Book Reviews

Reviews of books by MWSA members. Reviews appear in reverse chronological order, with the most recent review posted appearing first.
Note: Some older reviews are being reposted to this site and those will appear out of order.

Trail Cook Chronicles, The

Title: The Trail Cook Chronicles
Author: David Michaelson
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviewer: Lee Boyland

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0984842284

Trail Cook Chronicles begins where Trail Cook left off; at Fort Union, New Mexico, the last outpost of soldiers assigned to protect settlers and travelers from attack by hostile Apache and Comanche Indians on the Santa Fe Trail. Able Piddington has become a legend in his own time. His skill with a cookpot and his pugilistic abilities have made him a famous man throughout the region at the tender age of twenty-five. With his faithful companion Kristen and a scruffy tag along snake-hunting dog named Gopher, the three of them honor Able's promise to escort a friendly band of Apache to the Mescalero Apache Reservation before the snows of winter in 1875. The half wolf, half dog, amazes the Apache warriors with his ability to sniff out rattlesnakes and kill them for his supper. Once free of their commitment to the apache, Kristen, Able, and Gopher set out through uncharted territory to seek out further adventure where they can find it. Towns with reputations like Tombstones, Mesila, Tucson, and Yuma provide all the excitement either of them might want. How they make their way and where their journey takes them are The Trail Cook Chronicles.

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Author(s) Mentioned: 
Michaelson, David

Renegades, The

Title: The Renegades
Author: Tom Young
Genre: Mystery
Reviewer: Joyce M. Gilmour

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0399158464

A catastrophic earthquake ravages Afghanistan, and American troops rush to deliver aid. In his new role as an adviser to the Afghan Air Force, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Parson faces one of the biggest challenges of his career, aided by his interpreter, Sergeant Major Sophia Gold. The devastation facing them is like nothing they've ever seen--and it's about to get worse. A Taliban splinter group, Black Crescent, is conducting its own campaign--shooting medical workers, downing helicopters, slaughtering anyone who dares to accept aid. With the U.S. drawing down and coalition forces spread thin, it's up to Parson, Gold, and Parson's Afghan aircrews to strike back. But they're short of supplies, men, experience, and information--and the terrorists seem to be nowhere...and everywhere.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Young, Tom

Haysoos the Honu

Title: Haysoos the Honu
Author: Kristin Barnes
Genre: Children
ISBN 1937406342

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1937406342

Synopsis: Haysoos the Honu is a Hawaiian sea turtle . He loves the company of other creatures, but he feels different from the fish, eels, and manta rays. His bulky shell slows him down, and his lungs mean he has to interrupt playtime to surface for air. Haysoos believes that being different is a bad thing, until he meets a special friend who shows him just how special it is to be different!

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Barnes, Kristin

George - 3 - 7th Marines: A Brief Glimpse Through Time of a Group of Young Marines

Title: George - 3 - 7th Marines: A Brief Glimpse Through Time of a Group of Young Marines
Author: Jim Nicholson
Genre: Memoir
Reviewer: Steve Maffeo

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1426947828

In the four years of the Korean War, America lost almost 54,000 men, roughly the same number who lost their lives in Vietnam, yet this war has almost disappeared into American history as the "Forgotten War". George-3-7th Marines tells a story of the bloody Marine infantry campaigns fought in the deadly mountain ranges of Korea; it is a story told by the men who fought there-and died anonymously-in an unknown and bloody war.

The never-before-told tales of the battle-hardened Marines of G-3-7 were collected and recorded by one of their own. Described by those who experienced the action firsthand, these accounts blend the shocking details of savage, bloody, killing with gentle, almost heartbreaking prose seldom seen in a chronicle of war. Jim Nicholson paints a brutally accurate picture of America and the Valhalla culture that shaped the toughness of soldiers in the fifties.

He examines the events and mistakes that led to a collision of the free world with the rapidly expanding Communist military machine. He reminds us that history does, in fact, show clearly that the sacrifice of young American boys saved the South Koreans, who now live freely in their beautiful "Land of the Morning Calm".

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Nicholson, Jim

No Good Like It Is

Title: No Good Like It Is
Author: McKendree R. Long lll
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviewer; Bonnie Toews

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1450580785

1858, Fort Gibson, Indian Territory. 2d Lieutenant Dobey Walls meets and bonds with veteran Corporal Jimmy Melton. As the Civil War begins, they leave to join the 8th Texas Cavalry in Houston, then take part in the first and the final charges of the Army of Tennessee. Between those events, they ride with Nathan Bedford Forrest, play an honorable role in the Fort Pillow Massacre, harass Sherman with Shannon's Raiders, and visit the second best brothel in Atlanta. As surrender looms, they're released to search for Dobey's long-missing family in the Texas Panhandle. Their efforts are hampered by destitute farmers, lonely widows, dangerous militia, freed slaves, and runaways, who increase their numbers and excitement. In the process, they save a quadroon and her daughter from Yankee deserters who have stolen a Union payroll. This act of mercy brings them romance but puts Pinkerton detectives and a renegade lawman on their trail. Confederate Cherokees and Cheyenne Dog Soldiers add to the chaos.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Long lll, McKendree R.

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