Review of Dread Tribunal of Last Resort

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John Christopher
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Review of Dread Tribunal of Last Resort

Post by John Christopher »

[Following is a volunteer review of "Dread Tribunal of Last Resort" by Brian Kaufman.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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War is worse than hell. In war, regardless of innocence, would involve everyone within the vicinity. Brian Kaufman's Dread Tribunal of Last Resort clearly shows that no matter who you are or where you are from, once the country goes to war, the citizens would soon follow, whether they like it or not. The story focuses on Decker Brown, a Virginian rocket expert who had to enlist himself to side with the Union, with much dismay of his loved ones. With the clear conviction on his beliefs and every person he values dearly staying on the Confederate side, read through how this war for slave rights turns everything he planned for his future with Paula Crane upside down. Follow Brown as he finds himself torn between the love of liberty and the love of his hometown and family.

This book does not make use of common tropes which most readers would find refreshing since it would keep you at the edge of your seat, guessing what could possibly happen next. It keeps most of the characters' decisions logical and matches the time period that they were in at the time. As the topic of slavery is involved, the author was able to masterfully present the challenges of enslaved people as well, both in the people that interact with the slaves, as well as how the slaves and former slaves present themselves in private and public. As a matter of fact, the author even further empowers former slaves regarding the newly acquired freedom, which is mostly presented in the character of Charles Smith. Charles appears at the latter part of the book and gives a background on how former slaves are treated in the workforce. He is later employed by Decker Brown on a project they are undertaking. Without giving much away from the plot, Charles later comes to understand that Brown is one of the few people that sees him as equals. The author also has thoroughly presented the readers with Decker Brown's character, ideals, and imperfections. Many would be able to relate to this character. There's no clear antagonist in this book as well. As history often favors the victor, the writing clearly shows both sides of the spectrum.

I enjoyed every moment of reading this book. I did not notice any negative aspects that could have given an undesirable impact on the reading experience that I had with it. Initially, I didn't like what Decker Brown did at the halfway point of the book as it made little sense at the time but I later changed my mind about it after it was further explored and expanded upon, including the consequences of his actions. The book appears to be professionally edited as well as I was not able to detect any typos on it. With that being said, I'm giving this book a 4 out of 4 stars.

The writing is superb and I feel that my words may not be enough to recommend this to every one of mature age. The story is compelling and is a real page-turner. Mature language is used, race discrimination is presented and graphic descriptions of battles are involved, so it would not be suitable for younger audiences as well as people who are uncomfortable reading them. The N-word would also be mentioned quite a number of times throughout the book. From my understanding of the context of the times it was used, it is mostly used to describe a particular group of people and not used to degrade them.

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Dread Tribunal of Last Resort
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