flow quicker than he can write them down.
John loves the great outdoors and enjoys exercise. He cycles every week and makes regular visits to his local gym. He was widowed in 2014 and has two married children and three grandchildren.
Many thanks to Faye Rogers at Authoright for inviting me to participate in this tour, and for proving a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.