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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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18 09, 2010

Review: All Other Nights by Dara Horn

By | September 18th, 2010|Categories: Historical, Literature & Fiction, War|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |8 Comments

Rating:

Reviewed by Erin McKibbin

Coming of age for any young man is a turbulent experience. Coming of age in the Union Army during the Civil War is even more tumultuous. Coming of age in the Civil War when the young man is Jewish is Herculean.

Jacob Rappaport joins the Union Army to escape the pre-ordained life laid out by his father. He agrees to become a spy and assassin for the Union Army to win the approval of his replacement fathers (the Army generals). But, can Jacob win his own approval and stop running from his past? Perhaps the love of a Confederate woman can teach Jacob the lessons that can’t be learned behind the butt of a rifle.

“There were approximately 130,000 Jews living in the United States in 1860” and “were dispersed throughout the nation, with the largest Jewish community in

1 07, 2010

“Mornings in Jenin” by Susan Abulhawa

By | July 1st, 2010|Categories: Gift Ideas, Great Fiction, Historical, Literature & Fiction, War|Tags: , , , , , , , , |5 Comments

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Reviewed by Caitlin B.

Susan Abulhawa’s brave writing has resulted in a sweeping read. From its first pages, Mornings in Jenin moves rapidly through the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the ensuing changes faced by the generations rooted in that land. The morality of this book is centered on relationships: family, friendships, romantic affairs, death, survival and change. As everywhere, relationships shape human identities and, in Jenin, the Abulheja family’s relationships (personal, spiritual and national) are pushed to extremes. From the first generation of Palestinians to become refugees, deep into the present, where “terror” has become a Western buzzword, their stories are exhilarating and heartbreaking.

Even during the novel’s most grotesque moments, its voices remain authentic. The plot relies mainly on the memory of its characters, lending an unusually lifelike feeling to the narration.  The story moves with such speed that the mixed

21 06, 2010

“The Creed of Violence” by Boston Teran

By | June 21st, 2010|Categories: Historical, Literature & Fiction, War|Tags: , , , , , |7 Comments

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Reviewed by Mac M.

Boston Teran’s new novel of political intrigue, The Creed of Violence, shimmers like a mirage on the baking desert floor, threatening to combust at any moment, and constantly evaporating into new shapes.

In the days just before revolution erupts in Mexico, a truck, loaded with weapons bound for blood, stops along a lonely, chapped road for a man on foot. The man, Rawbone, poisons the driver and steals the truck’s payload. When he tries to fence the weapons in the dusty, border town of El Paso, a young agent of the newly formed Bureau of Investigations, John Lourdes, arrests him. In the calculating stare of his prey, Lourdes recognizes a man whom he never expected to see again, a man whom he promised himself he’d kill if he ever found. Bound together, the

1 06, 2010

Review & Giveaway: “The Silver Eagle” by Ben Kane

By | June 1st, 2010|Categories: Giveaways, Historical, Literature & Fiction, Series, War|Tags: , , , , , , , , |157 Comments

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Reviewed by Caleb S.

The Silver Eagle is the second book in the The Forgotten Legion Chronicles and was an excellent continuation of the series. We catch up with our protagonists about a year after The Forgotten Legion concludes. We are deep in Margiana (Afghanistan) with Romulus, Brennus and Tarquinius as they are standing outside a secret temple for the warrior god Mithras. Tarquinus’ ability to see the future has been very scarce for several months and he is being put on the spot by Pacorus, the military leader, to give him a believable prophecy or face death. Mithras finally grants him a vision of an immediate attack.

Every time our heroes appear to get a little ahead in life, something comes along and sets them back.  However, they stick together through thick and

1 04, 2010

Blog Tour: The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli

By | April 1st, 2010|Categories: Genre Fiction, Historical, Literary, Literature & Fiction, War, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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the lotus eaters book coverPlease join Tatjana Soli, author of The Lotus Eaters, as she tours the blogosphere with TLC Book Tours!

Reviewed by Carly M.

