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Coming of the Storm: Book One of Contact: The Battle for America (Contact: The Battle for America #1)

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  571 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
From New York Times bestselling novelists W. Michael and Kathleen O’Neal Gear comes the first book in a landmark new series that paints a vivid portrait of the devastating clash of cultures during the blood-drenched years that followed Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto’s landing in “La Florida” in 1539—as seen entirely through the eyes of two courageous Native Americans.

ebook, 496 pages
Published February 9th 2010 by Pocket Books (first published 2010)
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*** originally published to: Bookish Book Blog |YA and Adult Book Reviews, Author Interviews, Guest Posts, Giveaways and more~! *^___^*/

I'm not an expert when it comes to historical fiction. I do enjoy it a lot, but I can't say that I've read a great deal of it over the past few years. I do not have a whole lot of experience reading and reviewing books that deal with specific time periods and historical events. I also don't have sufficient knowledge about Hernando de Soto and his exploration an
William Bentrim
Feb 22, 2010 William Bentrim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Coming of the Storm by W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear

Black Shell and Pearl Hand, Native Americans, discover that the “Kristanos” are not quite what they seem. This story addresses the clash between the disparate cultures of Europe and America. The violence and storm is seen through the eyes of the Native Americans as opposed to the often typical portrayal seen thorough the eyes of the “heroic” invaders.

Black Shell isn’t just a stereotyped noble savage but a living breathing, empatheti
Dec 07, 2012 Literary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mandy's Review:

Hernando de Soto is an American icon. He has been regaled as a great figure in American history. Many things are named after him in the South due to his idolization. If truth be told, de Soto was a monster. He wasn't the first man to land in Florida, but he was one of the worst. He didn't kill to survive, he killed because he enjoyed it. Many Native Americans died at his, or his army's, hands unnecessarily.

Coming of the Storm is the other side of the story. It it told from the per
Feb 23, 2010 Theresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Older teens to Adult
"Coming of the Storm" was amazing! There's really no other way to put it. When it arrived, I decided I would just read a page or two (a chapter at the most) and then catch up on some work around the house. That didn't happen. I just couldn't put the book down! Page after page, I was lost in another place and time, and had no idea that hours had passed by. It was difficult placing the bookmark between the pages, and sitting the book aside.

I confess... I love historical fiction, and have read quit
Feb 21, 2010 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Black Shell comes from the Chickasaw tribe. He is a trader. While out walking Black Shell comes upon a beautiful woman by the name of Pearl Hand. Pearl Hand is promised to another but Black Shell convinces Pearl Hand to leave him and become his mate.

Black Shell has never known anything but peace. When the white men or “Kristianos” arrive, Black Shell becomes intrigued by them. He figures that they can learn a lot from each other. Unfortunately, Black Shell quickly discovers that the Kristianos
Aug 14, 2013 Palmer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally a great novel written about the Native American culture!!!! The Grear's are my new favorite couple authors. The way they made a connection between the reader and the characters amazed me. I applaud them for bringing to light a subject that is even left in the dark in today's history books. The world needs to know American history... And one of the things that always appalled me in school was learning the history of ENGLISH settlers or SPANISH conquistadors.. Not the AMERICANS that have b ...more
Feb 25, 2013 Kacey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love historical novels, and ones that clearly show a dedicated level of research are always appreciated. Admittedly I know little about this part of America's history, but the authors did an excellent job of establishing time and place throughout the novel. Perhaps the best part was the way they depicted the belief system of the people, and how those beliefs helped them.

This book highlights a brutal part of America's history, and the authors don't shy away from that brutality. They paint the S
Lydia Presley
This book was FANTASTIC. I first saw the cover (and it's a gorgeous one) on a GoodReads ad and, after looking it up, decided I needed to add some Native American stories to the books I read. I don't think I could have picked a better book to start off with.

At first I was a bit intimidated by its size and wasn't sure if I was going to really be in the mood for it, as I've had it checked out for a few weeks from the library. Now I'm kicking myself for not reading it more quickly (and hating that i
Jun 19, 2010 Jaime rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was entertaining enough to keep me lugging it around to read it during my commute, but only just so. The authors have an obvious expertise regarding Native American culture (material, spiritual, etc.) and it was a very palatable lesson of the various tribes encountered during the story. The main problem I had was the excessive use of anachronistic words/phrasing that distracted me from the not often told story of the first encounters the native people of the Americas had with Europeans ...more
Matt D
This is a fantastic book set in the time of Spanish contact with the Native Americans of Florida. It follows two Natives, a Trader and his wife, as they follow the swath of destruction that the Spanish leave in Florida in their pursuit of wealth and domination.

