Saturday, March 6, 2010

Coming of the Storm by W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear

Finally a book that shows a period history through the eyes of Native Americans.

“Coming of the Storm (Contact: The Battle for America, Book One)” by W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear is that book.

The story follows the lives of two fictional characters, Black Shell and Pearl Hand. The Gears interweave these characters with true facts pertaining to the arrival of Hernado de Soto in Florida in 1539.

Black Shell is an outcast from his people of the Chicaza Nation. He has become a trader traveling among the many tribes exchanging wares without fear under the Power of the trade.

On his way to White Bird Lake Town, Black Shell encounters Pearl Hand, a beautiful maiden who belongs to the town’s chief, Irriparaeoxi. Taken by Pearl Hand, Black Shell challenges Irriparaeoxi to a shooting match and wins her. Following the contest, the two quickly leave to avoid repercussions from the chief.

All goes well for the them, but Black Shell is obsessed to go South and see the Kristianas (white men) that are arriving in floating palaces. Pearl Hand warns that the Kristianas aren’t to be trusted that all who see them do not return. Black Shell convinces her they will only sneak a look and then leave.

However, Black Shell’s look at the Kristianas is too up close and personal. Pearl Hand is able to flee, but he is captured. He is chained with other slaves and made to work unloading the floating palaces. He witnesses firsthand the cruelty of the strange bearded men.

In a short period of time Black Shell's strength and will is beaten down, and he becomes ill. Through a series of events Pearl Hand is able to free him. It takes time for him to recuperate during which he is visited in visions by the great Spirit Being who shows him he must help his people defeat the Kristianas. And so the battle begins.

Even though this is a story of fiction, the Gears include a great many facts as to the barbaric ways of de Soto and his soldiers. How they outright murdered hundreds of Native American and enslaved hundreds more, chaining them and working them to death.

“Coming of the Storm” will open your eyes to how the Native Americans were really treated by the “heroic” explorers invading their land. This should be a “must read” for all history classes to understand what Native Americans have experienced.

This book will make you laugh, amaze you, have you believing in love at first sight, keep you on pins and needles, and break your heart at the abuse. I feel I haven’t done this book justice. I recommend you read it and judge for yourself.

Coming of the Storm (Contact: The Battle for America, Book One) * Pocket * @2010 * ISBN: 978-1-4391-5388-8 * Hardcover * 484 pages

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me as part of the authors’ blog tour in hopes I would review it. Receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.


  1. Wow...this sounds like an awesome book! I don't think I've read anything set through the Native American POV. Thanks for the tip, Mason.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  2. Mason - Thanks for sharing your excellent review of this. I thoroughly enjoyed the Gears' Anasazi series, which also tells the story of a people through Native American eyes, so I'm sure I'll like this one, too. Also, thanks for having hosted the Gears on your blog; it was a fascinating discussion.

  3. I actually have read one book (the title escapes me) written with a Native American point of view and it was good. As always, great review.

    PS The heroic explorers may, sometimes be a little overrated. I want to read this book.

  4. I love stories about Native Americans. Thanks for this review.

  5. Sounds like a great book. So much history is written from the pov of the "winners". It's nice to see the pov from another cultural perspective. Sounds like it's really well done.

  6. Hi, I saw your post from Dezmond's blog and I had to say this is a great book. I love Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear. My favorite is The First North Americans people's books followed by The Anasazi Series.

    I am Native American and it is not often that authors perform adequate research with cultural respect. I have been involved some events that Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear have helped in and they are wonderful people.

    I also enjoy Sue Harrison's Alaskan series and all novels by Joseph Marshall (He is Lakota).

  7. Sounds like a great read. What the settlers did to the Indians was terrible.

  8. Elizabeth, it is an awesome book. What sets this part from most is the facts included about the nations, the villages and the treatment of the people.

    Margot, I've enjoyed the Gears' other books as well. I find I get lost in the books they are so compelling.

    Teresa, I'm afraid the explorers become icons and no one knows what they really did to the Native Americans.

    Deb, if you enjoy stories about Native Americans you will definitely love this one.

    Jemi, I would say this is a point of view that has not been taught in our history classes.

    Avalon, nice to meet you and thanks for dropping by. I found I couldn't read the North American series fast enough. I'm not familiar with the other two authors, I'll have to check them out. Thanks.

    Diane, what the explorers did to the Native Americans was barbaric. In a lot of cases, they claimed it was to save their souls since they (the Indians) were savages when in fact it was the explorers and settlers who were savages for their slaughter of innocent people.

  9. Great sounding book in an area I have a lot of interest in. Accurate historical depictions. History books are written by the victors of wars, so they are skewed. Often a good historical fiction can shed more truth and light on what REALLY happened, hmm?

    The Old Silly

  10. Hello there,

    I just gave you an award at:

    Thank you,
    A.F. Heart

  11. Marvin, this book will definitely shed new light on history.

    A.F., thanks so much. I'll stop by.

  12. This does sound like a great read. You had these authors on last week, right? The archeologists? That was a great interview!

    And I finally posted the award you gave me so long ago. It's on my blog today!


  13. It sounds like an exceptional book that I would really enjoy!!!!

  14. I like the view point and the description of the story!

  15. Michele, the Gears were here on Feb. 25 and did have a very interesting post. I understand about running behind getting things posted. Time has a way of catching up and passing us by.

    Mary, this book does have a very different view point from anything I ever read in history class. I think you'd enjoy it, I know I did.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.