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Book review Book reviews Tuesday Book Blog

#TuesdayBookBlog THE DRIFT by C. J. Tudor (@cjtudor) (@PenguinUKBooks) A jigsaw puzzle of mysteries in a dystopic but not so-distant future #bookreview #2023publication

Hi all:

I don’t normally review books months in advance of their publication (as I’m always behind with my reading), but, for some reason, I read a comment about this book, and as I’ve been following the author for the last few years and have always enjoyed her novels, I managed to convince myself that I had missed the launch of the book, managed to get hold of a review copy, and rushed to read it as soon as I could, only to discover that it is not due to be published until the 19th of January 2023. I considered programming the post for later, but as I don’t know what my circumstances will be like by then, and the book is already available for pre-order, I thought I’d share the review with you. I’ve realised that the author had published a book of short stories as well, and I hope to bring you those in the near future.

This is a good one.

The Drift by C. J. Tudor

The Drift by C. J. Tudor

An overturned coach. A stranded cable car. An isolated chalet . . .

Three groups of strangers. A deadly killer. No escape.

THE DRIFT . . . survival can be murder

Praise for C. J. Tudor:

‘C. J. Tudor is terrific. I can’t wait to see what she does next’ Harlan Coben

‘Britain’s female Stephen King’ Daily Mail

‘A mesmerizingly chilling and atmospheric page-turner’ J.P. Delaney

‘Her books have the ability to simultaneously make you unable to stop reading while wishing you could bury the book somewhere deep underground where it can’t be found. Compelling and haunting’ Sunday Express

‘Some writers have it, and some don’t. C. J. Tudor has it big time’ Lee Child

‘A dark star is born’ A. J. Finn

https://www.amazon.com/Drift-C-J-Tudor-ebook/dp/B092YVZJQJ/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Drift-C-J-Tudor-ebook/dp/B092YVZJQJ/

https://www.amazon.es/Drift-English-C-J-Tudor-ebook/dp/B092YVZJQJ/

Author C.J. Tudor
Author C.J. Tudor

About the author:

C. J. Tudor lives with her partner and young daughter. Her love of writing, especially the dark and macabre, started young. When her peers were reading Judy Blume, she was devouring Stephen King and James Herbert.

Over the years she has had a variety of jobs, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, dog walker, voiceover artist, television presenter, copywriter and, now, author.

Her first novel, The Chalk Man, was a Sunday Times bestseller and sold in thirty-nine territories.

https://www.amazon.com/C-J-Tudor/e/B074WBT1GL/

My review:

Thanks to NetGalley and to Penguin UK for providing me an ARC copy of this novel, which I freely chose to review.

I discovered C. J. Tudor when she published her first novel, The Chalk Man, and I had no doubt that her name would become a familiar one for many readers. I have read several of her novels since (all of them, if I’m not wrong), and I also have a collection of her short stories already waiting on my reader. I am happy recommending her books to readers who love thrillers with a touch of menace and more than a few drops of dark humour. Her writing is fluid and engaging; her plots are gripping, and her protagonists always have a surprise or two in stock for us. She is the real deal.

All of this is in evidence in her latest novel, which is due to be published in January 2023.

The description of the plot is sparse, and that is for a very good reason. As you can guess, the action of the book is divided into three settings, and readers of classic mysteries will soon realised that they all seem to be variations of the isolated location mystery: a number of characters are locked (sometimes physically, sometimes not) in a place that is not easily accessible to others, where strange things start to happen (characters disappearing and being murdered are the most common). One of the characters becomes the de-facto investigator (sometimes a real investigator, sometimes not), and readers follow this character’s attempts at finding out what is going on. So, here we have a similar situation, only that we have three stories taking place in three different locations, in a fairly dystopian version of the not-so-distant future (although nowadays not quite as outlandish as it might have been a few years back) where the population has been decimated by an infectious illness. We have two groups of survivors headed to the same safe place, and the third is a group of people actually working and living at that safe location. I can’t share too many details of the story without revealing too much, but I can say that two of the characters whose point of view we follow are women (one, Hanna, a young student, and the other, Meg, an ex-policewoman), and then there is Carter, who works at the Retreat. All of them are survivors, all of them keep secrets, and you would be right if you thought these groups must be connected somehow. But no, of course, I can’t tell you how.

