Review by Shrabastee -- Strong Heart by Charlie Sheldon

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Shrabastee
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Review by Shrabastee -- Strong Heart by Charlie Sheldon

Post by Shrabastee » 09 Jan 2019, 05:34

[Following is a volunteer review of "Strong Heart" by Charlie Sheldon.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Strong Heart by Charlie Sheldon is a multifaceted novel, making its categorization into any particular genre difficult. This is a story about finding one’s root, a story about thrilling adventures, a story laced with legends and myths. Above all, this is a novel that makes you feel enriched.

Accompanied with William and Myra, Tom plans a visit to his great-great grandfather’s grave. Due to an unexpected turn of events, Tom is left with the responsibility of Sarah, his wayward granddaughter. He dreads the consequences of taking her along in the journey. When Sarah accidentally loses her way in the wilderness, she discovers herself not at a different place, but in a different time. What adventures await her there? Will she be able to return to her granddad unscathed?

I loved the author’s take on culture and legends. He maintains a notion that the advent of science does not necessarily refute old ideas and beliefs. Sometimes, much knowledge remains to be gained from the songs and myths of ancient days. Moreover, the concept of a pilgrimage to the ancestor’s place was mind-blowing. Strong Heart demonstrates how important it is to know one’s cultural history.

The characters were mostly well-developed. I appreciated Sarah’s character the most. She shows strong will, determination, and indomitable courage. Among the others, Myra with her quick wits and Sergei with his scientific mindset are worth mentioning.

One of the dominant themes of the novel was the constant conflict between the old and the young. This generation gap is clearly evident in the ongoing debate between Alec and his son Sergei. Tom’s disapproval of Sarah and her comments about him also reflect this conflict. However, these occasional misunderstandings never caused the bonding between the characters to waver. The friendship between William and Tom, and that between William and Alec touch the reader’s heart.

A remarkable aspect of the novel was the theory on human evolution and possible routes of migration. Lacking detailed knowledge on the subject, I cannot comment on the authenticity of the author’s view. However, I like it because it portrays the entire humankind as a single family. This creates a sense of unity irrespective of the differences in our birthplace, appearance, and culture.

My most favorite part of the novel was Sarah’s adventures in the past. The slight twinge of paranormal makes them more engaging. The author’s nautical skills as a commercial fisherman were exemplified in the book, a feat unique to Strong Heart.

However, some aspects of the book failed to satisfy me. Foremost, I would have liked more variation in the dialogues. They are a little repetitive in places, especially during the arguments. Tom’s initial disapproval of Sarah sounded unrealistic. Equally unrealistic was the animosity between Myra and Sergei. Even their reconciliation seemed forceful. Additionally, the short and clipped sentences sometimes hindered the ease of reading.

Keeping the above-mentioned points in mind, I rate Strong Heart 3 out of 4 stars. A few typing errors did not hinder the reading experience. This book will appeal to a vast audience. Readers who enjoy historical fictions and adventure stories will appreciate this. Although quite a few grisly deaths are mentioned in the book, the gory details are not overdone.

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Strong Heart
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Post by Sunnyroyish » 11 Jan 2019, 11:15

I never thought that there would be time travel in this book from its title. The story of Sarah and her granddad seems interesting to me because I love sci-fi. Loved your review. Good luck for the next one!
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Post by Lunastella » 12 Jan 2019, 12:22

I loved the author’s take on culture and legends. He maintains a notion that the advent of science does not necessarily refute old ideas and beliefs. Sometimes, much knowledge remains to be gained from the songs and myths of ancient days. Moreover, the concept of a pilgrimage to the ancestor’s place was mind-blowing. Strong Heart demonstrates how important it is to know one’s cultural history.
This is a topic I've wondered about for long. How to reconcile both traditions/lore and modern knowledge? Why do we have to assume they're mutually exclusive?
Culture shapes our worldview and its definitely important to know not only ours, but as much as we can.

A remarkable aspect of the novel was the theory on human evolution and possible routes of migration. Lacking detailed knowledge on the subject, I cannot comment on the authenticity of the author’s view. However, I like it because it portrays the entire humankind as a single family. This creates a sense of unity irrespective of the differences in our birthplace, appearance, and culture.
I love your conclusion. I don't know much about genetics either, but I like very much your idea.
I've read very few reviews that left me thinking so much and wishing I could read the book immediately. Congrats!

