Day of Rebellion by Johnny O'Brien


Day of Rebellion by Johnny O'Brien

When Jack Christie's father disappears, the time-travelling teenager and his best friend Angus track him to a strange ice-bound future where China has evolved into a global superpower. Time has splintered and Jack and Angus must discover the Point of Divergence - the moment that history altered. Travelling back to 1860, they find themselves in the midst of the bloody Taiping Rebellion: a world of China warlords, empires and brave rebels. But Jack and Angus possess an object that all the warring factions want and, it's not long before the boys find themselves - and the future of the world - in grave danger.

About the Author

Johnny O'Brien

"Hi - my name is Johnny O'Brien. I grew up in the Borders in Scotland. I write mostly at the weekend - during the week I have a 'proper' job in an office where I work for a range of sinister global corporations. These days I live in the south of England and have four sheep and a springer spaniel with floppy ears. I am also married and have three kids - they all have normal ears!"

Johnny O’Brien was inspired to write the novel after seeing some of his grandad’s war medals in an old cupboard. “A few years ago my dad showed me some medals that his dad (my grandfather) had received during the First World War. He explained that my grandfather had been injured in the war and had later lost part of his leg. Apparently, my grandfather was reluctant to speak about how he got the injuries or how he won the medals. I don’t really know why. But I know what he did was brave – because I have a citation at home signed by the ‘Minister of War’ - Winston Churchill. Anyway, unlike millions of others, my grandfather survived the war and went on to have children and live to a ripe old age – although I never knew him. It got me thinking though. He made important choices in his life – he chose to fight in the war. It seems he chose to do something brave. Later he chose to have a family. If he had made different choices, of course, I might not be here.”

Q and A with Johnny O’Brien

Where did the idea for Day of the Assassins come from?
My wife, Sally, said that as I was always telling the kids stories I should write a book for kids. I told her the idea was ridiculous. Then, sometime later, I was looking through a cupboard at my Dad's house. We came across some of his old medals and things from when he was an officer in the Irish Guards in the First World War. There was an old trench telescope, a citation signed by Winston Churchill and even a bit of bone that he'd kept when he'd had his leg amputated after he was injured in 1918! That got me thinking...

How does it feel to have your first book published?

Well, I did history at university so that helped and the kids have been going through the GCSE curriculum - so I've been learning all sorts of new bits and pieces. Other than that it's mostly reading or the internet. It's surprising the range you have to cover - everything from where the guns are

The list is endless and there are lots of things that I'd like to have seen: in British history - the Battle of Britain, the Armada, Waterloo... probably nothing much original there... but there are also some questions it would be good to find out the answer to: who killed the Princes in the tower? (Or JFK for that matter) or further back how did Neanderthals co-exist with Homo Sapiens... in terms of people, well of course there are usual suspects – from Churchill to Cleopatra – but the person I would really like to meet is my Grand Dad – as I was too young to know him – and I would like to know about his experiences in the war and how he was injured. I have never managed to find out.

Back to the Future – if only to see a DeLorean go at 88 MPH – although I understand in the later films they replaced the engine with a Porsche engine to give the car the requisite zip!

Tardis. Enterprise has just too much tight nylon in a confined space – got to be a fire hazard.

Oh Dear. Ant and Bee; Richard Scarry's 'Busy Busy World'; Herge (the Tintin Books) endlessly, Goscinny and Underzo (the Asterix books) endlessly. And that was about it.

Simon Schama's a History of Britain - it's very long – and it might sink in second time round.

Captain Haddock - lots of scope for misbehaviour, but a heart of gold. Great house too, lots of strange friends and a cellar full of treasure. What more could you want?

I have an office at home - so usually it’s there at the weekend if I get a chance. Usually the dog comes and snoozes at my feet. I've never understood a dog can sleep so much during the day... and then all night as well!

A time travel adventure set in a (reasonably!) accurate historical context. The idea was that if you read it, you'd have fun - and you might even learn something by mistake in the process. Sorry that's two sentences - three in fact.

They're donning doublet and hose and heading back to the sixteenth century. Why? To save the world of course... But I've ditched the idea of writing it in iambic pentameters...

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Book Info


256 pages
Interest Age: From 9


Johnny O'Brien
More books by Johnny O'Brien

Author's Website


Publication date

1st September 2012



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