Official Review: Kamel by Charles J Haubner III

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.
Post Reply
Posts: 191
Joined: 10 Mar 2018, 07:37
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 76
Favorite Book: A Column of Fire
Currently Reading: Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles: 2000-2016
Bookshelf Size: 33
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Kamel by Charles J Haubner III
Location: Michigan

Official Review: Kamel by Charles J Haubner III

Post by Tbunde5 » 17 Jun 2018, 22:29

[Following is an official review of "Kamel" by Charles J Haubner III.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review

Kamel by Charles Haubner III tells the story of Kamel, a young French boy moving into adulthood. Tired of school, and possibly finding his first love, Kamel thinks of nothing but growing up and moving away from the small French town he has lived in his whole life. His only worry is how to tell his parents he does not want to inherit the family farm, and his great joy is his first hunting trip with his grandfather. Except for the occasional fighter planes flying a little too close, his life is largely unaffected by the raging war between Germany and the rest of the world.

All that changes when, as he and Grand-pere set off on their much anticipated trip, Kamel witnesses an atrocity that will change his life forever. The homestead is overrun by German troops and Kamel’s entire family is slaughtered. Now running for their lives, Kamel and Grand-pere find themselves in the middle of the Battle of Argonne, one of the longest and bloodiest battles of World War I. As they head for the supposed safety of Verdun, they come face to face with demons within and without, challenging old prejudices and finding unimaginable strength to survive. As they finally near their destination, they realize that the imagined safe haven of Verdun has become the heart of the battle. Whether or not they survive will depend on Kamel’s ability to become the man he never thought he would have to be.

I was enthralled by this story. Written as historical fiction, it depicts life for the average citizen caught up in the horror of war. The story is made even more meaningful because it is told by Kamel himself. At first we see through his child-like innocence: trying to contain his tears for his mother, clinging to the sandwich she made him for his hunting trip long after it has molded to the bottom of his bag. But as he finds himself faced with certain death time and again, we see Kamel grow from a frightened child into a man, hardening physically and emotionally. It is easy to forget he is just a child until the end, when he realizes that all he wants to do is go home again. This story will twist your heart with its beauty and horror intertwined.

While there were a few editing mistakes, it was often hard to tell if they were intentional or not. Since Kamel is telling the story, his dialogue is littered with French phrases. One repeated error was the capitalization of random nouns, which some European languages do as a rule. However, the author was not consistent in the habit; for example, sometimes he capitalizes “soldier” and sometimes he does not. Also, when transliterating German phrases, the author mixes German and English. For example, he quotes a German soldier saying, “Dis ist thems,” which is incorrect in both languages.

All in all, I give this book 3 out of 4 stars. I would have loved to give it 4 out of 4, but the grammar errors didn’t allow it. Anyone who loves historical fiction will enjoy this book. However, if you are not a fan of the genre, don’t let that stop you from reading it. The book is available only in PDF, but it is definitely worth the short time it will take to download and read it. Bring a tissue – you’ll need it!

View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like Tbunde5's review? Post a comment saying so!

User avatar
Posts: 1
Joined: 18 Jun 2018, 18:44
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by jbob-ware » 19 Jun 2018, 01:23

Hi,I am am lover of historical books and I must agree that the book brings into light the mental aspects of growing up as a teen and to manhood ,though life challenges are similar but worse in war tone areas.this tells a lot as to how life can be cruel yet captivating as we grow.

User avatar
JR Mercier
Posts: 407
Joined: 23 May 2018, 05:03
2018 Reading Goal: 0
Favorite Book: The Bear and the Nightingale
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 115
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Revelations (The Infinity Series, Vol.1) by Bellamy Westbay
Location: South Africa

Post by JR Mercier » 19 Jun 2018, 01:41

This book sounds like an amazing read! Thanks for the great review.
Dream up something wild and improbable.
-Strange The Dreamer, Laini Taylor

User avatar
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 5102
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 54
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: End of the Last Great Kingdom
Bookshelf Size: 191
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: 2079 by Donald P Robin

Post by kandscreeley » 19 Jun 2018, 07:53

Wow! Historical fiction isn't my go-to genre, but I do enjoy a good read every once in a while. I can't imagine how much Kamel's life would have changed after his family was killed. It sounds like this one is one I'll have to pick up in spite of the editing errors. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
Posts: 2
Joined: 31 May 2018, 03:49
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Easylank » 19 Jun 2018, 09:40

The book really showcase the power of gold digger in the absent of not seek for heritage of the farm symbolize the context and command of the book... I love it

User avatar
Posts: 190
Joined: 20 Feb 2018, 13:22
2018 Reading Goal: 75
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 65
Favorite Book: Carmela
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 50
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: 10 Steps to Becoming a Highly Effective Public Speaker by Tamuri LeAnne Richardson
Location: The Caribbean

Post by KristyKhem » 19 Jun 2018, 10:40

The cover doesn't imply that this book will be anything but boring. However, from reading your review, especially the story's summary, it sounds captivating and full of adventure and emotion. Thanks for reviewing this book.

