The Blooding of Jack Absolute and Absolute Honour

  By Dawn, 6 April 2007; Revised
The Blooding of Jack Absolute and Absolute Honour
Two books by C.C Humphreys

C.C. Humpreys is a Canadian born author now living in London. Being a relatively new novelist, his first book was published in 2002 . His name was first made as an actor and playwright. The main character, Jack Absolute, is based on a character in the play "The Rivals" that was played by the author. The French Executioner and Blood Ties are other novels by C.C. Humpreys

The two books are set close together in time and Absolute Honour references events that occur in The blooding of Jack Absolute. That said, it is not necessary to read both as they are complete stories, independent of each other.

The story leads us through the early life of our hero, Jack Absolute, in the mid 1700's. It gives us a glimpse of the man he will become: Red Coat, Lover, Spy , and Officer. The two books combined offer locals from the back streets of London to the Jacobite concaves of Rome, the battlefields of Spain and Canada and the open sea of the Atlantic. They provide a rip roaring adventure through a world long gone. If the author description of the plans of Abraham and the surrounding area is any indication of other locals, they are accurate. Some years ago, I had the opportunity to walk that area (it is now a park in the middle of Quebec city edged by the Citadelle of Quebec)

In The Blooding of Jack Absolute you are introduced to Jack at a point in his life where everything is changing. He has been claimed by his parents and his status is changed. He is off to London to learn all the things a young nobleman should know. The author allows us a peek into the lives and prejudices of eighteenth century England before sending us on a mission to the wilds of Canada and the side of General Wolfe. In the end, Jack will learn that the blood does not make the man.

In Absolute Honour the reader and Jack will learn what honour really is eighteenth century style. Here, Jack is back in the spy business and in search of Jacobites after a bit of adventure on the high seas. The reader is given a look at the motivations for that group and how it is to find that peoples motives are not always what they seem.

The author’s style is intriguing and compelling. Now, to the part that all history buffs are interested in : is it accurate? From what I know, it’s not bad. I’ll be the first to admit that this time period is not my strongest so I may be off, but from the parts that I do know - the battle of the plains of Abraham, the settings in Canada and a little on the Jacobite rebellion, things seem well researched and understood by the author. He claims to have walked the areas in question with the exception of the battlefield in Spain, and that is something I can believe. In his author’s notes he tells where he has taken liberties and where he got his information from. I did really like the inclusion of the grenades, one aspect of warfare in the time period I never really considered. Here, he cites his source as a period manual: Royal Engineers Field Instructions, a book I would find interesting.

These two books are of that group that, once you start, you really don’t want to put them down and, at the end, you are hoping for more. Fortunately for his fans, Jack has one more adventure in Jack Absolute the original book in the adventures, but that is another whole review. If I had a criticism of the author, it would be that his villains are a bit transparent. A little more depth, particularly in the case of the main bad guy in Absolute Honour, would have been nice.

All in all, a good read. 3.5 out of 5 stars.