Wednesday, 13 January 2016

The Curse of the Golden Coins, by Kaye Pascal - Review

The Curse of the Golden Coins
By:  Kaye Pascal
Published:  February 14, 2015 on Amazon Digital Services
Genre:  Historical, Civil War, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages:  181 Word Doc (40,000 words)
Source:  Author/Book Review Swap at Goodreads

Treasure. Curse. Adventure.

1865. Some legends aren't meant to stay buried. Some myths have a life of their own.

In a cave, Del discovers a chest of gold coins. He thinks it is a long forgotten treasure. Soon he discovers his treasure is a curse. He must face a sinister spirit and a vengeful enemy. With the help of Sawyer and Willow, he embarks on a journey where magic meets myth.

He must break the curse before he becomes its next victim.
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My review of The Curse of the Golden Coins is for the Goodreads book review swap group. My thanks to Kaye Pascal for a reading copy!

This is a tale of a young man who yearns for adventure despite having been born on a genteel Arkansas plantation.

Delbert Baxter leaves his pleasant life to become a US federal army private in 1865. He eventually turns deserter. Sawyer, one of father’s plantation slaves, also joins the army and then comes to aid Del in his escape. The story takes an intriguing turn when Del discovers ancient Spanish cold coins and his desire for adventure comes true though not in the way he might have wished for since the coins come with a vengeful spirit.

This story is an unusual mix of civil war/plantation life set with paranormal elements. The characters, including Willow the Cherokee woman who joins Del and Sawyer, are interesting and I felt the writing style nicely evoked a time and setting much less complex than modern day, even a little other-worldly. The gold coins are linked to Hernando de Soto, the first Spanish explorer to have crossed the Mississippi river. There is some mystery surrounding his death.

However, there are several technical issues with the writing. These include incorrect comma use, missing periods, incorrect homonyms, in some sections too much passive telling versus showing, lack of contractions making for a bit stilted writing, and some typos. I also found the romance between Del and Willow develops beyond the reader’s eye so this needs more open work to round out the novella/novel.

These issues bring down my rating a lot. The writing is somewhat detached in places as if the author is writing about the characters not in the here and now but from a long ago book. This is quite dreamy and I don’t feel easily works in modern fiction which is (based on the books I've been reading), fast, and pretty much in your face.

Overall, I felt the story was interesting with a good period feel but needs editing and more polishing. 3.5 Stars

You'll find Kaye Pascal on the internet at these links:

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