The book is fantastically written, weaving both an interesting fictional narrative of the life of Black Shell the Trader and historical accuracy. The attention to detail on the different diets and cultures of the Florida tribes is second t
Dixie LoCicero
Nov 27, 2010 Dixie LoCicero rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an awesome book! the authors are anthropologists, and this book is about de Soto's battles in the U.S. southeast in 1539. The book includes nonfictional names, including the Native American tribes. The fictional couple, Black Shell & Pearl Hand,make a true love story come alive. I was reminded of the song of Running Bear & White Dove...Thoroughly enjoyed this book, reminded again of how European settlers came to this country & committed genocide against the Native Americans, ...more
Jul 04, 2015 Ken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-collection, 2010
Before reading this book, about the only knowledge I had of the Spanish expedition (1539-1541) was knowing De Soto's name, and perhaps that the expedition was carried out in Florida. (Actually, his expedition did go through Texas after De Soto's death, and I just confirmed that the city of Desoto, Texas has nothing to do with De Soto the explorer).

After reading the book, and doing a little extra looking around on the web, I feel like a light switch has been turned on, illuminating a fascinating
May 14, 2013 Vic rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It can be quite a shock to be an uninitiated Kristiano and read Michael and Kathleen Gear for the first time. Christianity just doesn’t play well for the Gears and they make it abundantly clear in many of their books. Coming of the Storm is classic Gear all the way.

Native Americans vs the invading faithful, this time in the form of Hernando de Soto and his conquering horde of Spaniards. Time after time, book after book, the Gears place Christianity in stark contrast to the spirituality of a mult
Oct 11, 2012 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a fantastic book. I love the Gears and their novels on Native American history but this was the best book yet. I couldn't put it down. This is the first in a trilogy on the first contact of Europeans with Native Americans. It doesn't go well and the horrors of the Spanish were very often difficult to read. I found myself rooting for the Native Americans, specifically Black Shell and Pearl Hand. These two are unusual heroes since they are flawed (normal) people and not the usual type of ...more
Feb 26, 2011 Lauren rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really like reading historical fiction. This book focuses on the first contact of de Soto in Florida and pretty much all the awful stuff he inflicted on the natives. I appreciate that the authors acknowledge that not all white men are evil and not all native peoples were honorable. In their notes in the beggining of the book, the authors wanted to combat the notions people have about the 'discoverers' of the Americas. De Soto has been heralded by many people in our nation. All over the south t ...more
Dar B
I have read this husband and wife team before and love their books about pre-historic North Americans, so I had assumed that this was set in the same time-frame. Turns out, it is actually set in 1539 as Hernando de Soto began his annhilation of Florida's native peoples.

The book starts out a little disjointed as it begins with one person reflecting back on the story but is narrated by another in first-person present tense. It becomes more fluid soon enough and the authors's writing style soon bec
Andrea Hussey
Dec 26, 2012 Andrea Hussey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The writing was historically inaccurate as well as inaccurate for Native Americans. It was pathetic that someone described this book as "irrestibly intriguing..brings the past vividly to life...nodody does Native Americana better than the Gears."
Granted, they had some facts about tribes, which they dumped out in the very first pages. All the names of tribes and chiefs was confusing me and I couldn't possibly hope to remember any of it.
They didn't speak like Indians. Period. He sounded like he ca
Shawn Spjut
Jan 27, 2013 Shawn Spjut rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Coming of the Storm" is my first taste of historical novelists Gear & Gear, and I hope not my last.

I very much appreciate the care to detail and accuracy these two have taken; not only in writing a great story about how the early American invaders were eventually driven out of the land (if only for a few hundred years), but by telling it with as much authenticity and vulnerability as possible, as well.

Yet even if I were to separate the savagery and injustice of early European invasions fro
Eileen Souza
A decent book, but not a great one - and the ending didn't appear to be an ending at all. **Update - there is a second book coming out called the Fires of Mabila in which we will learn more of the story, so this rating may change**

This is the story of Black Shell and Pearl Hand as they try to come to grips with the landing and takeover of the Kristianos, led by Hernando De Soto, in what is modern day Florida. The way the story is told is from Black Shell's perspective, with a sprinkling of Pearl
Sep 26, 2013 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Coming of the Storm: Book One of Contact: The Battle for America
by Kathleen O'Neal Gear, Michael Gear

Set in 1539 Florida we follow Hernando de Soto as he begins his bloody conquest of the Americas in search of wealth in the form of gold. With an army of nearly 1000 Hernando de Soto chains, tortures and murders the native peoples in the name of Christianity. Acting under the leadership of de Soto, Juan Ortiz forces the native population to convert to Christianity or die in chains as slaves hauli
Jason Golomb
I'm a very big fan of conquest-era historical fiction. Gary Jennings' "Aztec" series is as strong as it gets. There are a smattering of other Aztec, Maya and Inca-based stories, but I've never read anything by the Gear husband and wife team who've written numerous books on early American cultures. "Coming of the Storm" is the first in a series of books focused on Hernando de Soto's exploration and conquest of the American southeast.

