Adventure Abound! I, Walter by Mike Hartner Review

It’s review time! I was excited to receive a signed review copy of I, WALTER from the author, and I’m glad I gave the book a read. Here’s the cover and synopsis of I, WALTER by Mike Hartner.

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In a country and a time where favor and politics were both deadly, can an honest boy stay true to himself? Especially given his family background?

Walter Crofter was born in Elizabethan England, the youngest son of a poor family. After watching his father’s fall and the suffering it caused Walter learns from a young age that favor is fleeting. Young Walter leaves home to find his own way and is swept away on one of the ships in service to the crown.

The seas are full of dangers, from unforeseen storms to brutal pirates. During one of Walter’s many sea voyages he encounters a girl who will change his fortune. But in order to survive in a world where favor can bring a man a lifetime of good fortune or destroy him in the blink of an eye, Walter must stay true to himself and his values.

Walter faces the question we all face, are we what we are born into or can we become more? I, Walter is a tale of love, courage, and adventure.


Historical fiction is a love of mine, and I felt deeply rooted within the character’s mind and setting. The story is told by Walter long after all his adventures, when he’s much older. I really loved seeing the story told almost in a memoir format. In a way that slightly impeded my reading, and I think classifying the story as YA felt like a slight mismatch–though a coming-of-age story completely hits the mark, I, WALTER feels more like adult writing, given that Walter is much older when telling the story. The writing was pretty solid overall, and I loved seeing Walter as he travels on high seas and battles through treacherous pirate adventures.

If I had criticisms, I’d say (as I mentioned before) that YA didn’t really fit the bill for this book. It almost felt like the main character could’ve been over twenty while undergoing his coming-of-age story. I think my favourite parts of the book were the romance (ahh, the romance), which is strange because I’m not a big romance reader. It was definitely nice to see how this couple came to be in the first place.

Also, on the note of YA, I think the cover and synopsis** were a bit too vague and unclear. Neither screamed YA to me. But that’s just my opinion.

I also really loved the ending. A great resolution, and somewhat of a cliff-hanger … You’ll have to read to understand!

Overall rating: 3.75*, rounded up to 4 on Goodreads.

**The synopsis on the copy I received is different from the Goodreads synopsis. I think the Goodreads synopsis better summarizes the novel.

Happy reading and TGIF!

-S&S

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