Sunday, August 4, 2013

In Golden Splendor by Michael K. Reynolds

This is the second in the Heirs of Ireland series. If you want to get the full benefit of this book, you must read the first one. There was nothing in the promotion material inviting me to review this book indicating it was a sequel. There is nothing on the book, front or back, indicating this is a sequel. But sequel it is and much of the story line in this book is based on action from the first one, which I have not read. So my review may reflect a bit of disgruntlement.

Apparently in the fist novel, Irish immigrants travel to America in the 1840s. As this novel opens, the siblings are separated. Some are in New York City. This novel centers on Seamus, a brother who was apparently in the U. S. Army during the Mexican/American War, then went over to the Mexican side. He is now living in the Rocky Mountains, avoiding possible capture as a deserter. He sees a stagecoach crash ans finds a letter with a beautiful woman's photo inside. Seamus is immediately taken by the photo and decides to go to San Francisco, where the letter indicates the woman resides.

Seamus reaches San Francisco on Christmas Eve, 1849, so we read about the tragic fire of that day. We learn a bit about the gold rush too, seeing the drive to find the gold and the lengths to which some would go in their search. There is interesting interplay between cultures, the Irish, Chinese, African-American and Indian. That part was very interesting. Important in the novel was understanding the action of God as he provided opportunities for Seamus to show his good character.

Lacking the background material from the first novel, I had a difficult time getting emotionally involved in this novel. I did not feel the emotional impact of Seamus' deserter status, not having read the account in the first novel. An “Uncle Thomas” plays a large part in the end of this novel. His unseemly character must originate in the first novel. Not having read it, his impact seemed a bit out of the blue for me.

If you like historical novels, you'll like this one. It did hold my interest but not as well as if I'd read the first one.

Michael K. Reynolds is the writer and producer of Emmy and Telly Award-winning film campaigns and has more than two decades of experience in fiction, journalism, copywriting, and documentary production. He owns Global Studio, a marketing agency, and is also an active leader in church and business, speaking in both ministry and corporate settings. He is the author of the popular Real Life. Real God. blog. Michael lives with his wife and three children in Reno, Nevada. Find out more at www.MichaelKReynolds.com and watch a video about his fiction writing here.

B&H Fiction, 436 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through a publicity group for the purpose of this review.
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