Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Midlist Writer blog, where he talks about writing, adventure travel, caving, and everything else he gets up to. He also reproduces all the posts from Civil War Horror, so drop on by!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A fine review for A Fine Likeness

My Civil War novel A Fine Likeness has garnered another five-star review. Under the title, "A rip-snorting historical horror story", user Kayann wrote:

"I generally don't read much long-form prose on my kindle, unless I'm trapped on an airplane but I was at home for this one. That says something about my experience with A FINE LIKENESS. Setting aside my downloaded newspapers and blogs paid off, because reading A FINE LIKENESS -- which must run over 85,000 words -- renewed my faith in both the e-reading experience and my attention span.

"McLachlan sets his horror-history story well outside the norm, avoiding the tried-and-true territory from big clashes like Gettsyburg and Shiloh. I would like to see more stories set in places that are often overshadowed by the giant military maneuvers. By sidestepping the stereotypes, McLachlan takes readers smack dab into the guerrilla war of the trans-Missouri theater. This clears out the preconceptions that Hollywood has inserted into our minds and prepares readers for a singular story with hairpin turns.

"McLachlan leads on with solid action and an especially deft hand for description. He clearly knows the terrain under his characters' feet and offers sensory impressions of the natural world that anchor the story in place and time. One well-handled account of riders approaching an abandoned camp through smoke and a screen of trees instantly conveys the creepy reality of the tale -- and there is real poetry here as well. Most tellers of swashbuckling tales tend to skip this stuff, and their stories often suffer as a result. McLachlan is at his best with description of this kind and with action -- much more so than with dialogue. One downside: I wish we had seen Bloody Bill sooner in the story, but it's tough to get everyone on stage, and set up the tale, which is braided together while being told from different perspectives.

"Central themes -- spirit photography and spiritualism - serve to tie the story together and prove thought-provoking. I even found some relevance for our own times --contemplating soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan dealing with guerrilla warfare on very different terms.

"I recommend."


  1. History of the Civil War fascinates me. No other war comes close except WWII. I wonder why.

    My great-great (maybe another 'great') grandpa fought at Shiloh.

  2. Congrats, Sean! An very well written review.

  3. Nice review. Got the ebook now Sean, now find some time to read it :)


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