Official Review: The Bluejay Trail by James L. McKinney

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
User avatar
KristyKhem
Posts: 347
Joined: 20 Feb 2018, 13:22
2018 Reading Goal: 75
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 120
Favorite Book: Carmela
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 95
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kristykhem.html
Latest Review: Love, Care and Share by Tom Herstad

Official Review: The Bluejay Trail by James L. McKinney

Post by KristyKhem » 07 Jan 2019, 14:55

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Bluejay Trail" by James L. McKinney.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


The Bluejay Trail is the first book in the Bonnett series by James L. McKinney. When the Bonnett family’s dog unearths human bones on the ridge close to their home, they are shocked to discover that the bones are the remains of their son, Frank, who had supposedly migrated a few years ago. When his brother, Joe, discovers that Frank’s gun is missing from the corpse, he knew Frank had been murdered. After grief kills his mother and father, eighteen-year-old Joe decides to seek vengeance for Frank. He packs his own gun for the trip, a Bluejay Colt which is identical to Frank’s. Plenty of gun-fighting adventures keep Joe busy, but will he be able to get revenge, make a name for himself, and settle down with a young woman who has captured his interest?

I grew up watching old Western movies with my dad, and this book reminded me of that time in my life. I think that this book will appeal to a wide range of readers, including older teens and adults who like heroic cowboy stories and action novels. However, the violent parts of the book may make the book unsuitable for younger readers. Personally, I really enjoyed reading The Bluejay Trail, especially the parts with riveting gunfights.

In addition to the gunfights, the story had many unpredictable moments. The sudden twists and turns kept me interested in the story. New characters were always popping up, and quite a few of them were killed off quickly. Sometimes, the story deviated from Joe’s initial mission, but somehow, his adventures were always connected to the main plot. Joe’s character was also unpredictable. Although he was comfortable wielding guns, he was inexperienced when it came to girls. However, his naivety was endearing. It made him seem more realistic. I really appreciated these aspects of the book.

Another thing that I liked about this book was that the author balanced the action with peaceful descriptions of the natural environment. On a few occasions, the author described the weather, the ridgetops, and the night sky. One of the most poetic descriptions I came across was ‘I sat on my blankets and watched the nightwalker of the sky as he began to light his small lanterns. He kept at it until the sky overhead was filled with tiny, twinkling lights’.

There was one thing which I disliked in the book and that was the use of the name ‘Bill’. There were at least three characters named Bill – Bill Bradford, Bill Tucker, and Bill Bailey. Although each appeared at different times in the story, it would have been best if they had different first names. After all, there are so many names in the world.

Besides this, there were numerous grammatical and spelling errors. For instance, the word ‘eaves’ was misspelled more than once, and question marks were put in the wrong places. I had no choice but to remove a star from the final rating since the book contained at least ten errors. However, these errors are nothing that a round of professional editing can’t fix. Therefore, I am awarding this book 3 out of 4 stars because it was interesting, well balanced, and the main character was both likable and realistic.

******
The Bluejay Trail
View: on Bookshelves

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

User avatar
Vscholz
Posts: 338
Joined: 09 Jul 2018, 00:59
2019 Reading Goal: 70
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 7
2018 Reading Goal: 65
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 55
Currently Reading: A Game of Thrones
Bookshelf Size: 811
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-vscholz.html
Latest Review: Peppermint Mocha Murder by Pam Moll
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by Vscholz » 10 Jan 2019, 01:24

I was never a fan of westerns but this book sounds like I would enjoy it. Thanks for the review!
As for you & your heart & the things you said & didn't say, she will remember them all when men are fairy tales in books written by rabbits. (Schmendrick the Magician)

User avatar
TJanowski23
Posts: 42
Joined: 14 Oct 2018, 12:13
Currently Reading: Winning the battle against sin
Bookshelf Size: 13
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-tjanowski23.html
Latest Review: The Vision of Jenny Merkus by Hadassa Mor

Post by TJanowski23 » 10 Jan 2019, 07:26

I grew up watching westerns with my dad but I haven't ventured into that realm of reading yet. Maybe it's time. This sounds good. Thanks.

