Official Review: The Wounded Breed by James S. Kelly

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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Kelebogile Mbangi
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Official Review: The Wounded Breed by James S. Kelly

Post by Kelebogile Mbangi » 30 Sep 2018, 16:04

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Wounded Breed" by James S. Kelly.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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The Wounded Breed is a historical fiction book by James S. Kelly. It has elements of a crime novel which add action and suspense. The book is set in two time periods; one time setting is in the 1890s and the other is in the early 1900s.

The local barber is found hanging from a beam at the post office. His face is painted red, and he dressed in a Sioux ghost shirt. His lifeless body is eery as it swings in the wind above a tin cup which contains a lock of his hair. The town constable, Charles Little, decides that he is in over his head with this murder scene and enlists the help of Tommy Sanchez to decipher the clues. Tommy is mixed race, being the son of the great Sitting Bull. When three similar hangings occur, Tommy's family is associated with the murders. As he puts the pieces together, the hangings point to being an act of revenge for the brutality expressed by solders a decade ago at Wounded Knee.

The Wounded Breed has an interesting plot which easily stirs up the emotions of its readers. I have never felt as much empathy towards a culprit as I did in this book. The author gave the culprit such a compelling backstory that it was almost too easy to rationalize and justify his horrendous actions. I won't spoil the book by discussing the events that led the murderer, who is an otherwise upstanding citizen, to take such extreme measures of revenge. Rather, I'll let you read it to find out.

It took me a while to reconcile the language used by the characters and the time period. The characters sound as though they live in the present and not in the 1900s. This really detracted from the setting.

The main character, Tommy Sanchez, is portrayed as this tough, macho man who solves his problems through violence. Some readers might enjoy this aspect of the book, but I thought this only fictionalized his character further. It made him unrealistic, and in my opinion, unlikeable.

Despite all this, I did enjoy this book. It presents the injustice that both natives and whites were faced with. It educates while entertaining. Thus, I rate it 3 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to crime novel fans. The process Tommy takes to decipher the clues at a time when forensics were limited was interesting. Like I said, the time setting was not well depicted, so I doubt that historical fiction lovers will enjoy it.

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The Wounded Breed
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Debjani Ghosh
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Post by Debjani Ghosh » 03 Oct 2018, 04:08

Being a historical fiction book, if the time setting is not correctly portrayed then it will put me off. Thanks for the review!

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Post by edith38 » 03 Oct 2018, 04:30

Thank you for the interesting review. I know what you mean about the language not fitting the story setting, I have an exactly similar problem with the book I'm reading now :(.

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Post by kandscreeley » 03 Oct 2018, 09:01

I'm not much of a historical fiction person most of the time, but I do love to get glimpses into why criminals do what they do. So, this sounds like it would be right up my alley! Thanks for a good review. I'll look into this one further.
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Post by MsTri » 03 Oct 2018, 14:16

I normally greatly dislike historical fiction, but I adore a good crime mystery, so I'm afraid my love of the latter wins out on this one, *lol!* With that being said, I don't think the incorrect language will bother me since I'm not too keen on that kind of thing anyhow... Thanks for the introduction!

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Post by T_stone » 03 Oct 2018, 16:00

Being a historical book, the language of communication should portray it as though it was in the old era. This will also make it a little bit tasking trying to get a glimpse of the story however crime mystery is one of my favorites. Good review
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Post by Caylie_Cat » 03 Oct 2018, 20:56

It is a shame the author didn't use language and dialogue befitting the era as this would make the novel a bit dysfunctional. The plot sounds well-planned, though, and the historical side of it would be interesting as I'm generally a bit hazy about American history. Good review!

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Post by sonya01 » 04 Oct 2018, 01:40

I do like this kind of book. The plot is interesting and historical at the same time. Am also very keen on stories set in the Old West, so will be adding this to my Bookshelves for sure. Many thanks for a great review.

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Post by Shaza9190 » 04 Oct 2018, 14:12

I think it will be a good book to read. I will get my hands on it soon. Great review

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Post by obiora111 » 06 Oct 2018, 18:38

I like the book jn the sense of crime and suspense.. for me it's like action film. Thanks for the review.

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