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Raid of Souls by Kalen Vaughan Johnson is the riveting tale of a few dedicated, hardworking miners in northern California fighting against greedy, unscrupulous landowners hell-bent on destroying a town to get rich.  James MacLaren, one of the town’s leading citizens, is an honest man who wants to stop a corrupt finance network from getting a monopoly on gold mining in the area.  But he finds himself tempted by the prospect of wealth and notoriety.  His friends and neighbors are counting on him to fight the hostile takeover of their property and preserve their livelihoods.  James is torn, but ultimately believes in doing what’s right.  

Amid the glittery intrigue is a love story between James and a headstrong woman named Charlotte.  She has ties to the shady network causing trouble for the Gold Country residents.  Their relationship is complicated from the start and only sincere emotion will help them survive the sometimes-violent forces keeping them apart.  

Johnson is a talented author who does an excellent job of showing the conflicting sides of the human spirit.  While I was frustrated with one character and impressed by another, they all work together to spin a wonderful picture of this time and place in our history.  Raid of Souls is completely likable.