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 6727
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2019 Reading Goal: 95
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 6
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 94
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: The Fire Prophecy
Bookshelf Size: 242
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: Project Tau by Jude Austin

Post by kandscreeley » 10 Jan 2019, 08:52

I don't usually like Westerns, but I admit that your paragraph summary grabbed my attention. I can't imagine my family thinking I had migrated when I was in the backyard, dead and buried! Wow! That's certainly an intriguing start. Thanks so much.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
nonamer_miss
Posts: 51
Joined: 28 Dec 2018, 21:53
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 21
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-nonamer-miss.html
Latest Review: Raven's Peak by Lincoln Cole

Post by nonamer_miss » 10 Jan 2019, 10:13

That was a nice review. I love how you elaborate the things that you don't like about the book. It was also fun knowing that there are variety of Bills in this book although it was one of the things you disliked and I understand because it can cause confusion. Anyways, I had a good read. Thanks!

User avatar
Ksharmilla
Posts: 242
Joined: 22 May 2018, 19:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 43
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ksharmilla.html
Latest Review: Sigfried’s Smelly Socks! by Len Foley

Post by Ksharmilla » 10 Jan 2019, 11:33

This book sounds lovely. I don't usually read western novels that much but they make interesting and exciting plots. It seems as if the action is balanced out by the author's description of the environment. Well done!

User avatar
Jessacardinal
Posts: 98
Joined: 21 Dec 2018, 17:49
2019 Reading Goal: 40
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 5
2018 Reading Goal: 40
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 29
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jessacardinal.html
Latest Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post by Jessacardinal » 10 Jan 2019, 13:34

Your review immediately reminded me of my great-grandfather and his love for these types of movies. This book sounds like a compelling story with enough action to keep the reader interested to the end. Thank you for stirring up wonderful memories!
"Let's be reasonable and add an eighth day to the week that is devoted exclusively to reading." - Lena Dunham

User avatar
ButterscotchCherrie
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 2843
Joined: 29 Apr 2017, 02:00
2019 Reading Goal: 104
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 8
2018 Reading Goal: 104
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 65
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Currently Reading: Mindfulness and Sleep
Bookshelf Size: 198
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-butterscotchcherrie.html
Latest Review: Fubar by Kenneth Underwood
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by ButterscotchCherrie » 10 Jan 2019, 16:23

The premise for this book sounds incredibly intriguing! I'm not so into gunfights, though. Thanks for a very interesting review.

kdstrack
Posts: 1782
Joined: 10 May 2017, 19:49
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 6
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 106
Currently Reading: A Light in the Window
Bookshelf Size: 195
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kdstrack.html
Latest Review: Hologram Deception by Ed Sheehan

Post by kdstrack » 10 Jan 2019, 19:49

You had me with that first paragraph! What a gripping story line. This one sounds like a good read, in spite of the errors. Thanks for your compelling review of this book.

User avatar
Sweet Psamy
Posts: 225
Joined: 30 Aug 2018, 12:03
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 20
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sweet-psamy.html
Latest Review: Lily White Lie by Connie Chappell

Post by Sweet Psamy » 11 Jan 2019, 07:36

A dog discovering a dead body sounds intriguing.I want to read this book.

User avatar
KristyKhem
Posts: 347
Joined: 20 Feb 2018, 13:22
2018 Reading Goal: 75
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 120
Favorite Book: Carmela
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 95
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kristykhem.html
Latest Review: Love, Care and Share by Tom Herstad

Post by KristyKhem » 11 Jan 2019, 10:40

Thank you all for your lovely comments! I hope you all get a chance to read this one :)

Onyinye Excel
Posts: 190
Joined: 30 Aug 2018, 06:54
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 21
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-onyinye-excel.html
Latest Review: White Jaguar by Preben Orman

Post by Onyinye Excel » 13 Jan 2019, 06:57

I don't like predicting my stories so I would read this one. It has a lot of unpredictable moments.

Post Reply

Return to “Historical Fiction”