A town. A forest. A hero.
You can’t go far without a quick brain and some rule-bending in a place like Locksley. After its vast car plants shut down, the prosperous town has become a wasteland of empty homes, toxic land and families on the brink. And it doesn’t help that the authorities are in the clutches of profit-obsessed Sheriff of Nottingham, in cahoots with underworld boss Guy Gisborne.
When his dad is framed for a robbery, Robin and his brother Little John are hounded out of Locksley and must learn to survive in the Sherwood forest, stretching three hundred kilometres and sheltering the free spirits and outlaws. But Robin is determined to do more than survive. Small, fast and deadly with a bow, he hatches a plan to join forces with Marion Maid, harness his inimitable tech skills and strike a blow against Gisborne and the Sheriff.
I received this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
Oh wow, and not in a good way. I really didn’t enjoy this. I think it will perhaps still be popular with teenage boys – especially if they enjoyed the Cherub series, but for me it was underwritten and didn’t really go anywhere.
For a book with heists in the subtitle, you get only one, right at the end, to set up a Robin Hood type personna. It just wasn’t enough for me. I love the Robin Hood legend, and I really wanted to love this. And while I liked some of the characters, the recognisable ones didn’t really age down that well.
Little John in particular looked to be okay until half way when his entire characterisation was wiped and restarted. Marion maid is okay; but didn’t really have the ring I wanted from Marion. Her family is excellent, but sadly this goes back to the ages – we have to have the outlaws and forest people be adults, and that will forever mess with the story. Robin himself read a little two dimensional, but I liked that his heart was in the right place. He’s trying to save his town and his family.
Plus Muchamore is a British author and this is being produced by a British publisher, so WHY is so much of the book Americanised? From little things like strip malls, to bigger things in how they talked and behaved, this is a book written for an American audience. I understand that, for a US release this works, but a good edit for a UK audience really wouldn’t have gone amiss. It was jarring and I feel will massively impact how well the book does here.
I did like some of the setting, the whole thing around Gisbourne, and the hacking. But that’s about it. The whole book is a prequel to one where Robin is more set up as Robin Hood character, and as a result not enough happens. This is all backstory, and reads like it.
Buy Robin Hood: Hacking, Heists and Flaming Arrows from Waterstones.