2 out of 4 stars
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The McCoys Before the Feud is a historical novel written by Thomas McCoy. Thomas McCoy, the author of the novel, is a direct descendant of the McCoy clan. The events in the book were inspired by the real-life feud between the McCoy family and the Hatfield family. However, as the title has suggested, the events in the novel happened before the feud of the two families.
The novel picks up on the events after the civil war. The Southern soldiers were surrendering their weapons and were slowly rebuilding their life torn apart by the war. Aside from the war, the Northern army’s seizure of valuables from the Southern families left the latter broken and penniless. Thomas McCoy Jr., well known as Tommy by his kin, devised a plan to raid the Northern army’s stockpiles of loot. With the help of the rest of the McCoy clan, they initiated the raid of these stockpiles to return the looted valuables to the Southern families.
What I liked most about the novel is its similarity to the story of Robin Hood. The McCoys wanted to steal back the looted valuables and return them to their rightful owners, which were the Southern families. Their mission gave some sense of justice not just for the Southern population but as well as to the readers. I also liked the fact that the novel is written by a McCoy descendant. It gives the book an air of authenticity since the author has an intimate knowledge of the McCoy clan’s history. The novel has a good sense of adventure and its plot is simple and easy to understand.
However, the novel’s simplicity is also its undoing. What I disliked about the book is that there is not enough suspense to reel the readers in. There are only a few instances of crisis, but the readers know that the characters will always pull through. There’s no build-up of climax and the situation for the characters always looks bright. The lack of build-up and crises makes it difficult to root for the characters. I felt like the good events weren’t highlighted enough due to the lack of crises. Another element that I disliked is the novel's repetitiveness when it comes to the raids. The repetitiveness of the raids contributes to the dullness of the novel. After reading through the second raid, I find myself just skimming through the pages. It felt like the author is playing safe with the novel, which made it dull due to its plateaued storyline.
Overall, I rate The McCoys Before the Feud 2 out of 4 stars. The concept of the novel is great, but it could do better with more action and suspense. I would recommend this book to those who love reading historical fiction books, particularly those who might be interested in the history of the McCoys and the Hatfields. I would also recommend this book to new book readers since the story is relatively simple to comprehend.
The McCoys Before The Feud
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