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Lost Cause (Seven (the series)) by John…

Lost Cause (Seven (the series)) (edition 2012)

by John Wilson (Author)

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359321,274 (3.69)None
Title:Lost Cause (Seven (the series))
Authors:John Wilson (Author)
Info:Orca Book Publishers (2012), 224 pages
Collections:Fiction, Your library

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Lost Cause by John Wilson



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was interested in this series when I first heard about it. What attracted me to it was a series of connected books where, it is proposed, the reading order does not matter. The collection of Canadian authors contains one of my all-time favourites whom I read everything he writes, Shane Peacock. So I would eventually at least read that one book for sure. I'd read and enjoyed three of the other authors, have always wanted to read another one of them leaving me with only two new-to-me authors. It sounded very promising. I was pleased to have won this particular title as I have read and enjoyed a few of author John Wilson's books.

I was immediately engaged in the story right from the beginning. The common set up between the books of the Grandfather giving the boys tasks to accomplish in his will is unique and had me interested. The main character of the grandson Steve is well fleshed out and we get to know him very well throughout this book. Wilson is mainly an historical novelist and while this is a contemporary story it is rooted in the past by means of a search into the Grandfather's past in Spain and the finding of his journal from the year 1938. The book alternates with a present day narrative and journal entries of the young grandfather fighting in the 15th International Brigade during the Spanish Civil War ending with the final engagement at the Battle of the Ebro. I found the story utterly compelling and engrossing. I know virtually nothing of this war and learnt much from the personal point of view of a common soldier. It also really made me think hard, the concept of fighting Fascism with Communism is very difficult for me to wrap my mind around; one evil fighting another. The book has made me eager to read other books set during the Spanish Civil War should I come across them and I very much want to continue this series. Occasional references were made to Steve's twin brother who had his own task to complete scattering their grandfather's ashes; so I think that is the book I will move onto next. I am also very eager to see if picking and choosing the reading order will really make no difference to the enjoyment of the series. I found this a total page-turner and it has solidified my opinion of John Wilson as a strong writer of historical fiction. ( )
  ElizaJane | Aug 23, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Lost Cause is one of seven parallel stories written by different authors. John Wilson’s story follows Steve, one of the six cousins, who are tasked by their recently departed grandfather to figure out a puzzle about his life, Steve’s task sends him to Europe.

When there, Steve learns a lot about his grandfather’s time with the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War from a girl named Laia. Laia is the granddaughter to a woman that Steve’s grandfather knew while he was fighting in Spain and together, the retrace the steps of Steve’s grandfather took during the war.

The Lost Cause was a quick read and a pretty good read if you are interested in learning a bit of history as well as reading a good story. It went by quickly, and though I couldn’t find myself believing the origin of their task, I did enjoy the different things that Steve was able to show us of his grandfather’s life as a Canadian soldier.

One thing I did like about the story is that, you didn’t have to read them in any order, Lost Cause could have stood on its own and did a good job of doing just that. I’d recommend this for history buffs, or anyone who likes reading fiction placed in a historical setting with historical accuracy. ( )
  iShanella | Dec 31, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I just couldn't get into this. The plot was way underdeveloped and lacked emotion, detail, and pace. The characters were way underdeveloped, and in some parts it seemed very cliched, especially in dialogue. This seems like more of a first draft of a book rather than a finished one, the idea is there...it just needs a lot of development.
  meggers12 | Dec 27, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I like the idea behind this series; a grandfather passes away and leaves each of his 7 grandchildren a quest to go on. This particular book has us following Steve on a journey into Spain to find out what happened to his grandfather during the Spanish Civil War. It was interesting to read about Canada's involvement in this war. I had no prior knowledge on this topic. I was hoping the book would be more compelling, but it read more like a sweetened history lesson. I am interested in reading some of the other stories in this series however. Particularly about DJ's adventure up Kilimanjaro. ( )
  AmandaCharland | Dec 10, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
At 17, Steve is trying to find a way to save for a trip to europe, but when his grandfather passes away, he leaves behind a rather unusual inheritance for his seven grandchildren: each is given a task and the resources to complete it. Steve finds himself with a bit of a mystery: an old photo and an address in Barcelona, with plane tickets to get him there.

This is a great story, weaving the history of the Spanish civil war with the personal history of Steve's grandfather as Steve discovers more about his grandfather's gift. I knew little about this part of history, let alone about the Canadian, American, English, French and other volunteers who went against their countries policies to help out, and I found the story as fascinating as Steve does.

It's a great coming of age story and a wonderful way to use a bit of a mystery and treasure hunt to make a piece of history come alive. It's clearly a young adult novel, but interesting enough to appeal to adult readers looking for a light read.

I gather there are 6 more books by other authors telling the stories of the other grandsons, so I'm really looking forwards to finding out what other authors do with this neat concept. ( )
  terriko | Dec 9, 2012 |
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A story for Jake, Darcy and Ebony.
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Steve travels to Spain and uncovers his late grandfather's invlovement in the Spanish Civil War.

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