My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Review: African History: Explore The Amazing Timeline of The World’s Richest Continent

African History: Explore The Amazing Timeline of The World’s Richest Continent African History: Explore The Amazing Timeline of The World’s Richest Continent by History Brought Alive
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

The first chapter starts at the beginning with Homo Sapiens in Africa … and is pretty much a mixed bag. Although it conforms with the consensus, that consensus is currently under fire (especially the information presented on Neanderthals) … so take chapter 1 with a grain of salt. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem get much better as we get further into the book. For example … in discussing the relationship between Khoi and Bantu, there is a statement about Bantu migration through Europe where they apparently picked up metal refining/working (I have not found any support for this statement).

Additionally, the origin myth of the batwa/pygmy people is presented as fact and seems quite improbable (especially lacking citation). By chapter 6 you get an rather incredulous theory of Egyptians coming from a mix of Bantu and Israelites (putting the cultural identity of the latter before the Kingdoms of Egypt … I am pretty sure that is not correct). Now half way through the book the level of questionable scholarship is a serious impediment to any serious recommendation. This was a surprise given how well the History of Asia looked (although that lacks citations as well, so I can't verify those facts either).

Chapter 1 - Homo Sapiens in Africa
Chapter 2 - The San
Chapter 3 - The Hadza
Chapter 4 - The Khoi
Chapter 5 - Pygmy People
Chapter 6 - Israelites in Africa
Chapter 7 - The Bantu
Chapter 8 - Swaziland
Chapter 9 - Khoisan and the Portuguese
Chapter 10 - The Kingdom of Zwide
Chapter 11 - Zululand
Chapter 12 - The House of Mpondo
Chapter 13 - Thembuland
Chapter 14 - Zhosaland

I was given this free advance review copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#HistoryOfAsia #BookSirens

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.