"Coming of the Storm" is an okay story. It's not great, but I'm
I debated on how to rate this book. I didn’t find it as compelling as the other “People” books, as I call the Gear’s main series. (The series was called: First North Americans, around the 12th book the series was titled North America's Forgotten Past) Their books are always based in archaeology and history as much as possible at the time of their research and writing. The “People” series tends to follow a pattern in the writing style, often switching between many points-of-view, have a Spirit be ...more
Jan 13, 2014 Allison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book. The depictions of Native Americans and their daily lives were vivid and interesting, and seemed very well researched. That's what carried the story though, the telling of the Spanish invasion story was pretty standard as far as invasion stories go (which is completely understandable).

I really wished the Spanish characters had been portrayed with a fraction of the vividness the NAs were. As written, they are very flat, very standard, almost cliche Big Bads. It's an interestin
May 25, 2013 Sherry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love to read books by Michael and Kathleen Gear, they are so well written. It's easy to become involved with the characters and story. In this series, Black Shell and Pearl Hand are fighting for the right to exist in Florida when De Soto invaded Florida. The first book in the trilogy describes how brutal the "Kristianos" were to the Native Americans as they continue up the Florida penninsula in search of gold.

Was De Soto as brutal as depicted? I'm not sure. Were the Native Americans as determi
Jul 31, 2014 Theresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Coming of the Storm (Contact: The Battle for America, #1)
By W. Michael Gear, Kathleen O'Neal Gear
An outstanding novel even for these accomplished writers, if you ever questioned the portrayal of history, and wanted to see how things come to being form the losing side, read this novel. If you want to have reasons to hate slavery and the brutality of man, read this novel. If you want to see the strength of character, and the fortitude of survival, read this novel. If you want to see through anoth
Apr 24, 2010 Kelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know. Not exactly fine literature. I have always enjoyed these books (they've written a ton!) though they are probably a bit too mystical for most of my friends. A not very complicated, but interesting tale of how the Native Americans fought back when Hernando de Soto landed in Florida.. and mostly lost. My main problem is it's obviously a series and meant to be continued, which I always hate since it makes me wait and sometimes I feel it's just a ploy to get more money out of me (of course, s ...more
Vicki Martin
Have really enjoyed your earlier series.

Kind of a boring read. Couldn't wait to the end and be done with it.
Not up to your usual standards.
Ernest Spoon
Oct 08, 2014 Ernest Spoon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another of the Gear's offerings. This time set in Florida during the expedition of Hernando de Soto. Easy read with plenty of violence, sex and dogs.
Kitty Sutton
Nov 23, 2012 Kitty Sutton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Gears are the best at what they do, which is writing about pre-history based on archeology, creating a plausible fictional story to help us to understand the facts and thus preserve our own Native American history. Kathleen and Michael have been my lamplight in becoming a Native American historical fiction writer. They alone are responsible for peeking my interest in our dim past and have provided a window to that time and place of which they write. If you desire to see the past of our unkno ...more
J. Ewbank
Mar 13, 2010 J. Ewbank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-good-read, novel
W. Michael Gear and his wife, Kathleen O'Neal Gear write wonderful Indian stories. Their series of the Indian peoples cannot be matched for interest and just good storytelling.

"Coming of the Storm" is something new for them in that they are beginning a series that is a telling of history, of things that happened and they start with the story of de Soto and how he treated the Indians here in America. The treatment was brutal and we have heard only one side of the story in our history. The Gear's
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Reading Through T...: December Book: Coming of the Storm 6 7 Dec 06, 2014 05:08AM  
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W. Michael Gear was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on the twentieth of May, 1955. A fourth generation Colorado native, his family had been involved in hard-rock mining, cattle ranching, and journalism. After his father's death in 1959, Michael's mother received her Master's degree in journalism and began teaching. In 1962 she married Joseph J. Cook, who taught tool and die making, and the fam ...more
More about W. Michael Gear...

Other Books in the Series

Contact: The Battle for America (3 books)
  • Fire the Sky (Contact: The Battle for America, #2)
  • A Searing Wind: Book Three of Contact: The Battle for America

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