1 out of 4 stars
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Yellow Beard & the Curse of the Bloodline by Lawrence V. Webster functions as a collection of short stories involving an incredibly powerful ghost named Yellow Beard. During the time of the Cherokee Trail of Tears, a young Cherokee man called Yellow Beard and his true love died moments apart and in each other’s arms. Upon his death, Yellow Beard’s ancestors granted him immense superpowers with which he could pursue those responsible for the atrocities committed against the Cherokee people. Yellow Beard has bided his time and now begins to exact revenge upon those descendants of the bloodline that perpetrated the Trail of Tears.
Each Yellow Beard story attempts to explore human nature, particularly when confronted with both the supernatural and ancestral guilt. These stories act as a social commentary on some element of modern culture. Webster takes the time to give a snapshot of the characters in each story before they have the opportunity to meet Yellow Beard. When Yellow Beard finally confronts each character with their fate, characters respond in a variety of ways. Some respond with fear, others anger, and some even respond with calm acceptance.
I found Webster’s snapshots to be far more entertaining than the interactions with Yellow Beard. Some of the stories even involved some thinly veiled pop-culture icons such as the Kardashians and Stan Lee. These stories were some of the more entertaining stories for me. Once Yellow Beard appears on the scene, though, I found most of the stories quickly devolved into blood and gore with very little sense or believability. Many interactions between Yellow Beard and the characters felt forced or unrealistic. Yellow Beard also tends to have extensive monologues in each story, which felt overdone and somewhat heavy-handed.
Webster grouped his stories into parts, attempting to create a story arc and develop Yellow Beard throughout the course of the book. I felt that Webster’s efforts were only moderately successful. While Yellow Beard did change slightly, I did not think it was quite enough to feel like the book worked as anything more than a series of gruesome ghost stories.
When it comes down to the technical aspects of this book, I found it to be poorly edited with significant grammar issues. Not only were there issues with punctuation, but I found poor grammar that included incorrect verb conjugations and issues with subject-verb agreement. These errors actually made it difficult to read the book at times. It became necessary for me to go back through several times and re-read passages so that I could better understand what the author meant to say.
Lawrence V. Webster had an interesting idea with his Yellow Beard character, but the execution needs some work. The overall story arc needs more cohesion and a better sense of resolution. Characters need to become more believable. This book would also benefit from the author allowing his stories to be more varied in their construction. With these considerations in mind, I give this book 1 out of 4 stars. I would recommend this book only to readers that want a series of gruesome ghost stories to tell around a campfire.
Yellow Beard & The Curse Of The Bloodline
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