Monday, May 11, 2009

The Guns of Valverde

As expected I didn't get quite as much reading done this last week as I normally do. Lots going on in our household, mostly because it is May, the end of the school year. It wasn't until today at lunchtime that I finished reading the final few pages of P.G. Nagle's The Guns of Valverde. Normally I would have expected to have completed this one on or about Saturday but just too much going on.

This book is the second of Ms Nagle's "Civil War in the West" series. I read the first one, Glorietta Pass earlier this year and while I enjoyed it mostly, I felt it didn't quite live up to its potential. And it had a cop-out surprise at the end that rubbed me the wrong way. So it was with some small trepidation that I began to read this second volume of the series. But as I read this book, I was gratified to revisit most of the same characters from the first book, be reminded of their motivations, and watch them grow. I was happy to follow the plot as well because it involves more of New Mexico, my home state (although I haven't lived there for many years). There were some spots that dragged just a bit but the last 50 pages or so were spot-on driving towards a satisfying conclusion. No egghead suprises this time. From the author's note at the end of the book, it is evident that she has done a lot of research and I have no doubt that the history is correct (other than the fictional characters of course), but more importantly she tells a good story. It seems that the author has grown in ability some since the first book and now I'm really looking forward to the next in the series, Galveston which should take the characters further in their adventures. There is a fourth book as well coming out in paperback this year although it has been published in hardback back in 2003. I haven't heard of any more in the series and I am a little afraid that Ms Nagle has retired from writing or gone on to other things. Hopefully she is just busy researching some other historical arena that I will find fascinating to read about in novel format.

Next up is only my second David Baldacci novel: Split Second.

And just to update my Swedish empire (Empire: Total War computer game) progress, well, that scenario is over. There were some aspects of the game that I hadn't realized before and I overextended myself. I had built up so many armies and they were effectively taking over the world, but my treasury couldn't keep up with the demands. I also had progressed so far in my knowledge tree that the citizens were demanding reform and there is no mechanism in the game for me to change from absolute monarchy to any other form of government. So when the citizens wanted a Republic, I couldn't give it to them and so they just rebelled all over the place. So next time I will keep them unenlightened like any good monarchy should. And to test this theory out I have begun a new campaign in the subcontinent of India, playing the Maratha Confederacy. I'll keep you posted on this as well...

1 comment:

  1. I read a book recently that I think you would really enjoy by an author named Vincent Lowry. The book is set in Rigel, New Mexico and is a coming of age story, visit


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