Teen Volunteer Review: A Place Called Armageddon

Boston Public Library's teen volunteer program has gone remote! As part of this program, local high schoolers share their thoughts on books, movies, and more on our blog. This week, Boston Latin School sophomore Kien Bui read A Place Called Armageddon by C.C. Humphreys. Check out why he loved it below!

A Place Called Armageddon is a historical fiction book written by C.C. Humphreys. It follows the story of Gregoras, an ostracized Greek soldier from the city of Constantinople. When I first saw the book and read the blurb, I immediately got hooked. As a big fan of history, I was not disappointed at all.
Gregoras is a Greek soldier who was exiled from the army. As punishment for an alleged crime, he is also missing a nose. The story follows Gregoras as the Byzantine Empire grows weaker each day, and a young sultan named Mehmet decides to try and attack the once impenetrable walls of its capital, Constantinople.
The story, although fictional, narrates true events that happened during the siege. I liked the way the book depicts Constantinople as a desolate city. The in-depth descriptions of the setting helped me get a better sense of what it was like at the time. Character development was another thing that made the book really interesting. At first we see Gregoras as a spiteful person hellbent on getting revenge for his downfall. But as the story progresses, he learns to deal with his emotions and fights for the city that once destroyed his reputation. There wasn’t anything I disliked about the book, except a minor arc that described Gregoras’ love life felt a little rushed. I didn't understand why Humphreys included that side plot.
People who like fantasy or historical fiction will most certainly enjoy A Place Called Armageddon. One book you might also enjoy if you enjoyed this one is The Poppy War, written by R.F. Kuang. Overall, A Place Called Armageddon was very enjoyable. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in medieval fiction.