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Brings the Lightning (The Ames Archives Book 1) Paperback – June 16, 2016
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The story is superbly written, as Peter's books always are. I noted with amusement that the gun nuts among his fans will be delighted at the myriad details about firearms he includes, deftly weaving them into the tale as his main character comes to depend on them for his livelihood and defense on the dangerous trip West. It was fascinating to read the details he includes, and I know from talking to him and listening to his accounts that he spent a lot of time and effort on research for this book.
There is also a romance. It's not as melodramatic as the Zane Grey's I grew up reading, it's more sweet and understated and fits into the story nicely. I enjoyed the character and the growth of the romance was heavily foreshadowed so it wasn't a surprise when it bore fruit. Equally important to the story are several friendships that develop, and I'll reveal that a character's death made me choke up, because, well, he felt real to me.
This is a short novel, as it should be, like the L'Amour's we know and love. I've been very happy reading it, and I'm looking forward to more from him. Peter may not be able to revive an entire genre single-handedly, but he's made a good start to it.
Written in the 'style' of Louis L'Amour, the content shows more depth and development of minor characters. I'm not going to spoil the plot, but I'll say it is consistent, and moves from start to finish without any dead spots. I'm proud to have been a pre-reader for this effort from Peter, and I believe it's worth the price! It's a great start to a new series!
The great is great. Devotion. Honor. Respect. Courage. Manliness. Walt Ames displays each of them in a manner consistent with a man of his time. Grant also develops Walt as a character consistent with the development of a man of that age and time. Wise in some areas, and not so much in others. His flaws, while probably too few for the genre in general, are acknowledged and subject to his own self improvement without making Walt a melodramatic mess in constant angst. He is kind, generous, and sticks to his word; and when appropriate is by turns violent and ruthless. Walt is a leader who presents the decisive and confident way forward while acknowledging the hazards along the way. - In many ways a Level Five Leader. The dialog is well written and the vocabulary isn’t that difficult for young readers. Both violence and sex are discussed, with the former restricted to neatly censored word pictures and the latter handled off camera; again as others have noted, just Louis L’Amour. All of which make for a great Juvenile novel.
Like other great books, Grant spins a really good tale with characters that you like and respect. The characters stay true to themselves.
What keeps it from being a great western “period,” is that Walt is the luckiest man alive, finding both fortune and love with remarkable little effort; and the hazards he encounters are quickly overcome. It’s still a good book and a fun read.
The story concerns a mustered-out Confederate soldier, his prospective bride, and two chance acquaintances who become devoted friends. Like many men, he went West in search of solace, adventure, and redemption. In this first book (of many, I hope) we read about his journey to the West and how his life changes, and how he improves other's lives. The story begins a bit slow to introduce the narrative, and continues by chapter arcs to moments of great suspense and drama, low and high comedy, and in the end to sorrow, redemption, and resolve. You see Mr. Ames grow in strength and moral stature as he journeys into the West and into his soul, in the wind-dappled sea of the great prairies.
"Brings the Lightning" was very hard to put down. I had to ration this book to 1-2 chapters a day, so I could follow the narrative tapestry and so I didn't run out of enjoyment too quickly. The second reading was just as good as the first. It's perfect for a long trip, or for an evening's last indulgence.