B.R.A.G. Medallion Report Card for A Beckoning Hellfire
B.R.A.G. Medallion Report Card
Book Title: A Beckoning Hellfire
Author: J.D.R. Hawkins
Genre: Historical Fiction
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The book was rated on the following criteria using this scale:
(If nonfiction, criteria in parentheses)
5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Poor, 1 = Very Poor, 0 = Not Rated
Intriguing, forceful, appropriate to the story
Striking, professional looking, appropriate to the story
Plot (Subject Matter)
Original, compelling, engaging, coherent
Characters (Relevant Anecdotes)
Interesting, appealing, believable
Dialogue (Clarity of Content)
Authentic, quotable, advances the story
Distinctive voice, pleasing rhythm, evocative
Logical flow, advance the story, build momentum
Grammar, punctuation, spelling, word choice
Content (Developmental) Editing
Structure, coherence, continuity, accuracy
Front matter, layout, font
I really liked this book. I am not much of an expert on the Civil War so am not a great judge of accuracy. However, I do love stories about the War and was not disappointed! I found the story to be concise and well-told, the construct of the story strong, the storytelling fantastic. My only observation was how David just took off and was gone for extended periods before riding back in. I would have thought he would have been considered a deserter or, at the very least, been interrogated as to what he had been up to. Also, not to be overly “gross”, why wouldn’t a starving army eat the horse instead of just burning it? Just a thought. In all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and hope to read the next one in this series. This is a very talented author!
I have to award any book that was fun to read and challenged my understanding of military history enough to make me look up the battles to find they are all accurately depicted from a private’s viewpoint. I am so used to reading battles from an omniscient officer’s viewpoint or “god’s eye view” that it is refreshing to experience the confusion of a private down in the muck point of view. I have to admit that I doubt a couple of privates got as much freedom to choose as Jake and David did in this book nor as much freedom as David took going AWOL and returning with minimal disciplinary action. I’m a little disappointed that David’s trick riding skills didn’t get used in battle. It is also disappointing that his privileged position as a messenger was not used to give the view from the top to give a better overview of the various actions he was near or in and could have ridden through as a courier. Kudos for not giving in to the temptation to do either of these that I probably would have panned you for as pushing the realism envelope a little too far as it was a little stretchy here and there as it is, such as Renegade’s final run in this story to set up the next book. That is enough for now as I can’t wait any longer to read the third book.
This an excellent book. The principal character, David Summers, is believable and engaging. The story flows smoothly, albeit a bit slowly at first, and the cavalry battle scenes are stark, terrifying and appropriately brutal. I highly recommend this book for a Medallion.
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