Category Archives: Non-Fiction

Contains all non-fiction book posts.

THE HUNT FOR MH370 – REVIEW

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The Hunt For MH370: The Mystery. The Cover-up. The Truth, Ean Higgins
The Hunt For MH370: The Mystery. The Cover-up. The Truth
TitleThe Hunt For MH370: The Mystery. The Cover-up.
The Truth
AuthorEan Higgins
PublisherMacmillan Australia (February 26, 2019)
FormatKindle, Audiobook, Paperback
Pages334
GenreAviation History, Commercial Aviation
LanguageEnglish
ASIN #B07K9HPR71

“Good night. Malaysian Three Seven Zero.

The last recorded radio transmission from MH370’s, Flight’s Captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah spoken to Malaysian Air Traffic Control (ATC) at 01:19. There was no further communication from the aircraft.

AUTHOR

Ean Higgins grew up in Texas and Quebec, before moving to Australia with his Canadian father and Australian mother. He has worked as a reporter, section editor, chief-of-staff and foreign correspondent for Australia’s three national newspapers over nearly four decades. He served his cadetship on the Australian

Financial Review where he was appointed the newspaper’s first New Zealand correspondent, then moved to the Fairfax group’s investigative title Times on Sunday, before joining The Australian in 1988 where among other roles he served as foreign news editor, Inquirer editor, Europe correspondent and Sydney bureau chief. In recent years he has returned to reporting on The Australianfocusing on crime, corruption, politics, aviation and the interplay among them. Higgins holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Sussex, and a master’s from the Australian National University. He learned to fly as a young man in Quebec, as a student piloting Cessna 150s on skis in winter. He won a Kennedy Award for Best Online Reporting for his coverage of a bush fire, and a Quebec Grand Prize for Independent Journalism for an opinion piece on language politics published in the French-language national daily Le Devoir.

Excerpt from Macmillan, Pan Macmillan Australia website

SYNOPSIS

In the early morning of 8 March, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. At the flight controls was 53 years old pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah and his First Officer, 27 years old Fariq Abdul Hamid. Shah was an experienced pilot with and excellent reputation and extensive experience with 18,423 hours flight time; 8,659 in the Boeing 777-200. He was a Type Rating Instructor in the 777-200 airframe and was a Type Rating Examiner for Malaysia Airlines.

The weather that night was good, but for reason known only to Shah additional fuel was added; more fuel than necessary to cover the normal hours fuel contingency. The excess fuel gave the aircraft the ability to fly for almost two hours longer than the required flight time to the destination.

Around midnight the pilots began their normal run-up procedures beginning with the ‘walk around.’ Once complete, the pilots would gather in the cockpit to go through the Preflight Procedures whilst the Cabin Crew began boarding the 227 passengers that were heading for Beijing. The majority of the passengers were of Chinese nationality with an eclectic and diverse mix of other nationalities.

With the Preflight Checklist now complete and the Oxygen Check finished Shah and Hamid performed the ‘Before Start’ Checklist. Hamid requested pushback and engine start clearance from Kuala Lumpur Area Control Center. The time is now 0040 and Malaysia Flight MH370 taxis to runway 32 Right.

The last item on the ‘Before Take-off’ Checklist is ‘Flaps,’ with the response “Set,” Flight MH370 announced to the tower ‘370, 32 Right for Take-Off.’ The pilots pushed the throttles forward. The engines thrust increased, as did the vibration and speed. At V1 they rotated; and at 0042 local time on 8 March, 2014 Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 carrying 239 souls lifted off on a flight into oblivion. 

The Hunt for MH370 is a detailed analysis posited by author Ean Higgins on the various scenarios that may have led to the disappearance of flight MH370. His opines are aided by expert assessments based on the available data of the likely events that lead up to the vanishing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. The author digs deep and reveals facts that were concealed; facts that could have helped locate the missing plane. Higgins seeks to clarify the events that may have transpired during the last flight of MH370. He avoids wild speculation in favor of expert opinions, hard facts and available data. The investigative body that oversaw the search are held to account. A rational well conceived, yet speculative, analysis is given of the events that tragic evening.

CONCLUSION

The Hunt for MH370 is a mystery encompassed by an enigma. Higgins carefully explored the many possibilities that may have lead to the loss of MH370. He collected and collated data and accounts from a diverse range of involved persons. He creates a plausible assessment of the likely causes of flight MH370’s disappearance using first person accounts, original documents, and international experts that included those from the fields of: aviation crash investigation, professional pilots with decades of experience, engineers (both aviation and oceanographic), as well as satellite data .

What happened to the passengers and crew of Malaysia Flight MH370?Did Shah highjack his own aircraft, kill the crew and passengers, then fly out into the middle of nowhere and ditch the aircraft into the Indian Ocean killing himself in the process? If he did, why did he do it? What was the evidence and why were essential clues to the disappearance hidden even from those conducting the search? Ean Higgins lifts the lid on the mystery and perhaps one day, if-and-when MH370 is found, his analysis might be proven accurate.

The Hunt for MH370 is a compelling read and is never dry or overly technical. It is captivating from the outset and once your attention is secured you will be in for the flight. The narrative is gripping and Higgins writing style ensures that that grip is vise-like. If you enjoy reading real-life mysteries that have yet to be solved and you gain solace from using your own acumen to forge your own opinion; then reading The Hunt for MH370 is a no brainer.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Ean Higgins, Macmillan Australia, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review The Hunt for MH370: The Mystery. The Cover-up. The Truth.

DANGEROUS SHALLOWS -REVIEW

This book is thrilling, mysterious, and intriguing. Even if you don’t know much about diving and especially deep diving, this book easily explains the terms and conditions. The stories of the individual wrecks are told in vivid detail. The reader can easily feel as if they are right there with him on this journey of discovery. I heartily recommend this book for everyone.

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A Dragon Named Egg

Litercurious Book Review

TitleA Dragon Named Egg
AuthorHeidi Howarth
IllustratorDaniel Howarth
PublisherWindmill Books (December 15, 2020)
FormatLibrary Binding, Paperback
Pages32 pages
GenreChildren’s Dragon, Unicorn & Mythical Stories,
Children’s Self-Esteem Books,
Children’s Family Life Books
LanguageEnglish
ISBN 10/131499486448 / 978-1499486445

AUTHOR

Heidi Howarth lives in Devon in the UK with her husband and two children. She writes picture books for children and my husband illustrates them. They have in excess of 100 titles available and enjoy a worldwide readership.

ILLUSTRATOR

Daniel Howarth started drawing from a very early age and went on to study Art at college and then university. He graduated with a degree in illustration in 1994 and started creating his own range of greetings cards with his wife, whom he met at university.

Daniel works from his studio in Exeter and enjoys the wealth of inspiration and imagination that comes from living deep in the Devon countryside with his wife and two children.

Excerpt taken from Little Tiger.

SYNOPSIS

Egg is different from all other dragons. The only dragon ever born from a cracked egg; he is the runt of the litter. He doesn’t possess any of the special abilities of other dragons. He feels like an outcast. He is self-conscious and a little depressed. He just wants to fit in and be like everyone else.

Will Egg ever fit in with the other dragons? Will he ever find his niche in life? Read the story to find out.

CONCLUSION

Written for children 4 to 7 years old, A Dragon Named Egg is a moral and ethical tale. Egg not only entertains but also delivers a life lesson. Age appropriate, picturesque and short, this book is perfect for a quick bedtime story.

Daniel is a wonderful illustrator and his art brings this tale to life. Egg is just the cutest little dragon! I immensely enjoyed looking at the artwork and how it synergizes with the story. I found myself going back through the book time and time again just to enjoy the pictures. The illustrations are breathtaking!

I whole-heartedly recommend A Dragon Named Egg. It is a wonderful, short bedtime book for all children.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Heidi and Daniel Howarth, NetGalley and Windmill Books for affording me the opportunity to review A Dragon Named Egg.

OTHER WORK BY THIS AUTHOR

The King’s Shadow

Litercurious Book Review

TitleThe King’s Shadow
AuthorEdmund Richardson
PublisherSt. Martin’s Press (April 5, 2022)
FormatKindle, Hardcopy
Pages352
GenreAfghanistan Travel Guides, Central Asia History,
India History
LanguageEnglish
ISBN 10/131250278597 / 978-1250278593

AUTHOR

Edmund Richardson is Professor of Classics at Durham University. He was named one of the BBC New Generation Thinkers.

He is the author of ‘Alexandria: The Quest for the Lost City’ (Bloomsbury) and ‘The King’s Shadow: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Deadly Quest for the Lost City of Alexandria’ (2022) (St Martin’s Press).

From Amazon’s Edmund Richardson Page

SYNOPSIS

The King’s Shadow is the story of a modernized England, in 1827, making his way through rudimentary India and Afghanistan. Using his wits to survive and evade the East India Company’s agents, James Lewis truly becomes a chameleon.

A disenchanted soldier in India, James deserts at a time when absconders where, if caught, “broken on the wheel.” He quickly learns how to con the locals for everything he needs to survive from food and lodging to clothing and money. He discovers that the more outlandish his con, the easier it is to pull off. Along the way, he makes acquaintance with every stratum of class structure. He his entertained by King’s and befriended by peasants.

Changing his name to Charles Masson, he teaches himself to be an archeologist. However, he cannot stay ahead of the East India Company, and his true identity is uncovered. He is then blackmailed into becoming one of the most important spies for England in the Middle East. Although a renowned archeologist for his work on finding the lost city of Alexandria, it is his spy network which is the most important to the East India Company and England’s interests in the region.

CONCLUSION

The King’s Shadow is a true historic spy novel. It has suspense, thrills, danger, intrigue, blackmail and world politics. Dr. Edmund Richardson has done a superb job researching and documenting the life of James Lewis, a.k.a. Charles Mason. His attention to detail and the past is unequaled in this historic tale. This true-life spy drama excites the mind and provides a look into the time and politics of the region.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Dr. Edmund Richardson, NetGalley, and St. Martin’s Press for affording me the opportunity to review The King’s Shadow.

Other Books By This Author

THE BYZANTINE WORLD WAR – Review

The Byzantium World War is set at a time when the power of Rome was beginning to ebb and the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) was beginning. Some of the Key locations of historic importance include; Anatolia, Byzantium, The Middle East, The Balkans, The Caucuses, and North Africa. The timeline is 1068-1097 and this book is written almost as a thriller in its style.

LONDON EXPLORED – REVIEW

LITERCURIOUS BOOK REVIEW

London Explored, by Peter Dazeley and Mark Day. Functional Image
London Explored by Peter Dazeley and Mark Day
TitleLondon Explored: Secret, Surprising and
Unusual Places to Discover in the Capital
AuthorPeter Dazeley and Mark Daly
PublisherFrances Lincoln (November 30, 2021)
FormatHardcover
Pages272
GenreMonument Photography, Landmarks &
Monuments, City Photography
LanguageEnglish
ISBN 0711240353 / 978-0711240353

AUTHORS

Peter Dazeley, Author and Photographer of London Explored.

Peter Dazeley BEM

Peter is the author of London Explored and several other publications. In 2017, he was awarded the British Empire Medal for his services to photography and charity.  He is a life member of the Association of Photographers.

Mark Daly, co-author of London Explored

Mark Daly

Mark is the co-author of London Explored; the author of 5 Steps to Board Success and Ten Treasures Strategic Playbook: The Map to Enduring Business Success.

SYNOPSIS

London Explored is a pictorial documentation of some of the diverse, hidden, and historically significant locations around the Capital of England. Peter and Mark cover a broad range of skillfully captured venues; places that include: religious and industrial sites, privately owned historical homes, as well as museums and gallerias. Some of the locations have restricted access and require special permission to enter. The authors include the access times in the accompanying guide located in the margins.

Included in the book are 213 images of the interiors and exteriors of sixty unique, occulted, lesser known London tourist locations. The catalogue includes the secret underground bunker where Churchill would reluctantly wait out the repeated air raids during the Battle for Britain. World War Two locations factor heavily with Biggin Hill being my personal favorite. Other military locations include The Old Royal Navy College, and for those who savor some images of the many Royal Air Force stations, there is the Bentley Priory Museum.

The images are accompanied by written descriptions and anecdotal stories describing the cultural and historical importance of each location. Patrons of the arts and architecture are bound to enjoy the wide variety architectural photographs; be they elitists or mundane.

CONCLUSION

London Explored provides those with enquiring minds a safe, convenient and informative means to explore Great Britains capital city. The metropolis of London is congested with tourist sites, and the major attractions are often over-subscribed. London Explored provides a large selection of alternative locations for prospective visitors. With this coffee-table book, the reader can explore the city in the comfort of their own armchair.

What sets London Explored apart from other works of its ilk, is the unique sites the author’s chose to include. Many of the most popular London tourist attractions are either historically important or elitist. It was an inspired choice to take the reader on trails less travelled but every bit as interesting and potentially more important from a cultural perspective.

The photography is faultless, and the accompanying accreditations and additional information provide an important context.

I suggest that if you want to know a little bit more about the hidden life of London, consider taking a look at my London A-Z review; where I take an irreverent look at my time spent there and some, not so well-known facts of the highways and byways of good old London Town.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Peter Dazeley BEM, Mark Daly, Frances Lincoln, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review London Explored: Secret, Surprising and Unusual Places to Discover in the Capital.

OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

OCEAN PLANET – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

Ocean Planet by Ben Rothery
TitleOcean Planet: Animals of the Sea and Shore
(Part of The Rothery’s Animal Planet Series)
AuthorBen Rothery
Publisher Tilbury House Publishers (October 5, 2021)
FormatHardcover
Pages80
GenreChildren’s Environment & Ecology,
Children’s Zoology, Children’s Marine Life
Language English
ISBN# 10/130884489167 / 978-0884489160

AUTHOR

BEN ROTHERY

Author and Illustrator of Ocean Planet – A Marine Life Book for children aged 9-12 years. Ben lives in London and works from his small studio in the capital . See more here.

SYNOPSIS

Ocean Planet, by Ben Rothery, is an exceptional work for children. Rothery’s stupendously executed illustrations bring nature to life. Although Rothery’s exquisite masterpiece is meant for children aged 9-12 years, I believe that the book has a much broader appeal.

Ocean Planet covers a diverse range of wildlife as varied as the marine birds-of-the-air to the bacteria living in hydrothermal vents in the depths of the oceans. The book covers everything from the tiniest of microscopic organisms, also known as plankton, to the largest underwater species – the Blue Whale. Although Rothery primarily focuses on the marine environment, he also includes land animals and their environments and habitats. Polar Bears, Leopard Seals, and Penguins are not neglected; nor are the Wolves of British Columbia or the Bengal Tigers of the mangroves of north-west India.

Rothery shares his enthusiasm for his subjects with large, full color, high definition plates. All the plates are accompanied by comprehensive introductions to the relevant facts, figures, and details about the individual subjects. Rothery’s unbridled enthusiasm for nature and his undeniable skill coalesce into a joyful, engaging, and edifying experience. Ocean Planet is a true work of art in every sense of the word.

CONCLUSION

Ocean Planet is a banquet for the eyes, a stimulant for the mind, and a tonic for the soul. A thing of beauty is a joy forever, and so it is with Ben Rothery’s magnificently illustrated work. It is not an over-statement to say that this book is truly epic.

The illustrations are bordering on hyperrealistic and are so well executed that they move ones soul and strain credulity. That one man could create with his primitive tools such a magnificent panoply of life like, natural subjects is truly an impressive feat.

Do you have a favorite book from your childhood? Does the thought of it even now stir your memory and take you back to more innocent, happy days? Well Ocean Planet, by Ben Rothery could be that legacy for your child. Please do not take my word for it, I encourage you to get a copy and decide for yourself.

This book makes a great gift; but take care, it is such a valuable jewel that you may well claim it for yourself. I have to admit Ocean Planet is on the top of my gift list this year, and I cannot wait to own a stunning copy.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Ben Rothery, Tilbury House Publishers (October 5, 2021), and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review Ocean Planet: Animals of the Sea and Shore.

OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

Soaring in Style – Review

Litercurious Book Review

Soaring In Style: How Amelia Earhart Became
a Fashion Icon
by Jennifer Lane Wilson
TitleSoaring In Style: How Amelia Earhart Became
a Fashion Icon
AuthorJennifer Lane Wilson
IllustratorLissy Marlin
PublisherCapstone Editions (February 1, 2022)
FormatHardcover
Pages32
GenreChildren’s Literature, Historical Non-Fiction
LanguageEnglish
ISBN 10/131684464285 / 978-1684464289

AUTHOR

Author Jennifer Wilson Image and bio.

If you would like to learn more about Jennifer Wilson, check out her website here.

ILLUSTRATOR

Illustrator Image and bio.

Lissy Marlin is an award winning illustrator and character designe from the Dominican Republic. She has worked on many projects and has illustrated on a plethora of titles. Learn more about this fantastic artist here.

SYNOPSIS

Soaring in Style is the little known side story of Amelia Earhart. This story not only tells the tale of her becoming a woman pioneer of aviation, but also a pioneer of women’s fashion. It details the motivation behind the aviation icon and what drove her into fashion design.

CONCLUSION

Soaring in Style is a simple story for young girls 8-10 years old. It describes the hardships that women endured in the early 1900’s in a man’s world. Although the story is uncomplicated, it is inspiring for young girls who want to chase their dreams. Amelia Earhart not only breaks down barriers in the aviation industry, but she bucks the system in women’s clothing design as well.

Although I knew quit-a-bit about Amelia the aviator, I had no knowledge of Amelia, the designer. This book introduces a whole new dimension to the aviation icon.

Soaring in Style is brilliantly illustrated. Lissy Marlin’s use of color and design is breathtaking. The images may be simplistic in nature, but they are provocative, they describe the story well and they are just the right type for young audiences.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I would like to thank Jennifer Lane Wilson, Capstone Editions, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review Soaring In Style: How Amelia Earhart Became a Fashion Icon.

FREE TO READ NOW ON KINDLE UNLIMITED

Let’s Go On A Hike, by Katrina Liu is currently free-to-read on KindleUnlimited. Discover all the wonders of nature with this beautifully illustrated book all about a little boy on a hike with his dad, mom, and Archie, the corgi. Great for children ages 2 to 8.

Charles Dickens – Review

Litercurious Book Review

Little People, BIG DREAMS Charles Dickens by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Little People, BIG DREAMS Charles Dickens by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara
TitleLittle People, BIG DREAMS Charles Dickens
AuthorMaria Isabel Sánchez Vegara
IllustratorIsobel Ross
PublisherFrances Lincoln Children’s Books
FormatHardcover, Kindle
Pages32
GenreChildren’s Non-Fiction, Children’s European
Books, Children’s Historical Biographies
LanguageEnglish
ISBN 10/130711258961 / 978-0711258969

AUTHOR

Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, born in Barcelona, Spain, is a writer and creative director in constant search of new concepts for children’s books. Working for more than fifteen years for clients in top advertising agencies, her books combine creativity with learning, aiming to establish a new and fresh relationship between children and pop culture.

ILLUSTRATOR

Isobel Ross is originally from Bath, UK.

Studied at the Arts University Bournemouth, graduating with a BA (hons) in Fine Art.

SYNOPSIS

Charles Dickens is a micro biography staring the eponymous man himself. Charles Dickens is part of the hugely popular Little People BIG DREAMS Series. Vegara has focused on one of Englands favorite authors. Only one other author ever came close in popularity, that being Sir Arthur Conan Doyle the writer of Sherlock Holmes.

In this monograph Vegara writes to her audience of 4-7 year olds. Simple sentence structures and short paragraphs make up the concise history of Dickens.

The book begins well, however the end comes too quickly and lacks detail of the latter part of his life. Vegara did include a more formal chronology at the close. This short chronology is accompanied by plates of Charles Dickens as he aged.

CONCLUSION

Charles Dickens by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara and illustrated by Isobel Ross is a brief partial history of the great man.

It is age appropriate and the illustrations enhance the readers overall experience. The illustrations were both informative and fully supported the written narrative. They are fun and add color to the story.

Overall, Charles Dickens is a good read for younger children. It is brief enough to be read at bedtime.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review Little People, BIG DREAMS Charles Dickens.

OTHER WORK BY THIS AUTHOR

Aircraft of World War II – Review

Litercurious Book Review

Aircraft of World War II: 300 of the World's Greatest Aircraft 1939-1945 by Chris Chant
Aircraft of World War II: 300 of the World’s Greatest Aircraft 1939-1945 by Chris Chant
TitleAircraft of World War II: 300 of the World’s
Greatest Aircraft 1939-1945
AuthorChris Chant
PublisherAmber Books (February 1, 2022)
FormatFlexibound
Pages320
GenreAviation History, Aircraft of WWII, Warplanes
LanguageEnglish
ISBN 10/131838861904 / 978-1838861902

AUTHOR

Chris Chant is a successful writer on aviation and modern military matters. He has more than 90 titles to his credit and more than 15 co-authored titles. You can learn more about Chris on his blog.

SYNOPSIS

Aircraft of World War II: 300 of the World’s Greatest Aircraft 1939-1945 comprises a brief detail and the specifications of wartime aircraft during WWII. The introduction describes the aviation role in war and the evolution of the fighter plane. After the introduction each page has an airplane listed in alphabetical order, with a very brief description of the plane, its use and its specifications.

CONCLUSION

Aircraft of World War II is a very basic book. There are only three real pictures of aircraft in the entire book. Each aircraft described has only a profile depiction available to the reader. The information provided is short and concise.

As a military pilot I love books about airplanes, pilots, and especially fighter pilots. I have been fascinated with aviation since I was a child and love to read about pilots and aircraft. However, this book leaves a lot to be desired. The information is very basic, there are drawings instead of pictures and there is no scale in the depictions.

The author did a pretty good job trying to cover 300 airplanes in such a short book, but I would rather have 150 airplanes with more information and pictures. This book would have been better served if it were cut into factions and the airplanes given much more attention.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Chris Chant, Amber Books, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review Aircraft of World War II: 300 of the World’s Greatest Aircraft 1939-1945.

SPITFIRE!-REVIEW

Spitfire is an exceptionally researched historical account of 19 Squadron and the Battle of Britain. The information contained within its pages is in-depth and vast. From the different types of airplanes the RAF used from WWI through the beginnings of WWII, to the political infrastructure and bickering that took place.

WARRIOR’S RANSOM – Review

Litercurious Book Review

Warrior’s Ransom written by Jeff Wheeler
TitleWarrior’s Ransom – The First Argentines
AuthorJeff Wheeler
Publisher47North (May 18, 2021)
FormatKindle, Paperback, Audiobook, Audio CD
Pages411
GenreHistorical Fantasy, Coming of Age Fantasy,
Sword & Sorcery Fantasy (Books)
LanguageEnglish
ISBN 10/131542027381 / 978-1542027380

Currently Warrior’s Ransom is Free-to-Read on Kindle Unlimited

AUTHOR

Jeff Wheeler is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He majored in History at the San Jose State University. He worked at Intel while attending college but retired early to write full time. Learn all about Jeff, his books, and his new projects on his website here.

SYNOPSIS

Warrior’s Ransom starts where Knight’s Ransom ended. Sir Marshall Barton, A.KA. Ransom, is on a pilgrimage to the “Chandleer Oasis.” There he hopes to discover some answers about his extraordinary abilities. He wants to find out if he is genuinely “Fountain Blessed.”

Ransom discovers that not only is he “Fountain Blessed,” but he has been chosen to defend the Argentine line. The Lady of the Fountain presents him with a scabbard with immense restorative powers to aid him in his quest.

Once Ransom arrives back in Kingfountain, he is quickly put in the service of King Devon the Elder. What follows are more deceit, rebellion, war, intrigue, battles, death, and love. How will Ransom fare? Read the story and find out!

CONCLUSION

Warrior’s Ransom is another fantastic tale. In book two, we resume Ransom’s journey as a Knight and Lord. The story is brilliantly concocted with plenty of loyalty, action, suspense, intrigue, love and betrayal.

Once again Jeff Wheeler has done a great job of mixing fantasy with history. He’s taken some historical events and employed them as a backdrop to design this world in which Ransom lives. The picture he depicts is so effectively presented that I can visualize the scenery in my mind without any issues. The castles, the battles and the environment are all described in exquisite detail.

Another incredible book from Jeff Wheeler. I heartily recommend this book to all readers who enjoy historical fantasy. If you like Knights, chivalry, ancient kingdoms, intrigue, betrayal, fantasy, suspense and massive battles, then is the book for you.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

OUR OTHER REVIEWS OF BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

WILDCAT – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

Wildcat: The Untold Story of Pearl Hart, the Wild West's Most Notorious Woman Bandit Joh Boessenecker
Wildcat: The Untold Story of Pearl Hart, the Wild West’s Most Notorious Woman Bandit John Boessenecker
TitleWildcat: The Untold Story of Pearl Hart, the Wild
West’s Most Notorious Woman Bandit 
AuthorJohn Boessenecker
PublisherHanover Square Press (November 2, 2021)
FormatKindle, Hardcover, Audiobook, Audio CD
Pages385
GenreHistory of Southwestern United States, Criminal
& Memoirs of Criminals
LanguageEnglish
ASIN # B08QZHQZZT

AUTHOR

Author John Boessenecker

True West magazine, in 2011 and 2013, named Boessenecker Best Nonfiction Writer. He received a prestigious Spur award from Western Writers of America and Best Book award from Westerners International. He has appeared frequently as a historical commentator on PBS, The History Channel, A&E, and other media.

SYNOPSIS

John Boessenecker breathed new life into an old case; the case of Lillie N. Davy known by the noms de guerre of Pearl Hart. Drawing upon his research skills, he’s removed the fallacies, the myths, the lies and revealed in extraordinary detail the life and times of Pearl Hart. She was one of the most notorious late 19th Century female criminals of the old West. Pearl was a cross-dressing female with a flare for making herself incognito when the need arose. Her endless dalliances with numerous men doesn’t mark her as unique however, her need to control situations was unique for a woman of that time. At a period in history where women were meant to be housebound homemakers; meek, submissive, barefoot and pregnant; Pearl railed against the expected norms and challenged the mores of the time. 

What John Boessenecker has presented in Wildcat is the unoccluded view of a female recidivist from child to adulthood. His research is as exceptional as it is detailed and he comingles them into a completely engrossing narrative. Boessenecker artfully recounts Pearl’s story from her parents brief courtship to her birth and on. He details ad infinitum her early years as the daughter of an indigent, semi-literate, workshy child molester and petty criminal in Canada. We follow her itinerant lifestyle across  many years and locations culminating with the pinnacle of her criminal enterprise; a coach robbery. 

Throughout the book we discover Pearl’s life of bitter poverty, abuse, and abysmal parenting culminating in a damaged woman bereft of morals, dignity or honesty. Like many women in those historic days, she was often forced to make difficult decisions just to survive. After viewing her circumstances in the round one cannot help but be sympathetic.

Boessenecker reveals the uncompromising world that Pearl lived in and the uncompromising woman that it birthed. From his detailed accounts, she owned the ‘Wildcat’ nickname. She lived life her own way, loved risk taking and took the punishment where she found it. She was intelligent and ‘street smart,’ a potent combination for an erstwhile career criminal.

Living in a time where women rarely left the home once they were betrothed and were kept in check by societal and socio-cultural norms, Pear turned the world on its head to live her own way. She seamlessly integrates into the criminal underclass not as a woman, but as a boy and later a man. She would alter her outer appearance by cutting her hair and affecting a manly stride. She was often found in the company of the criminal class sharing or gleaning useful information for future criminal activities. Peal, we discover, took things to a whole new level when she began utilizing firearms. Weapons that no doubt added to her sense of safety and security, especially due to the company she would often keep. 

She is such an outrageous character, that it is amazing that her story has been lost in time until now. It seems strange that she is forgotten but characters like Big Nose Kate still hold a semblance of allure for many Western History fans. If I were to compare the two, I would say that Pearl’s story has far more impact than the latter. 

The review of Wildcat would not be complete without mentioning Katy Davy, Pearl’s younger sister. An outrageous character every bit as unique as her older sibling. Katy Davy, who used the sobriquets of Millie Davy has an incredible nerve and was talented physically and mentally. Both sisters were, without-a-doubt, survivors; Katy even more so. At thirty-six-years-old, in the 1890’s, Katy became an ascensionist and a descensionist. She took a rest from being a fille de joie started parachuting from a balloon at a thousand feet. Following a near fatal accident she retired, but not for too long. The many tales of prison escapes, her years as a teenage madam and rescuing her husband from prison, Katy appears to have an unending skill in creative problem solving. They sisters even made it into Cosmopolitan magazine, the nations most popular women’s publication at that time. The sisters were walking contradictions for women of their time.

CONCLUSION

John Boessenecker’s writing style is compelling from the very beginning. His research is second to none, and his narrative is fascinating throughout.

The book is entertaining, inspiring, alarming and touching in equal measure. The main characters are mentally re-created. Boessenecker did an exceptional job in breathing life back into the long dead. He avoided tainting the account with his own opinions and simply reported the facts previously occluded by time, myth, disinformation and lies. Overall, John Boessenecker created a fair illustration of the characters, the time period and the environment in which they lived. He’s managed to inject new life in the antics and life of Pearl Hart and her sister. It is a superior read. Some of the material discussed will remain with you long after you have read it.

I highly recommend Wildcat to all adults and children over the age of sixteen. It is entertaining, heartbreaking, outrageous and so much more in-between. If you enjoy reading about true survivors of extreme circumstances, look no further because Wildcat is the story of two consummate survivors.

Wildcat will resonate with you if you are an avid reader of Western History of the United States, Criminal Biographies or Women in History. This it is a rip-roaring tale. You know that if Pearl were alive today, she would be down at Cancún during Spring Break doing whatever she wants whilst engaging in some nefarious activity. You are left with the feeling that she was mad, bad and dangerous to know, but that she was also probably huge fun. 

Why not give it a read yourself? Be prepared, it’s quite a ride; remember to hold on to your hat!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I would like to thank John Boessenecker, Hanover Square Press and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review Wildcat: The Untold Story of Pearl Hart, the Wild West’s Most Notorious Woman.

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