Review: Calico (Children of the Shawnee: Book One) ~ Allison Bruning

calico“A man whose heart appears pure shall deceive you. The power he holds over you leads you to evil. You shall denounce the ways of Our Grandmother. Another man comes, whose pure heart beats for you alone, and who has a pure spirit devoted to Our Grandmother. He shall defeat the evil and set you free.” A prophecy has been cast against her. In a harsh world deep within the western frontier of Ohio and Kentucky, Calico Marie Turner must learn to survive among the Shawnee and trust the one man who hates her the most, Chief Little Owl Quick as the Wind.

1 Thumbs-Up

I was intrigued by the premise of this book, and was looking forward to reading a gripping account of a white woman surviving and navigating life with the Native American Indian Shawnee; and I tried, I mean really tried to like this book as much as I’d hoped I would, but it just didn’t hit the spot for me. Also if you do not want to read about rape and molestation, you definitely want to give this book a wide berth.

There is very little development of any of the characters we find packed in this novels pages, and at times the dialogue can become very confusing because of them speaking in a difficult to follow, for me anyway, mix of French, Shawnee and English.  Add to this the fact that the majority of the characters have more than one name, do not seem to understand the true meaning of loyalty, and you have characters that you will spend so much time trying to understand and connect with, it detracts from any enjoyment that could be found in the book.

With a little less dialect and complexity and a lot more editing and proofreading, this could have the potential to become a good start to an interesting series of books; unfortunately, as it is it falls far short of any expectations I had.  It is packed full of events and scenarios that would have been easier to navigate if it had been spaced over either two books, or the novel had been longer to accommodate everything; in its current form it was just too much.

I did persevere to end, and it is with many apologies to the Author, but I just cannot recommend this book to anyone.  There may be some readers out there that would thoroughly enjoy this novel, and the way in which it was written, and this one instance where I am glad that not everyone has same the same taste or expectations in their reading material.

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2 thoughts on “Review: Calico (Children of the Shawnee: Book One) ~ Allison Bruning

  1. Interesting, Cate. As an author I love to read reviews to help me keep improving in my writing. One of the themes I see over and over again in reviews is the importance of consistent character development. A great part of the credibility of a story is to understand the reasons why characters do the things they do and feel the emotions which bring them to their decisions. Character development takes time and uses up words, so the art is to maintain discipline with this while moving the plot along. At the same time, a writer has to ask him/herself if the story is clear. If we lose the reader, we have to edit and re-write. This is not shameful. It is part of our job. I learned in the corporate world that competitive work involves “continuous quality improvement.” In the world of writing, I think it is the striving for clarity.

  2. I always try to be honest, without being mean, in my reviews. it really saddened me that this was not what I hoped.

    Thank you for your comment Daniel.

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