Billy Battles is definitely not in Kansas anymore.
As Book 2 of the Finding Billy Battles trilogy opens, Billy is far from his Kansas roots and his improbable journeys are just starting.
The year is 1894 and Billy is aboard the S S China sailing to the inscrutable Far East. Trouble is not far behind. He has met a mysterious and possibly dangerous German Baroness. He has locked horns with malevolent agents of the German government and battled ferocious Chinese and Malay pirates in the South China Sea.
Later, he is embroiled in the bloody anti-French insurgency in Indochina–which quite possibly makes him the first American combatant in a country that eventually will become Vietnam. Then, in the Philippines, he is thrust into the Spanish-American War and the brutal anti-American insurgency that follows. But Billy’s troubles are only beginning.
As the 19th century ends and the 20th century begins, he finds himself entangled with political opportunists, spies, revolutionaries, and an assortment of vindictive and dubious characters of both sexes. How will Billy handle those people and the challenges they present? The answers are just ahead.
Review: I normally find the second book within a trilogy or longer series somewhat lacking in comparison to first. In fact, I’ve come to expect it as a given rule and start reading every sequel with that same expectation. Then, every once in a while as I’m sitting there feeling quite smug in my conviction, A Ronald E. Yates comes along with a sequel every bit as good as his previous five-star work. It’s mind-blowing.
Finding Billy Battles is an historical fiction series like no other and reads like a memoir making it all the more believable. The story quickly draws you in and doesn’t let go. There is so much going on, you’ll be riveted for hours.
This particular work picks right up from where the first ended and it’s like you never put it down. Billy Battle’s journey from the Wild-west to the Orient becomes fraught with adventure and new dangers as he finds himself caught-up in the middle of the Spanish-American war which is closely followed by the war for the Philippines. Not to mention his relationship with a German baroness whose character you cannot help but fall in love with. Another character I absolutely loved was Potts.
Then there’s Yate’s affinity for languages and colloquialism. I do not know all the languages, but judging from the ones I am fluent and know a little of, I found the phrasing and expressions to be spot-on; their use added much credibility to the story.
Billy ain’t in Kansas anymore!