Friday, June 19, 2020

Blood and Silver; Vali Benson

Title: Blood and Silver
Author: Vali Benson
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: April 3rd, 2020
Publisher: Tellwell Talen

What is a twelve year old girl to do when she finds herself in the silver boom town of Tombstone, Arizona, in 1880, and her only home is a brothel and her only parent is a drug-addicted mother? If she is Carissa Beaumont, she outsmarts the evil madam and figures a way out.

After tricking the madam, Miss Lucille, into summoning a doctor for her mother, Lisette, she discovers that Miss Lucille has been drugging her. She and the kind doctor make a plan to try to save Lisette by dosing her down on the drug.

Doctor Henderson tells Carissa that the only source for the drug is a Chinese immigrant named China Mary, who lives in Hoptown, at the other end of Tombstone. Carissa has no choice but to go to the powerful woman for help. Many say that China Mary is the one who really controls Tombstone.

China Mary admires Carissa's brave spirit, and uses her influence to get her a job at the new Grand Hotel, which will free Carissa from her many duties at Miss Lucille's. She will work along with Mary's twelve year old niece, Mai-Lin. The two girls become fast friends.

Then, disaster strikes, and the two girls must work together to stay alive.

With a host of colorful characters and meticulous attention to period detail, Blood and Silver is a story of the best and worst of human nature, the passion for survival and the beauty of true friendship.

*Thank you to the author for allowing me to read this book in exchange for a honest and unbiased review*


Hello Fellow Readers,

Today I have a historical work of fiction to review. It's been a long time since I've read historical fiction, even longer where the book took place in the wild west. Now I have mixed thoughts and feelings about this book that it is a little hard for me to focus my thoughts to review it. So I wanted to break it down a bit to hopefully make sense of my review.

First of all, the characters. I love Carissa, she is such a smart and intelligent child that you can't help but hop that she can get out of the terrible situation that she's in. You know that if she hadn't been so young with such a caring attitude for her mother, she would have definitely been a successful woman. The side characters on the other hand didn't do it for me. I just couldn't like or relate to them so their situations typicaly made me shrug, which in turn make me feel like a bad person. 

Secondly, while the plot is interesting, it just didn't grip me like the synopsis did. I was hoping for a lot more disaster and danger and while yes, Carissa was in very real danger, it felt like everything just happened so quick and tidied up a bit too nicely. For such a short book of around 142 pages it took a while for the meat of the story to really set it, this is one of those stories that would have benefitted from being about 50 pages longer. I just really kept looking for me.

Lastly, I will say that I feel like Benson really did her research about the Old West. Now, I am not an expert by any means but Benson really did focus the on the nitty-gritty not just the glamorized version we see in Hollywood movies. This book did have a darker and realistic feel to it. 

Overall, if your a fan of historical fiction this book is for you!

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