I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY - I only got this book because it was on sale and the ratings were high. Even though I don't usually like westerns, what the heck, right? What a pleasant surprise! The characters are strong and likeable, and I became totally immersed in their lives and dreams. Not only must they survive from day to day in a tough land during tough times, but they must face the challenges of starting a huge cattle ranch deep in the wilderness of Texas. Needless to say, there's a lot of action. Normally I would be totally bored by Indian ambushes and shootouts with bad guys, but not ths time. It is definitely a book for guys, but it doesn't dwell on fighting, blood, descriptions of guns, etc., that is boring to women. It also has a little romance for us girls, too!
The story line is simple, easy to follow, and simply wonderful. The ending is satisfying enough that you could consider this a standalone story, but there is a fairly large question left hanging which will probably leave you wanting to continue to the next book.
NARRATOR - The narrator has multiple "western" voices which change for lots of different characters. His performance makes a great story even better.
OVERALL - I think everyone will like this book. (No sex or cursing, so it's probably even okay for older kids).
STORY (Western fiction) - It's strange. This series is full of cowboys, Indians, bank robbers, cattle rustlers -- totally NOT what I look for in a movie or a book. But it's such an easy listen and the characters are so endearing that I just love rambling along the wild west with these guys.
The Hondo Kid is Book 2 and introduces Cody Cordell, the younger brother of Buck, who was the main character in Book 1. Neither brother knows the other is still alive after their parents were killed by Indians. Cody, a teenager, must grow up quickly on his own and somehow manages to gain a reputation as a gunfighter called "The Hondo Kid." About the first third of the book is Cody's story, but the rest alternates between Cody and Buck, whose cattle ranch is having legendary success.
There's lots of western action with hangings, shootouts, etc., but the author doesn't dwell on the violence or blood. There's some romance but no sex or foul language, so this would make a good family listen. You should hear these books in order, as each picks up where the previous one ends. I look forward to Book 3.
PERFORMANCE - Good job. The narrator does lots of "cowboy" voices, which adds to the story. He reads pretty slow, so you may want to turn the speed up to 1.25 or even 1.5. I would have rated the performance a 5 but some of the cowboy characters are a bit overdone and his women's voices are pretty masculine. (Plus he mispronounces "Brazos," which drove me crazy).
OVERALL - Download Book 1 if you think you might enjoy a good western. I don't think you will be disappointed.
Big mystery lover here! The picture is of my father who is suffering with dementia and my youngest daughter on her wedding day.
This is an epic tale of the rise of a great Texas oil family, and so much more. I was spellbound throughout the entire reading.
It begins with a simple Texas frontier family be5ing all but destroyed by Camanchies. Young Eli McCullough is kidnapped at around 12 and must work his way into the Camamanche family. His story is as riveting, brutal and inspiring as any I have encountered.
If this story is as accurate in historical detail as I suspect, it exposes the way of Native Americans and Mexicans as every bit as ruthless and devastating as the US Government. If you are expecting a story of triumph you will be disappointed on every side. It is the story of only the strong surviving.
This book also exposed how little I really know about the history of Texas and Mexico and the taming of the West. It does so in the best way possible, whetting my appetite to learn more about what is perhaps the most exciting story in US history, including the civil war.
Eli's life as a warrior is harsh, heroic and surprisingly funny.
And then there is his son, his father's and the book's great disappointment. For me he is the perfect example of today's American conscience. He recognizes evil, yet refuses to stand up to it. He despises ill gotten gains, yet refuses to free himself from them. He wallows in self contempt.
And then there is a remarkable heroine, the grand daughter Jeanne. Like Eli, she finds herself abducted by a tribe of sorts, the only woman in a world run by men. And like her grandfather she fights her way through life.
Will Patton leads a strong crew of performers in a stellar performance.
Another easy 5 star experience.