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Post by Bavithra M » 14 Jan 2019, 00:42

The title of the book is very capitivating. I liked this book too. Good review. Thanks for the review.
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Post by briellejee » 15 Jan 2019, 08:23

Really love if a book has well-developed characters! I liked how you put the qualities you like from a character here. Also, I didn't know that the book contains theories on human evolution and migration, that sounds interesting! I would probably add this to my to-read list! Thanks for the honest review!
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Post by Helen_Combe » 15 Jan 2019, 08:32

Great review, pity it got repetitive (the book, not the review)
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Post by Sarah Tariq » 15 Jan 2019, 11:27

I also reviewed it. It was one of my favorite book. Their trip to Olympic peninsula, the geological and geographical interpretation were all amazing. I think the connection between Myra and Sergei would have taken a new touch in the next book "Adrift."
Thanks for this great review.
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Post by gen_g » 15 Jan 2019, 22:23

This has a fascinating premise, and I like that it touches on quite a few deep topics. Still, it's a pity about the book's construction; repetition does get tiring. Thanks for the lovely review!

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Post by teacherjh » 16 Jan 2019, 12:16

I read a young adult book with this type of Native American time travel in it. Sounds interesting.

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Post by Shrabastee » 17 Jan 2019, 01:35

Sunnyroyish wrote: ↑
11 Jan 2019, 11:15
I never thought that there would be time travel in this book from its title. The story of Sarah and her granddad seems interesting to me because I love sci-fi. Loved your review. Good luck for the next one!
I shared your views as well, thinking of it as an adventure story. The fact that those adventures were conducted in two different time-frames adds thrill to it, no doubt! Thanks for stopping by!

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Post by Shrabastee » 17 Jan 2019, 01:42

Lunastella wrote: ↑
12 Jan 2019, 12:22
I loved the author’s take on culture and legends. He maintains a notion that the advent of science does not necessarily refute old ideas and beliefs. Sometimes, much knowledge remains to be gained from the songs and myths of ancient days. Moreover, the concept of a pilgrimage to the ancestor’s place was mind-blowing. Strong Heart demonstrates how important it is to know one’s cultural history.
This is a topic I've wondered about for long. How to reconcile both traditions/lore and modern knowledge? Why do we have to assume they're mutually exclusive?
Culture shapes our worldview and its definitely important to know not only ours, but as much as we can.

A remarkable aspect of the novel was the theory on human evolution and possible routes of migration. Lacking detailed knowledge on the subject, I cannot comment on the authenticity of the author’s view. However, I like it because it portrays the entire humankind as a single family. This creates a sense of unity irrespective of the differences in our birthplace, appearance, and culture.
I love your conclusion. I don't know much about genetics either, but I like very much your idea.
I've read very few reviews that left me thinking so much and wishing I could read the book immediately. Congrats!
Thanks so much, Andrea! I am glad you liked the review. I share the opinion that culture and progress do not need to be kept separated. After all, how will you go ahead if you do not take heed of what you left behind? Unfortunately, that is the quite often the case.
As for the point about human migration, I plan to know more about it. I don't how close to truth Sheldon was, but certainly his hypotheses were interesting!

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Post by Shrabastee » 17 Jan 2019, 01:44

Bavithra M wrote: ↑
14 Jan 2019, 00:42
The title of the book is very capitivating. I liked this book too. Good review. Thanks for the review.
Thanks you so much Bavithra! Glad to know you share my likings. Could you post the link to your review? I would love to read your opinion on this!

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Post by Shrabastee » 17 Jan 2019, 01:46

briellejee wrote: ↑
15 Jan 2019, 08:23
Really love if a book has well-developed characters! I liked how you put the qualities you like from a character here. Also, I didn't know that the book contains theories on human evolution and migration, that sounds interesting! I would probably add this to my to-read list! Thanks for the honest review!
Thanks for stopping by! Yes, the theories came as a pleasant surprise to me as well. Do read this one if possible, I believe you will like this book.

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Post by Shrabastee » 17 Jan 2019, 01:47

Helen_Combe wrote: ↑
15 Jan 2019, 08:32
Great review, pity it got repetitive (the book, not the review)
Thanks for the comment, Helen!

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Post by Shrabastee » 17 Jan 2019, 01:49

Sarah Tariq wrote: ↑
15 Jan 2019, 11:27
I also reviewed it. It was one of my favorite book. Their trip to Olympic peninsula, the geological and geographical interpretation were all amazing. I think the connection between Myra and Sergei would have taken a new touch in the next book "Adrift."
Thanks for this great review.
Sarah, good to know you share my enthusiasm about this book! I have already obtained a copy of Adrift, though haven't gotten around to read it yet. I would love to read more about them. Also, I would like to read your opinions on Strong Heart. Could you please post the link here?

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