North and South, Love and War, and finally, Heaven and Hell is an American Civil War trilogy. This final edition is intended to be the reconstruction period, so I thought … the rebuilding of the southern states following the war. Although a terrific series, this novel is much more focused on the development of the west, the American Indian wars. The history is interesting, but frankly, it would have been a better story if the author had focused on reconstruction and stayed with the American Civil War theme rather than cowboys and indians. These chapters reveal the further tribulations of one character, his personal demons, and a great deal of grizzly abuse, animals and people alike.

Although the novels would stand alone, you’d be shortchanging yourself not to start at the beginning. One of the most difficult accomplishments, at least in my opinion, is for the individual characters to come to life, seem real and alive. Jakes accomplishes this with several of his characters. The reader will make friends and enemies of them all. A fun, educational, and um….very long…listen. The entire series is read by Grover Gardner, and is approximately one hundred hours of listening. Gardner does a great job, but a little slow for my taste, bumped it up to 1.5.



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