Official Review: Clevenger Gold by S.E. Swapp

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 366
Joined: 26 Oct 2016, 14:43
2018 Reading Goal: 40
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 112
2017 Reading Goal: 30
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 176
Favorite Book: <a href=" ... =6703">The Count of Monte Cristo</a>
Currently Reading: The Dead Witness
Bookshelf Size: 1231
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Spontaneous Addiction Recovery by Dr. James Slobodzien

Official Review: Clevenger Gold by S.E. Swapp

Post by bluegreenmarina » 01 Mar 2017, 16:19

[Following is an official review of "Clevenger Gold" by S.E. Swapp.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review

A gripping tale from the wild west, this book has it all – gold, murder, cowboys and “Injuns”, a sordid love affair, and more! Clevenger Gold by S.E. Swapp is a compact and riveting fictionalized account of a real murder that took place in the late 1800s, the events that lead up to it, and the events that followed. This story also holds something beyond the page – the promise of a treasure lying still unfound, with clues to its location buried within the book for the ambitious and adventurous reader.

The story opens with a scene introducing two of the main characters – John and Frank, whom we find locked away in a jail cell preparing for an intense game of cards. The chapters that follow explain how the two men wound up in that cell.

Each of the men independently comes to join the Clevenger family as they travel north from Arizona, with the intention of arriving in the Washington territory. Sam Clevenger, the cantankerous head of the family, is traveling with his ailing wife and adopted teenage daughter with the intention of settling in the north, and hires both men to assist him on the journey. The events that follow are not what any of them signed up for.

Much like the beloved game The Oregon Trail, the travelers must deal with maintenance of their covered wagon, dangerous river crossings, hostile encounters with Native Americans, and supply shortages. The chapters take us through an account of the trip and its gruesome outcome, following each of the characters involved through the events and their aftermath. Each character is painted vividly, and despite the book being a fairly short read, the author successfully portrays their personalities in a way that leaves a memorable impression and allows the reader to understand the motivations behind their actions. The narrative is clear, engaging, and succinct, making this a quick and satisfying read.

This is a raw account of the wild west in all its dirty glory, complete with rather gruesome scenes of violence indicative of the instability of the times. Due to the detailed nature of the accounts of this violence, this book would not be appropriate for younger readers, or readers sensitive to gory detail. The character dialogue and represented dialects are authentic to the time period, which at times manifests as racist speech by the characters in the story – something that readers should be prepared for. The story ends with a solid conclusion that ties up just enough of the loose ends to answer any lingering questions about the case, while leaving open the possibility that a hidden treasure may in fact be waiting for some lucky individual at an old and forgotten campsite in the Northern Arizona Buckskin mountains. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars, and recommend it to lovers of westerns, and people looking for a quick, fun, and intriguing work of historical fiction.

Clevenger Gold
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like bluegreenmarina's review? Post a comment saying so!

User avatar
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 9587
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2019 Reading Goal: 95
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 86
Currently Reading: Sunshine at the Academy
Bookshelf Size: 318
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Sid and Portia: Winning Together by scott D mcdaniel

Post by kandscreeley » 02 Mar 2017, 09:09

Sounds like a well thought out story. I can only imagine what it would be like to travel The Oregon Trail, and it sounds like this book gives you an idea. Thanks!
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

User avatar
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 829
Joined: 22 Oct 2015, 10:47
Currently Reading: Heart of anger
Bookshelf Size: 265
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Blu Phenomenon by Catherine Pike Plough

Post by greenstripedgiraffe » 03 Mar 2017, 08:49

Great review! I loved the Oregon Trail game - back when :D this book sounds like an enjoyable way to gain some more knowledge about that particular time in history.
"no one down here" --- Up the Down Staircase

User avatar
Lilimaster of Bookshelves
Posts: 5905
Joined: 17 Jul 2015, 20:19
2019 Reading Goal: 52
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 38
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 100
Currently Reading: Before the Devil Breaks You
Bookshelf Size: 448
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: You & Me & Allergies by Shelly Orloff
Publishing Contest Votes: 27

Post by hsimone » 17 May 2017, 06:12

Great review! A wild west tale filled with gold, murder, cowboys, and suspense? Sounds exciting! Though I can't remember if I ever played The Oregon Tale game, this sounds like a suspenseful read that many will enjoy. Thank you for sharing and congratulations to the author for receiving such a positive review!
"Love is patient, love is kind." -1 Corinthians 13:4

Posts: 1165
Joined: 13 May 2013, 13:43
2018 Reading Goal: 52
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 30
2017 Reading Goal: 52
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 90
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 172
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Walkabout Creek by Jane Paul

Post by Scerakor » 17 May 2017, 06:15

Thanks for the review! This sounds like an authentic, fast-paced novel to compliment the annals of the tales of the wild-west. I may just have to check this one out!

