Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Glorieta Pass

The second book I had selected for my trip to San Diego was Glorieta Pass, by PG Nagle as the first part of her "Civil War in the West" series. I have to say, books like this one are the main reason I read historical fiction. Most of us know quite a bit about the major battles of the Civil War, fought in the East but few know of just how far west the action stretched. I grew up in New Mexico but never knew much about the state's role in the Civil War. I have driven near Glorieta often but never knew the history of that place. So it was with great anticipation that I began reading this novel.

The novel itself seems to have been well researched. We learn of the basics of the situation: elements of the army in Texas pushing northward through New Mexico along the Rio Grande, leading to a great battle against Colorado volunteers at Glorieta Pass. The goal of the Texans was Pikes Peak gold but they were held off because of this bloody battle.

While the writing was well done, I found the characters to be pretty standard stock issue types. The male characters were mostly governed by their brutish behavior while the females were honorable, intelligent, and courageous to the point of being foolhardy. I don't know if that is because the author is female or that's just the way she wanted certain characters to behave...I make no judgements. Having said that, I did still enjoy seeing the history evolve through their eyes and I am interested to see what happens in the next book. This is what draws me to historical the experiences through characters. I like reading text books to get the facts but historical fiction makes it come alive.

I also have to mention a twist at the end of the novel concerning one of the main characters (no spoilers here). I feel like I should have seen it coming but in retrospect it was such a ridiculous twist that I wouldn't have noticed the clues anyway. Readers of this novel will know what I mean. This is Ms Nagle's debut novel so hopefully she won't stoop to such tricks in the future. Her prose is worthy of greater things.

Yesterday, I finished the next short story in the Deaver collection, More Twisted. "Copycat" was the best yet; this one really hit the mark. Finally this collection deals a winner, a story that builds the suspense and has several twists that really keeps you guessing on who did what to whom. The end was very satisfying and not predictable. Hopefully, there are more gems like this one in the remainder of the collection.

Next up: finishing off the Psi Corps series with The Fate of Bester.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

  • "The Stand" by Stephen King
  • "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

Top Books/ Series in no particular order (Lesser Known Authors)

  • "The Sculpter" by Gregory Funaro
  • "Power Down" by Ben Coes
  • "Revolution at Sea Saga" by James L. Nelson
  • "Black Rain" by Graham Brown
  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire