Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Searing Wind by W.Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear (Review)

Genre:Historical Fiction
Publication.Date  March 6th 2012
Published By:  Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster US)  | 
WebsiteW. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear

A Searing Wind - Goodreads
My review copy:Finished copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Where to get:

“An irresistibly intriguing story line that brings the past vividly to life. . . . Nobody does Native Americana better than the Gears.” —Booklist

In the eagerly awaited third installment of the Contact: Battle for America saga, New York Times bestselling authors W. Michael and Kathleen O’Neal Gear richly portray a clash of cultures and a native peoples’ struggle to protect their world. Set against the tragic war sparked by Hernando de Soto’s brutal invasion of the American South, A Searing Wind heightens the historical action in this series hailed as “magnificent” (Andrew M. Greeley) and “exciting, skillfully crafted, and fast-paced” (Publishers Weekly).Black Shell is an exile, banished by his people for his cowardice in battle. To his fearsome patron spirit, Horned Serpent, however, he is imbued with the courage and keenness to stop the Kristiano onslaught. He and his beautiful wife Pearl Hand have fought them from the Florida Peninsula through the very heart of native America. A trader by profession, Black Shell now dedicates his soul to destroying the invaders, with their impenetrable armor, their swift, enormous cabayos, and their flashing, razor-sharp swords. Black Shell and Pearl Hand have seen the shackled, naked, starving slaves, heard the broken promises—and learned de Soto’s plans. While the battle of Mabila cost many Kristianos life and limb, the marauder does not retreat. Now he heads for Chicaza and the people from which Black Shell was once exiled.Wounded and pursued by memories and visions, Black Shell is obsessed with setting the perfect trap. To do so, he must use the Chicaza and their stockpiles of food and supplies. And he must gamble everything on his people’s pride, traditions, and failings. As winter sets in, new dangers abound for the pair—that of a family’s shame, a woman’s anger, and a betrayal that may force Black Shell to forfeit his last chance to save their world from utter destruction. But, worst of all, he and Pearl Hand must walk boldly into de Soto’s camp and engage the cunning monster in a desperate game of wits that will decide the fate of a continent. Powerful and pulsing with authenticity, A Searing Wind is an unforgettable tale of humanity and cruelty, passion and ignorance—and of historical events burned into America’s history and soul. (Goodreads)

My body floated, weightless, flipping this way and that, drifting out through the doorway and into the light. Rocked by the warmth. Borne upon the air like a prayer. Dreaming...
"If you want your balls hanging intact, you'll be out of here right NOW!"

     A Searing Wing is the third and final installment of the Contact: Battle For America series by the phenomenal writing duo, W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear. Providing an excellent and unique look at the Spanish conquest of American southeast, this book is nothing short of masterful. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the previous two books - they were sensational, emotional, intense and absolutely fascinating, but the third book surprised me with even more ground-shaking action, heartbreaking events, and immensely satisfying conclusion. I'm really sad to part with the magnificent world the Gears created and can't wait to read more of their marvellous works.

     Because this is the third book in a trilogy, I will refrain from talking about the plot and focus entirely on my thoughts and impressions.

     I loved every aspect of this book. The plot moved swiftly along, jumping from one adventure to another. The historical background was extensively researched, rich in flavour and abundant in fascinating information. I found it amazing to read about the history, culture, spiritual beliefs and customs of Native American tribes. It was definitely a precious, eye-opening experience for me, and one that I will never forget. The character building was one of the strongest and most thorough ones I have ever seen, making it easy to get emotionally attached to the protagonists and really care for them. The narration switched back and forth between Black Shell and Pearl Hand, adding a whole new layer to the already complex plot and giving the reader a better insight into the story. Above all, despite it being quite a hefty book, A Searing Wind was very evenly paced, well-balanced, and gripping all the way to the end. I honestly can't recall a single boring passage - no matter how you slice it, this is a book to devour! A powerful, beautifully written historical novel that is both entertaining and thematically poignant.

     Frankly, this book - this WHOLE series - is too amazing for words. There's no way to convey the amount of historical details the authors managed to include. No way to tell you how readable, enjoyable, gripping and moving it was. No words can ever be enough to praise their exceptional storytelling, and the way they skilfully weaved adventure and drama into the vividly depicted tapestry of Native Americana. Reading this book was a one-of-a-kind experience. Enriching, entertaining and very informative. Unforgettable.

     Thanks to their archeological background, the Gears managed to craft something that is not only captivating and fun to read, but also - or, perhaps, most of all - astoundingly authentic. This novel is historically accurate, but at the same time not heavy with dry facts and dates. Quite the opposite - despite the serious subject matter and profoundly meaningful messages it carries, A Searing Wind is a page-turner that will keep you glued to its pages for long hours. It reads like a good adventure book, but also gives you something to think about. Essentially, it's a terrific read, and one that I will definitely be recommending to all my friends!

Stop by tomorrow to read my review of A Searing Wind, the third and final book in the Contact series!
Stop by on Saturday to read my interview with the fabulous authors and enter to win the whole trilogy!

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


Krazzyme(Young Readers) said...

Never heard of this series before but it looks interesting :)

Krazyyme @ Young Readers

Anonymous said...

Bless the Native Americans...
How down trodden they have been made!
Thanks for the chance to win this series of fascinating 3 book series.

Hannah said...

WOWO. Look at these books. So crazy awesome. I need to read these! I love Historical Fic and your reviews of this make me really intrigued. And those covers! Oh my goodness the covers! I'm adding them to my To-Reads!

Sallie Mazzur said...

I think I love this title the best out of all three... Something about how it makes me feel when I say it outloud... great review by the way! It makes me really happy for readers/authors when the second/third/so on book in a series is just as amazing as the first. It can be really hard work to continue a story after it's already have such a great beginning. But it's obvious that W. Michael and Kathleen O'Neal are authors to watch out for. Although it's almost sad when a series that has been successful in the story telling comes to an end. I find myself buying and keeping the final books in series safely on my bookshelf. I don't like when good stories come to an end! I like to imagine they're still traveling, fighting, and continuing to soar!

Denise Z said...

Well the culmination of this trilogy sounds very satisfying. Thank you for sharing about the entire series and I look forward to the read.

Unknown said...

Thanks for reviewing the series!! I can't wait to read them! I love the covers as well! I know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover but I most of the time do!

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