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.
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Latest Review: Kamel by Charles J Haubner III

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.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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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!

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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.

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

This book sounds like an amazing read! Thanks for the great review.
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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.
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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

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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.

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Post by juniorel » 19 Jun 2018, 13:28

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

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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.
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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.
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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!
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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.
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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.
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