3 out of 4 stars
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The McCoys Before the Feud by Thomas McCoy takes place in the time right as the American Civil War is coming to a close. As suggested by the name of the author, this book is written by a direct descendent of the original McCoy family. The McCoys are a large, southern family who feel like they have been wronged by the Northern Army. Thousands of dollars worth of gold, property, furniture, and other valuables have been seized by the North. The McCoys consider it their right to take it back in a series of raids on storage sites, which is where all the loot is being guarded. They want to rebuild their ranch, which has become desolate because of the war. The story follows the ten men as they plan and execute the raids.
I found it difficult to become invested in this book. The plot and events that take place are boring, inconsequential, and anti-climatic. I think this book would have been more exciting if it was written about the McCoys during the feud as opposed to before. As I was reading, I thought that the McCoys raiding the different storage sites would be maybe ¼ of the book. However, that event makes up the entirety of the book. Multiple times, I found myself wanting to skim. Another unfortunate part is that each chapter is headed with a brief, four or five word description of what will happen in the chapter. The reader would easily be able to read just these headings and understand the book.
The characters were flat, undeveloped, and had no individual personality. The book introduces ten men and one woman, but other than their names, there is no difference between the characters. They all talk and act the same. Most of the book is long spurts of dialogue perfectly describing their plan and what they are going to do next. The characters never talk about anything else. It would have been more interesting if the characters talked about life during the war, their families, or how they felt before and after the raids.
Considering all this, this book is not a complete failure. It is very well-written and organized. It is clearly professionally edited as I noticed no grammatical errors. However, if I wasn’t writing a review for this book I would not have read past the first three chapters. For these reasons I would rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I was considering giving it 2 stars because of how incredibly boring the plot is, but I have to give credit to an author that showed obvious effort in writing.
I would describe this book as historical fiction based upon real events. It is difficult for me to recommend this book to anyone I know because they wouldn’t get much enjoyment out of it. However, if you enjoy books set in the Civil War time period, then feel free to give this book a chance. There is no violence, cursing, or other inappropriate content.
The McCoys Before The Feud
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