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Summer of the Eagles (Jess Hazzard) (Volume 1) Paperback – January 28, 2015
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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What a great story! My father was born in 1886, worked on the family ranch in the Dakota Territory, then was a hunter bringing in game to feed the crews who built much of the railroad lines across northern America. He loved Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour, so I grew up reading "westerns."
Summer of the Eagles is a tale set in the early days of Wyoming, about people who have honor and integrity amid strife and injustice, stitched together with friendship and love thought impossible. There are parts that had me shaking the pages shouting "NO," and sections that brought me to tears of joy.
We read about bigotry and racism in our modern world, but I don't think most people have much idea what it really means, or the incredible damage it can do to everyone involved. Probably no person alive in America today has ever experienced even a little of the prejudice and injustice suffered by the hero of this story - and so many others throughout history. It would be good to read this story if you took nothing more away from it than understanding your own good fortune, whatever your situation, and perhaps a clearer understanding of your own prejudices.
This is no passive story for those who want cheap entertainment. There is challenge here, and - strangely enough - encouragement. ~The Price of Liberty blog --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Many Westerns tend to be “same old, same old”. So many have been written that they have become, in many cases, unoriginal. It is enjoyable to read a Western that has elements in it that are new. Jackie’s book has many of those.
Certainly it includes the elements we come to expect of a Western – independent men conquering the challenges that come with living in an “uncivilized” country. Horses. Bad guys. Shooting and fighting and saloons. Vistas of incomparable beauty. Cowboys and Indians in one form or another.
Jackie included more. Her writing rings true; she knows of what she writes. Her writing in clear, not cluttered with unnecessary verbiage. I read the book in two days (could have read it faster except for those little things called Responsibilities that keep me from reading 24/7.) I liked the way she developed the main character throughout the book. I enjoyed the story greatly.
Still I have two small complaints about the book.
1. The proofreading. This is not the fault of the author; the publisher needs to do a better job. There are misplaced and missing commas and other frequent mistakes of that sort. Example, page 57: “Stud’s like him’s a lot of extra bother.” The word “studs” is supposed to be plural, not possessive. The word “him’s” is a contraction for “him is”. Since “studs” is plural, it should be “him are” – I can bypass that one, however, because it is someone speaking, and many people would say it as it is written. The plural for stud having an apostrophe, though, is just bad basic proofing.
2. Vulgarities and profanities. In the 205 pages of this book there are several uses of the word damn, and several of the word God (always capitalized); to the best of my memory, the two are not ever put together. Believe it or not, there are still those of us who believe God is a sacred name and should not be abused. There are those of us who still believe the word damn has a spiritual meaning, also. Common as the abuse has become, it is still noticed by readers who share this sensitivity.
Worse, though, in my opinion is this: On page 144, once – out of the thousands of words in the book – there is the word “bulls***”.
Was the word used by one of the several shooting victims? No. Was it used after a fight in which a man was blinded? No. Was it used by the angry gun-fighter-wannabe? No. Was it used when a false accusations were being spoken? After a near drowning? After any of the other many places one could expect it to be used as an expletive? No!
I read books that contain that word often, and cruder words; I understand that for many people, this is just the way they talk and write. My complaint here is that this one usage is so terribly, noticeably inconsistent. A friend is telling the main character to get past his self-degradation. There are so many words that could have been used to express this. Certainly “self-degradation” would have been just as glaringly wrong as the characters didn't speak like that. How about calling it “garbage”, or “rot”, or “lies”? So many options are available that are "clean"; I don’t understand why the author (editor?) chose “bulls***”. It felt exceedingly out of place in the book.
Jackie’s next novel, "Autumn of the Loons" is being released in June, 2015. It will continue the story of the main characters of “Summer of the Eagles”. I look forward to reading it, though I hope the publishing company will be more aware of proofing and language choices.
Summer of the Eagles is a tale set in the early days of Wyoming, about people who have honor and integrity amid strife and injustice, stitched together with friendship and love thought impossible. There are parts that had me shaking the pages shouting “NO,” and sections that brought me to tears of joy.
We read about bigotry and racism in our modern world, but I don’t think most people have much idea what it really means, or the incredible damage it can do to everyone involved. Probably no person alive in America today has ever experienced even a little of the prejudice and injustice suffered by the hero of this story – and so many others throughout history. It would be good to read this story if you took nothing more away from it than understanding your own good fortune, whatever your situation, and perhaps a clearer understanding of your own prejudices.
This is no passive story for those who want cheap entertainment. There is challenge here, and – strangely enough – encouragement.
I downloaded "Summer of the Eagles" on our Kindle, and could not put it down until I'd read the whole story! I am awaiting the next book in the series. Way to go Jackie!
Most recent customer reviews
Couldn't put it down
Kudo's to Jackie clay a very talented lady in all aspects of life