Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer

Archive for the ‘Historical’ Category


May 28, 2014

I’m a sucker for coming-of-age in the Old West novels. I’ve read a few of them over the years. Many of the books in Louis L’Amour’s Sackett series and other novels he penned fill that vein. Then there’s True Grit and Joe Lansdale’s latest offering, The Thicket, to add to the pile. Robert Lautner joins […]


July 17, 2012

Every so often, I find myself trudging down memory lane. It happens when I see an old book on a shelf in a used book story, or I read through an article on popular writers and where they got their inspiration to write. Almost every time, I pick up that book or I go on […]

ALL-STAR WESTERN #1 by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Moritat

November 11, 2011

When I first learned that DC Comics was planning on bringing post-Civil War bounty hunter Jonah Hex to Gotham, I thought maybe I hadn’t read the article right. But it was true. And he was going to be affiliated with Arkham Sanitarium, which later became the repository of Gotham City’s most twisted villains and Batman’s […]

UNDER OUTLAW FLAGS by James Reasoner

May 21, 2011

I don’t know how I missed James Reasoner’s Under Outlaw Flags when it first came out, but I did. Thankfully, through the magic of Kindle, I easily rectified that deficiency. James and I are roughly the same age, but I’m better looking. Being the same age, we also grew up on a lot of the […]

BLOCKADE BILLY by Stephen King

June 16, 2010

When I first heard about Blockade Billy and found out Stephen King would be doing another baseball story (after The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon), I was excited. I think King’s period piece stuff is some of the best writing he does, and I really like these nostalgia trips he takes his readers on. I […]

CAPTAIN ALATRISTE by Arturo Perez-Reverte

December 13, 2009

Fans of historical fiction will find a lot to love in Arturo Perez-Reverte’s first novel about Captain Alatriste, but a healthy dose of patience and love of background will be needed to get into the story. With the new movie out starring Viggo Mortensen, although it hasn’t released here in the United States, I was […]

THE NINE POUND HAMMER by John Claude Bemis

November 24, 2009

John Claude Bemis obviously knows and loves American tall tales, and he brings that passion and knowledge to The Nine Pound Hammer, the first novel of what is supposed to be a quintet of fantasy novels for the juvenile crowd. His premise of, What if John Henry had been a real person fighting against great […]


November 18, 2009

Genghis Khan is one of those names that, when uttered, triggers an immediate response on part of a listener. Some think about some half-remembered history lesson, or a historical movie, or a hero or villain in some pseudo-fantasy story. He was the leader of the Mongols, a group of tribes he united that raided and […]


October 30, 2009

John Abbott Nez’s latest illustrated book for young readers is an obvious labor of love. The paintings are sheer splendor to look at and young fans will pore over the pages again and again. I lost myself in the images and the action several times, thinking about the worlds Nez so effortlessly opened up with […]

SOLOMON KANE: THE CASTLE OF THE DEVIL by Scott Allie, Mike Mignola, and Dave Stewart

July 21, 2009

When I think of hard-to-like heroes that I still root for, the first one that comes to my mind is Robert E. Howard’s adventuring Puritan, Solomon Kane. The man dresses in black and can be an absolute downer with his puritanical ways, but when it comes to fighting men and the supernatural, few stand taller, […]