Book Reviews

Review: The 48 by Donna Hosie

If you’ve been searching for a historical fiction meets science fiction book look no further than The 48. From the premise alone I was hooked, but I devoured this book in one day.


Twins Charlie and Alex Taylor are the newest time travelers recruited to the Forty-Eight, a clandestine military group in charge of manipulating history. The brothers arrive in 1536 feeling confident, but the Tudor court is not all banquets and merriment: it is a deep well of treachery, torture, lust, intrigue, and suspicion.

The boys’ mission to prevent Henry VIII from marrying Jane Seymour is further complicated when Alice, a fellow trainee, appears under mysterious and brutal circumstances–and when whispers of an uprising within the Forty-Eight reach their ears.


(Disclaimer: I received this free book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

I adored the concept of The 48 from the first page. There’s nothing I love more than historical fiction meets science fiction. I mean, can you blame me? Not only that, but the fact that we are reading about this story from alternating perspectives, gives the whole book a well rounded feel. There are layers upon layers of intrigue and mystery. It really never stops. And you get so caught up from the beginning.

We are learning about this unique moment in history from all these various fronts. Like surveying a battle from each side. Because of this, we are able to see how all these unique motivations combine. They’re like shooting colors from different angles that are combining, canceling each other out, all in front of us. But in reality there’s back stabbing, betrayal, and deception.

(In terms of diversity we have a main character who is gay – just in cause anyone was interested!)

Wrenches are thrown into plans, a big one from the beginning, and suddenly everything dissolves. Nothing is truly how it seems and we aren’t sure which way is up. The entire book we are struggling to figure out what’s going on and how the pieces will all fall. You have time traveling, a moment of extreme instability, and an unsettled king. What could go wrong?


In terms of characters, I, predictable, love Lady Margaret (a narrator within the court). But what I love about her, is that she’s trying to survive. The circumstances aren’t ideal for her. She has to marry for a position in court and one that is deemed favorable to the king. It isn’t for love nor is it someone who is even attractive to her. So she’s really just trying to move her fate as much as she can.

And that’s really the crux of it. Is that this book is a book about survival. Everyone from Jane Seymour, Lady Margaret, the brothers, and even the antagonists. They are all trying to carve a path for themselves and live another day. Oftentimes this requires sacrifice or even getting our hands dirty.

And we have to ask ourselves if we have the power, the bravery, to choose to become the person we want to be? Despite everything? Even when it’s the harder road because that’s how we will remain true to who we are.

You can find The 48 on Goodreads, Amazon, BookDepository, and Indiebound.


If you could go back in time to a historical moment, which would you choose?

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