Saturday, September 8

Book Review: The Spy Lover

Author: Kiana Davenport
Title: The Spy Lover
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, War
Pages: 306
First Published: August 28th, 2012
Where I Got It: Given to me to read and review for Charisma Media Network for my honest opinion

"Thrust into the savagery of the Civil War, a Chinese immigrant serving in the Union Army, a nurse doubling as a spy for the North, and a one-armed Confederate cavalryman find their lives inextricably entwined. Fleeing drought and famine in China, Johnny Tom arrives in America with dreams of becoming a citizen. Having survived vigilantes hunting ?yellow dogs? and slave auction-blocks, Johnny is kidnapped from his Mississippi village by Confederate soldiers, taken from his wife and daughter, and forced to fight for the South. Eventually defecting to the Union side, he is promised American citizenship in exchange for his loyal services. But first Johnny must survive the butchery of battles and the cruelties inflicted on non-white soldiers. Desperate to find Johnny, his daughter, Era, is enlisted as a spy. She agrees to work as a nurse at Confederate camps while scouting for the North. Amidst the unspeakable carnage of wounded soldiers, she finds solace in Warren Petticomb, a cavalryman who lost an arm at Shiloh. As devastation mounts in both armies, Era must choose where her loyalties lie ? with her beloved father in the North, or with the man who passionately sustains her in the South. A novel of extraordinary scope that will stand as a defining work on the Chinese immigrant experience, The Spy Lover is a paean to the transcendence of love and the resilience of the human spirit." 

Like earlier stated I read this and reviewed this for CMN. However, I would have tracked this down myself and read on my own if CMN never offered this.

This novel was divided into three POVs: Era's, Johnny Tom's (Era papa), and Warren (the Confederate solider). I loved each POV and I could barely put this book down because I was in desperate need to find out what would happen next. I especially loved Johnny Tom's POV because it was such a different view of the Civil War, a Chinese foot-solider's view. 

This was my first book that I've read by Kiana Davenport and I can bet that it won't be the last. I highly enjoyed her style of writing. It flowed nicely and had such great depth in each word. She really made the war and the people come to life. I felt like I was really there watching the events unfold. Yes, it was pretty dark at times, but what do you expect? It's a book about the Civil War and that was a messy, messy war. There was a lot of suffering during that time period. 

I felt so bad for Era. All she wanted was to find her father and feel loved. She lost so much! The Confederates killed her mother and kidnapped her father. Warren filled some of the void, but her love for him just made things more complex. Even though Warren loves her and she loves him, I had a hard time liking him. Not because he was a Confederate, but there was something that irked me. I can't say more or I might have a mind to give a spoiler. However, I will say that I did begin to like him near the end and I was rooting for him to get where he needed to go! ^.^ That is all I can say.

There was nothing I didn't really like about this novel. At times I did have to put the book down because I was angry at a couple events. I'm sorry but I must be vague, but during these events made me rather upset and angry. I had to put the book down and do other things. However, I applaud Kiana Davenport for making me such attached to all the characters, even secondary ones. 

Overall I highly enjoyed this book and I hope this becomes a movie one day. I loved all the characters in some way shape or form. It was a pretty dark and vivid book, but what would one except for a war novel? Especially during the Civil War, which was the bloodiest war in American history. The three different POVs made the novel special. One from a spy for the Union who's in love with a Confederate, one from a Chinese foot-solider for the Union, and one from a Confederate cavalryman unknowingly in love with a Union spy. I would recommend this for those who love war novels or for those that simply adore a good book.

Out of five stars I grant this 5 stars. Woot woot!

Favorite Character(s): Era, Johnny, and Casey
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Warren (until near the end)


Blodeuedd said...

The woman on the cover annoys me a bit, so does not fit the era

Carole Rae said...

yeaaaah I did notice that. lol.

Carole said...

Hi there, the September edition of Books You Loved has now posted. Here is the link Books You Loved September Edition Please do pop by and link in a post about a book you loved. Maybe this one? Cheers

Carole Rae said...

Okay! Thanks Carole for letting me know. I'll stop on by!