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..Show More » 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 mo..Show More »vie 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.
Gene Engene did a good job narrating this story. I started with book one in the series and have listened in order. The story is interesting but at t..Show More »imes I was impatient and wanted to hurry the story as the suspense was getting to me. Was interesting that one brother was a rancher the other a miner. Both were occupation that build this country. The first train ride out of Denver was interesting. Can not wait to start book four.
I have read the series in order and book IV brings it all together nicely. The importance of family comes through loud and clear in this book. Lots ..Show More »of action, cattle drives, travel by horse back, buggy, stagecoach, ship, river boat and train give a wide view of the west. This book covers the cattle drives, people moving into the west and the building of the railroad. I hope that this in not the last book in the series. Gene Engene narrated the entire series. His voice goes well with the wild frontier.