23 May 2013

Book Review - Apacheria

(image from Amazon.com)

A brief review avoiding spoilers:

Naiche and Juh,father and son Apache help to unite his people in a war against the United States. Instead of fighting as an army on the open field he uses guerrilla tactics to show how helpless the occupying forces are. The financial drain on America grows and many Eastern states begin to question funding such an expensive war for such a small area. Eventually the United States gives up and Apacheria is born.

There were a few catches with the peace treaty. Mining of Apache land will continue for a few decades and a rail line will operate through Apacheria - all for royalties to be paid to the new nation. The Apache are now faced with running a new nation and attempting to maintain their old ways.

There are bumps along the way. If there weren't it wouldn't be much of a story. Inter-tribal alliances fray and outside pressures of the modernizing world have their effects on Apacheria. It will be up to Naiche's son, Juh to help his people navigate these challenges and help the land prosper.

They story ends with Apacheria attempting to adapt to the world during the Roaring '20s. Prohibition, gangsters, and Tommy guns herald a new and interesting age for the fledgling nation.

Plenty of interesting characters. A healthy does of real-world characters help to show how things have diverged. Presidents Taft, Teddy Roosevelt, and Wilson make appearances as do others such as Carrie Nation, Al Capone, and J. Edgar Hoover. Then there are the various Apache characters including Geronimo.

Juh is a good character. He lives in two worlds and has both his father's legacy and his homeland to protect. He is intelligent, brave, a good warrior, and is open to new ideas.

Geronimo is awesome too. He becomes the Apacheria ambassador to Washington, DC. He takes to that role well and is a good mentor to Juh.

Over at Goodreads I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. Overall it was well done.

The only problem I had with it was how easily the United States gave up on trying to subdue/conquer the Apache. Sure the drain on money would be annoying but the blood that had been spilled and the perceived stain on America's honor would have it done a lot more to push the US to continue fighting until it could be victorious. Heck after the amount of blood and gold spent in the Civil War and the the money and tens of thousands of lives that would later be wasted in participating in 'The Great War' I don't see a few million dollars and a few hundred dead stopping America from charging in and getting revenge on the Apache.

Beyond that one complaint it was a very entertaining read.

*Author: Jake Page
*Publisher: Del Rey
*ISBN: 0-345-41411-X
*Pages: 342
*Point of Divergence: 1884

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