The author states that he is "copying" Homer's "Odessey." Okay, now that we have determined that the author is humble and does not have any pretensions we can get down to reviewing this muddled mess.
I hate to complain (no I don't, but that is the fine print), but I would appreciate some realims in a supposedly realistic novel of the American Civil War. I also want to skip over the "must have" items in any contemporary American novel that all editors insist on having. What I am talking about are the "sensitive, handsome and heroic male protagonist," the "strong, independent woman he yearns for against convention," and the "horribly evil 'entity' whose name must not be spoken." Frazier also did not forget the must-have "imps" (this time an albino) who help him in all his evil deeds.
Now that I have dispensed with the card-board cutouts, I'll take a swing at the "history" (quotation mark alert). Here is just one ridiculous history lesson. On page 68, for instance, Inman is shot at by a Whitworth sniper rifle. These rifles were the undisputed favorites of Confederate snipers. They were imported from England in small numbers, and had a killing range of 1,500 yards. The twisting hexagonal bore was what gave this .45 calibre rifle its accuracy. The problem is that this unique rifle shot a very unique and expensive bullet, meaning no sniper would waste a shot like that--not to mention missing Inman by a mile. This is simply not believable, but makes for sexy reading, impressing the New York editors who don't know jack. Having a yahoo shoot from the river bank ain't enough.
My other complaint about "history" is the fact that all Civil War heroes must have fought at Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, Antietam (okay, Sharpsburg), The Crater, etc. But, hey, why not have this super-hero fight at all of the above? Better than that, put him in the middle of the line each time. My ancestors were at Gettysburg (9th Georgia Infantry, the winning side), but they fought in the Wheat Field. Ain't good enough.
But the truth for this novel would have had a negative effect. Or maybe it would have made it better? Frazier places Inman in the center of the line during Picketts Charge (Longstreet's Assault). I hate to break this news, but the North Carolinians held the LEFT during the charge. Worse for the book, the North Carolinians were accused of cowardice during the charge, as they were the first to falter (they were enfiladed) and retreated, leaving Pickett isolated and bound to fail. I guess that means Inman, if he were alive today, would be lying his ass off about his war record.
If you want an easy-to-read book , I would recommend this. I just wish the ones being touted for "historical" accuracy as an historical novel would actually describe real life. Believe it or not, the Civil War was much more interesting to the real participants than this.