Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Last of the Three: Book Review of Chasing the Sun

chasing the sun I was finally able to read Kaki Warner’s third book in the Blood Rose Trilogy, Chasing the Sun.  This book focuses on the youngest of the three Wilkins brothers, Jack, and his love affair with a saloon singer from Canada/San Francisco.

This isn’t Warner’s best book in the series, but I still devoured it in about three days.  By the third novel, the reader is pretty familiar with the general plot lines.  Different danger, different bad guys, different lovers, same general outcome.  There’s also now so many characters – all the main characters from the first and second books plus a few more – that the protagonist characters seem to get less depth than their forerunners.

The historical setting is excellent and well-researched, as always.  This novel takes place in the 1870s, after the Panic of 1873 and after the US has stopped using silver to mint coins.  This sets a background for the Wilkins family to encounter some financial issues as their silver mines become nearly worthless and debts they incurred for investments in the mines come due.

A nice surprise and change from the other novels, Chasing the Sun starts out in San Francisco rather than on the Wilkins ranch.  Much to my delight, San Francisco is accurately depicted as a cold and grey place bustling with a wide variety of people crowded into a tiny little space.  The transfer of the main story out to the Wilknis ranch presents a nice comparison between the ranch’s wide open spaces beautiful landscape to the busy city.

My favorite part of this novel was the descriptions of Jack’s travels around the Pacific: Australia, Hawaii and other Pacific Islands.  It’s really neat to think that even nearly 150 years ago, people could still travel the world and come back to their families.

If you’ve read the other books in the Trilogy, Chasing the Sun provides a nice follow-up and a sense of closure with the characters.  If you haven’t read the other books, I’d recommend not picking this one up first.  It’s a bit difficult to understand without background from those books and contains some spoilers.

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