User avatar
Posts: 3
Joined: 19 Jun 2018, 12:54
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by juniorel » 19 Jun 2018, 13:28

Actually didn't like it. All the historian fiction combination was not good to me.

User avatar
Posts: 215
Joined: 17 May 2018, 07:56
Currently Reading: Wuthering Heights
Bookshelf Size: 24
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Arabic Language Learning By Medical & Para-Medical Staff. by Prof. Dr. Anil K. Sahni

Post by daniya__shah3 » 19 Jun 2018, 13:38

I am not too fond of historical fictions, however, your review makes it sound like an intriguing story. I might give it a read sometime in the future.
"We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars."
-Oscar Wilde

User avatar
Posts: 141
Joined: 29 Mar 2018, 04:36
2018 Reading Goal: 20
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 25
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 31
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU
Location: Nigeria

Post by Nimat87 » 19 Jun 2018, 14:46

I do love a well-written historical fiction, and this sounds like one. I feel it's going to be action-packed and deeply emotional. Thanks for the detailed and engaging review.
'We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. '
-Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy (1926).
:eusa-think: :clap: :escribir:

User avatar
Kendra M Parker
Posts: 357
Joined: 07 Apr 2018, 07:49
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 64
Currently Reading: Diana's Incredible Journey Book One, Fall of Mendacium
Bookshelf Size: 389
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base
Reading Device: B00GDQDRPK
Location: Virginia

Post by Kendra M Parker » 19 Jun 2018, 15:16

Even just the summary makes me want to cry. Knowing that the boy turns into a man and just wants to go home again plucks at my heartstrings. I’ll probably pass on this one, but that is a beautiful sentiment.

User avatar
MD haru ur rashid
Posts: 1
Joined: 12 Jun 2018, 12:23
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by MD haru ur rashid » 19 Jun 2018, 22:32

A book that has a symbol and significance is applicable to all. It may be fiction or nonfiction. "kamel" is one of like that. Though l haven't read it, I have come to realize the story of suffering people during the war by going through the excellent review. Thanks a lot for the details. I will read it in future if I get opportunity.

User avatar
Irene C
Posts: 286
Joined: 15 Jan 2018, 16:18
2018 Reading Goal: 13
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 238
Currently Reading: The Orphan Master
Bookshelf Size: 144
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Devil Take Tomorrow by Gretchen Jeannette
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU
Location: San Diego

Post by Irene C » 20 Jun 2018, 11:48

Thanks for this review that nicely highlights the protagonist’s emotional journey. I’m unfamiliar with civilian life during WWI, and this coming of age story looks like a great way to change that.
Like fictional characters? Like guessing games?
Then you'll love the 20 Questions-Guess the Character game, found in the Off Topic forum! 8-)

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 30703
Joined: 22 Oct 2013, 07:12
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 66
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 105
Favorite Author: Agatha Christie
Currently Reading: Goodnight Irene
Bookshelf Size: 1814
Reviewer Page:
Reading Device: B00I15SB16
fav_author_id: 2484
Location: Lost in a good book

Post by gali » 01 Jul 2018, 10:18

A book revolving around the life of, a young French boy during World War I sounds intriguing. A historical fiction that depicts life for the average citizen makes the tale more realistic. Too bad about use of the French phrases in the text. I don't like tales that use foreign words without translation, but I am glad you enjoyed it despite that. Thank you for the review!
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
Posts: 205
Joined: 04 Feb 2018, 15:59
2018 Reading Goal: 200
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 11
Currently Reading: Everything Solid Has a Shadow
Bookshelf Size: 32
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Superhighway by Alex Fayman

Post by Bukari » 01 Jul 2018, 10:23

This story could be one of the best thrillers so far, but I am afraid about the setting and vocabularies that might be used because the boy is a french.
Yes, I have a dream! A dream that I will never give up.

User avatar
JM Hill
Posts: 76
Joined: 09 May 2018, 22:42
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 6
Currently Reading: Dodging Satan
Bookshelf Size: 66
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Pancake Money by Finn Bell
Location: Pensacola, FL USA

Post by JM Hill » 01 Jul 2018, 10:28

I'm not a fan of war stories and unfortunately what I did read nor the review captivated me. I would also have a hard time with the grammatical errors and the combined English/French speaking as well as the mixed German and English. But thank you for your review.
Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers. - Harry S. Truman. :techie-reference:

No amount of guilt can change the past.
No amount of anxiety can change the future.

Post Reply

Return to “Historical Fiction”