The harsh and violent fall of Saigon hardly seems like a place in which a haunting love story could unfold, but Tatjana Soli manages to find beauty and heart in the cruelest conditions in her book, The Lotus Eaters. The author introduces us to Helen Adams, one of Vietnam’s few female photojournalists, as she struggles to capture the truth in Saigon’s final moments without losing herself or her husband. The last days of American involvement in Vietnam, in all their horror, offer an introduction to these characters and set the stage for the story to travel back twelve years, to a time when nobody

10 02, 2010

Review: The Forgotten Legion by Ben Kane

By | February 10th, 2010|Categories: Genre Fiction, Historical, Literature & Fiction, Series, War|Tags: |5 Comments

Rating:

the forgotten legion book coverReviewed by Caleb Shadis

The Forgotten Legion by Ben Kane is an epic. The story takes place in ancient Rome at the time of Julius Caesar and I found it to be a great tale, like The Walking Drum or Ben Hur. We are fully immersed into Rome and its culture, and get to see it through the eyes of the slaves and the conquered.

We follow four people in this saga: Tarquinius is a free Etruscan and warrior as well as the last haruspex trained in the forgotten arts of divination. Brennus, a Gaul from the Allobreges tribe, is taken in the battle against the Roman army and he survives, only to be sold as a slave to a gladiator school. Last but not least are the slave twins Romulus and Fabiola. Shortly after they hit puberty, they

25 09, 2009

Review: Gifts of War by Mackenzie Ford

By | September 25th, 2009|Categories: Genre Fiction, Historical, Literary, Literature & Fiction, War|Tags: , , |1 Comment

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Reviewed by Lauren K.

Gifts of War, by Mackenzie Ford, begins in the trenches of WWI, right at the start of the famous Christmas Day Truce of 1914. Ford puts the reader in the middle of the bloodshed, and then lightens the scene with the tentative troops climbing out of their foxholes for a temporary truce. It is here in the field that the reader is introduced to Captain Henry “Hal” Montgomery, the novel’s narrator; Hal makes the acquaintance of his German equal, Wilhelm, during this truce. The novel takes a romantic turn as Wilhelm entrusts Hal with a photograph of himself to present to Sam upon his return to England – a token to let her know he has never forgotten her.

Hal is injured not long after the truce and returns to England. He decides to fulfill his promise to the German, assuming he is lost to

21 09, 2009

Review: The Four Corners of the Sky by Michael Malone

By | September 21st, 2009|Categories: Contemporary, Genre Fiction, Literary, Literature & Fiction, War, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

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Reviewed by Poppy J.

Michael Malone’s The Four Corners of the Sky has all of the ingredients of a great novel. The story follows Annie Peregrine-Good in her quest to find out the truth about her father, mother and eventually herself through resolving the missing links of her childhood.

The story is mostly told in flashback form, starting when Annie is unceremoniously abandoned at Pilgrim’s Rest, her father’s childhood home, on the Fourth of July in the year 2001. Her Aunt Sam (antha) and Uncle Clark Goode are as surprised as she is that her thrill-seeking father leaves her with a baseball cap, holding mysterious numbers, mysterious bedtime stories of hidden treasures and her father’s plane, “The King of the Sky.”

Annie is told an amiable mix of stories and lies by her father as she grows up. She is made to believe that her mother was a

21 07, 2009

Blog Tour: The Spies of Warsaw by Alan Furst

By | July 21st, 2009|Categories: Contemporary, Genre Fiction, Historical, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, War|Tags: , |1 Comment

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Join Alan Furst, author of the fiction novel, The Spies of Warsaw (Random House) as he virtually tours the blogosphere in July on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!

Reviewed by Caleb S.

The story in The Spies of Warsaw takes place mostly in and around Warsaw before WWII, with some trips to places such as Paris and Germany. We follow Mercier, the French attache to Warsaw who was recently assigned there, as he goes about doing his job, both the public and private aspects. His public duties consist of going to social functions in Poland and rubbing elbows with the elite and power brokers. The other duties are data gathering, reconnaissance and keeping his ears

2 06, 2009

Review: An Honorable German by Charles L. McCain

By | June 2nd, 2009|Categories: Genre Fiction, Historical, Literature & Fiction, War|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

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Reviewed by Lauren Kirk

An Honorable German by Charles McCain is a military history buff’s dream. It is poignant, lyrical fiction woven around what I can only determine are historically accurate facts. It is noted in author Charles McCain’s biography that more than twenty years of research went into this novel. The research is quite apparent since McCain puts the reader right on board with the German Navy. The descriptions of the warships, of the situations taking place aboard and in the North Atlantic waters surrounding the ship are stark, fresh, and intimate. At times the military terms became a little much for me to follow and process, yet I was still entertained.

Max Brekendorf is the admirable, young officer dealing with both the harsh realities of war and the difficulties in his personal life. His love for his fiancée Mareth