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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Billy Gogan: Gone fer Soldier is a work of historical fiction set during the brutal time of the Mexican-American War, and was penned by author Roger Higgins. Forming the second novel in the Billy Gogan series after Billy Gogan, American, we see the continuation of this young Irish-American immigrant’s personal journey to liberty and a new life. Enlisted in the U.S. Army alongside the likes of the infamous Texas Rangers and General Ulysses S. Grant, Billy finds himself with the Fourth Infantry amongst some of the bloodiest battles that took place in defense of the American people. So begins a harrowing and varied journey in the life of a young soldier, with influences and experiences that will last Billy a lifetime.
Author Roger Higgins has developed a lovable rogue and powerful protagonist in the young and often impressionable Billy Gogan, whose Irish charm and quick smarts never desert him through his most dangerous experiences. Through Billy’s eyes, we are forced to see the mass tragedy and personal losses that soldiers endured in America’s recent history, as well as the civilian life that runs close alongside the soldiers and their culture at the time. The unique perspective of an immigrant soldier is well developed and astutely created, leaving Billy room to question the actions of himself and those around him, and the nature of the war itself. Overall, Billy Gogan: Gone fer Soldier is a superb and high-quality historical novel that all war and historical fiction fans will enjoy, but also a sensitive portrayal of a young man developing his identity in a new world.