08. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction, Teen Books

Boxers by Gene Luen Yang, 325 pages, read by Courtney, on 12/08/2013

Boxers begins the two-part story of the Boxer Rebellion, which took place in China at the end of the 19th century. Fed up by increasing presence of foreign missionaries and soldiers, a boy named Little Bao begins training in the traditional art of Kung Fu along with several others from the village. As foreign influence spreads, so too does the general sense of discontent among many of the Chinese commoners. Bao and his friends believe that they have taken on the power of their own gods; gods who help them win their battles against the “foreign devils” that appear to be taking over China. They travel from town to town, training more men (and even some women) to join the fight. As the violence reaches its apex, Bao finds his band of men winning over and over. Even still, there is a heavy price to pay as many of Bao’s own countrymen and women are being identified as “secondary devils” (Chinese converted to Christianity) and are slaughtered for it. Is this what the gods wanted?
The first half of this story is gripping and action-packed. It is difficult, however, to review this book without referencing the second, so I’ll save my thoughts on the work as a whole for my review of Saints.

Comments closed.