User avatar
Gravymaster of Bookshelves
Posts: 35897
Joined: 27 Aug 2014, 02:02
2019 Reading Goal: 50
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 84
2018 Reading Goal: 65
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 60
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 78
Favorite Author: Seanan McGuire
Favorite Book: As many as there are stars in the sky
Currently Reading: The Hive
Bookshelf Size: 968
fav_author_id: 3249

Post by Gravy » 17 May 2017, 06:25

I've never really read a western (unless you count weird westerns :lol: ), but this sounds interesting enough. I'm intrigued by the land they travel, and wonder how accurate the author got it.
Thank you for the review.
Where you invest your love, you invest your life.

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 41724
Joined: 22 Oct 2013, 07:12
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 92
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 100
Favorite Author: Agatha Christie
Currently Reading: Library of Souls
Bookshelf Size: 1978
Reviewer Page:
Reading Device: B00I15SB16
fav_author_id: 2484

Post by gali » 17 May 2017, 06:45

I read a few westerns of Louis L'Amour and liked them. You got me with "This is a raw account of the wild west in all its dirty glory". I will check it out, thank you.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

User avatar
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1058
Joined: 29 Jul 2016, 22:22
2019 Reading Goal: 12
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 16
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 12
2017 Reading Goal: 10
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 230
Favorite Author: Mitch Albom
Favorite Book: <a href=" ... ">tuesdays with Morrie</a>
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 796
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG
fav_author_id: 2544

Post by tarafarah7 » 17 May 2017, 07:38

I love how the story starts out....good 'ol game of cards...for your life!! Hehee! Good review....looking forward to reading the rest!

User avatar
Posts: 74
Joined: 21 Dec 2016, 09:35
2017 Reading Goal: 40
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 100
Bookshelf Size: 362
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: "The Bonding" by Imogen Keeper
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by ChillAndRead » 17 May 2017, 08:24

That sounds like a really good wild west story! Thanks for the review!!
Latest Review: "The Bonding" by Imogen Keeper

User avatar
Posts: 441
Joined: 04 Mar 2017, 18:43
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 48
Currently Reading: City of Ashes
Bookshelf Size: 63
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: "The firstborn" by Helena K Workman
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by christinac_2585 » 17 May 2017, 11:07

Sounds like a great story and gives great detail of how the West was in the 1880s. From the review it looks like this book may have a little bit of everything in their including romance. Thank you for your great review.
"Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home."
- Anna Quindlen
Latest Review: "The firstborn" by Helena K Workman

User avatar
Posts: 439
Joined: 07 Feb 2016, 19:36
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 18
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 47
Currently Reading: Lycan Fallout
Bookshelf Size: 565
Reviewer Page:

Post by mindyg123 » 17 May 2017, 11:29

Great review. A book with gold , murder, and all that goes with it in the Wild West sounds like a great read can't wait to read it. Congrats on being BOTD.
Mindyg123 :techie-studyingbrown:

User avatar
Posts: 124
Joined: 02 Apr 2017, 13:08
2017 Reading Goal: 36
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 66
Currently Reading: The Serial Killer Files
Bookshelf Size: 272
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: "Gilligan's Toy" by Janice Smith

Post by AlwaysWorthIt » 17 May 2017, 11:37

Great review. It's not often that we have the ability to read about the journeys of those that came before us in a true account through journals. Most of the time we only learn through hearsay. It sounds like the book is filled with accounts that the schools generally hide from us when we learn about the wild west.
It's Always Worth the Read.
Latest Review: "Gilligan's Toy" by Janice Smith

User avatar
Posts: 221
Joined: 26 Dec 2016, 02:15
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 74
Favorite Book: The Vatican Protocol
Currently Reading: The Chauvinist's Guide to Modern Romance
Bookshelf Size: 357
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Warramunga's War by Greg Kater

Post by va2016 » 17 May 2017, 11:47

Such a great thorough review! Thanks for covering all the aspects of the book. I would have totally opted to read this book but I was discouraged by the happenings in the first chapter. I figured the cowboy type of story is not mine. Anyways, I am sure many others will like the book!

User avatar
James Craft
Posts: 371
Joined: 14 Sep 2016, 11:41
Favorite Author: Lincoln Cole
Currently Reading: Carnivore
Bookshelf Size: 51
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: "Perdido Bay Blues" by Jacqueline Lane
fav_author_id: 26410

Post by James Craft » 17 May 2017, 11:53

The racist speech of the story makes me a little leary of this one but it sounds like a great read. Well done and sounds good.
Latest Review: "Perdido Bay Blues" by Jacqueline Lane

User avatar
Maria Jingay Lapira
Posts: 1
Joined: 17 May 2017, 11:46
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Maria Jingay Lapira » 17 May 2017, 11:54

A must read book about for those who love history and for those who wants to broaden up their horizon. a very great book..

Post Reply

Return to “Historical Fiction”