#BookReview: Once Upon a Time in the Swamp by C S Boyack #Fiction #Post-Apocalyptic @Virgilante @StoryEmpire

Hi everyone. Today I have a book review for you from an author well known to, and loved by, many of us, C S Boyack. With his new book, Craig brings us an engrossing post-apocalyptic read with a wonderful wild-west twist. Here’s my review >>>

About the Book:

Mari and her husband opted for a simple life as farmers. It’s been decades since the world tore itself apart, pitting neighbor against neighbor and family against each other. They were happy in this re-emerging world, until disaster struck.

Mari sets out on a solo quest to avenge the deaths of her family and loss of everything she holds dear. She’s ill equipped for the task, but seems to have time on her hands. Time alone in the wilderness to deal with her personal demons along the way.

She is helped by a few sympathetic elders and a couple of animal companions with lessons Mari can use if she pays attention. Can Mari find justice for her family?

Set in a post apocalyptic, Gulf Coast world, this is a story for fans of the old Spaghetti Westerns.


My Review:


An engrossing post-apocalyptic tale with a wonderful wild-west twist

This, by far, is the best Boyack book I’ve read, and that’s saying something! While all of his books are filled with humour and fantastic imagination, as well as true-to-life characters and amazing creatures and hugely entertaining animals who are characters in their own right,Β Once Upon a Time in the SwampΒ takes the gold medal.

The world building, plot, pacing, and characterisation are all done brilliantly, and this read kept me engrossed. While it deals with heavy topics and covers tragic and violent events, the author deals with these sensitively and the horrors happen off-page, thus sparing the reader. The POV is told from the main character’s perspective, and her courage, strength, and determination are inspiring. I love the kindness of strangers we are shown, which helps offset the rough world of post 2nd civil war America.

Here are some lines I loved …

‘Several hours are lost to me, and I may never get … I don’t want them back.’Β … Oh, the truth in this!

And …

‘Must be a sight; a widow woman covered with mud, blood, and snot bawling her eyes out in the moonlight beside a fresh grave.’

And …

(Talking about a gorgeous puppy)Β ‘Maybe that was her job. My personal emotional sponge.’

My favourite characters were many, ranging from Dirt the obstinate Ox and Worthless the cute puppy dog to Kalilah and Mr Vance. The villains were thoroughly hatable, which takes writing skill, and all the characters came to full-bloodied life.

Once Upon a Time in the SwampΒ gets a resounding 5 stars from me. Go and buy this book!


NOTE ON RATINGS:Β I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER β€” Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! β€” An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS β€”Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA β€”Lots of issues with this book.

For anyone interested, here are the Amazon links …

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08B8BDLW1/

US https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08B8BDLW1/

I’d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚Β 


52 Comments on “#BookReview: Once Upon a Time in the Swamp by C S Boyack #Fiction #Post-Apocalyptic @Virgilante @StoryEmpire

  1. Apparently, WP has unsubscribed me from your blog, Harmony, and I’m just now seeing this fantastic review of Craig’s newest! Such a good story. I’ll resubscribe again. πŸ™‚

    • Lols πŸ˜‚ Bleddy WP strikes again! Thanks, Jan. hugs πŸ€—πŸ’•πŸ™‚

  2. What an excellent review! Craig’s a brilliant author. I’m glad to see he earned another 5 stars! <3

  3. Such a great review, Harmony! And YAY for Craig! Thanks so much for sharing with us!

  4. An awesome review, Harmony. I couldn’t agree more with your statement that it’s “brilliant.” I was engrossed in this book. My favorites so far too. Congrats to Craig!

  5. Great review, Harmony πŸ™‚ I agree, this is a fantastic story!

  6. I’m so glad you enjoyed the story, Harmony. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with your fans.

    • My pleasure, Craig. A thoroughly enjoyable read! πŸ’•πŸ™‚

  7. Craig must love reviews like this, and rightly so.Not just a good and fair review of his writing abilities but no spoilers to give the game away in advance.You are without doubt my favourite reviewer, not just because maybe our tastes coincide but because you are so positive and even handed despite sometimes having to
    present more negative reviews. Huge Hugs as always my friend.

    • That’s so wonderful of you to say! Thanks so much, David. Huge hugs to you too, my friend πŸ€—πŸ’•πŸ™‚

    • Thank you, David. I love this review and know from experience that Harmony doesn’t just hand out five-star reviews.

  8. Hi Harmony, this is a very strong recommendation. Thanks for this review.

  9. A five star review by you means it is a book worth buying! Harmony, thanks as always in helping to find which book to read next. πŸ™‚β€οΈ