Those readers who worry about different storylines and points of view making things confusing don’t need to worry. Although the three stories are narrated in the third person, each section is clearly labelled, and the three characters are quite different in their thoughts and outlooks, so confusion should not be an issue. For those who appreciate having advance warning, there is violence; there are pretty graphic scenes that have made some reviewers class it as horror (I think it is a combination of both thriller and horror, but I love horror, so that is a plus for me), and there is nothing cozy about the story (even though there is a dog and… No, I can’t say). Also, those who prefer not to read and/or think about pandemics after COVID-19 might want to give it a miss.

Anybody who doesn’t fall into these categories appreciates a well-written, tightly plotted, and gripping story (stories) that will keep their mind going and wandering about what is really going on and who is doing what should read this novel. I liked the two female protagonists in particular (not that they were without their issues and contradictions), but even in the case of the male, their circumstances and their sheer determination to keep going made me side with them and keep reading. The story centres on the plot, which is beautifully and cleverly constructed, but the characters have to face many personal and moral challenges, and some of the questions and decisions they have to make will have all readers wondering about right and wrong and about what they would do if they were in the same circumstances.

Despite the tense atmosphere and the dire straits, the characters find themselves in, or perhaps because of them, the author also offers us some glimpses of humour (mostly dark), some beautiful descriptions, and thought-provoking reflections that allow us to catch our breath. There are some wonderful little details that we only become fully aware of at the end (oh, and I love the ending, mini-epilogue and all), and I am very impressed by the talent of the author to make all the pieces of the puzzle come together seamlessly. People who love a mystery will probably start to tie some threads early on, and some will be faster than the characters (although, of course, we have more information than they have, and we are not under the same kind of pressure), but, my guess is that most won’t be disappointed when everything is revealed.

In sum, this is another great novel by C.J. Tudor, and one that I am sure will keep her followers coming back for more. And those who haven’t read her yet, if you like the sound of this, what are you waiting for? 

I leave you a few quotes, although I recommend checking a sample online if you aren’t sure the writing style will suit your taste.

Here’s the other thing my grandpa taught me. You´re either a good guy or you’re a survivor. And the earth is full of dead good guys.’

One of the characters, when asked why they care, says:

Because caring is all we have left. If we stop caring —about life, about other people— who are we? What have we become?’

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, it’s also a oneway street. No going back.

 Thanks to the publisher, the author, and to NetGalley for this very early ARC copy (there might be changes to the final version, although I didn’t spot any evident mistakes), and thanks to you all for your patience, your comments, and for reading my reviews and sharing them around. Make sure you keep reading, and never forget to smile. ♥

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Book review Book reviews

#Bookreview SURVIVOR SONG by Paul Tremblay (@paulgtremblay)(@TitanBooks) It masterfully blurs the line between dystopia and reality #horror

Hi all:

Today I bring you a new book by an author I was curious about but hadn’t yet read.

Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay

Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay

A riveting novel of suspense and terror from the Bram Stoker award-winning author of The Cabin at the End of the World and A Head Full of Ghosts.

When it happens, it happens quickly.

New England is locked down, a strict curfew the only way to stem the wildfire spread of a rabies-like virus. The hospitals cannot cope with the infected, as the pathogen’s ferociously quick incubation period overwhelms the state. The veneer of civilisation is breaking down as people live in fear of everyone around them. Staying inside is the only way to keep safe.

But paediatrician Ramola Sherman can’t stay safe, when her friend Natalie calls her husband is dead, she’s eight months pregnant, and she’s been bitten. She is thrust into a desperate race to bring Natalie and her unborn child to a hospital, to try and save both their lives.

Their once familiar home has becoming a violent and strange place, twisted in to a barely recognisable landscape. What should have been a simple, joyous journey becomes a brutal trial.

https://www.amazon.com/Survivor-Song-Paul-Tremblay-ebook/dp/B084Q4BH8K/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Survivor-Song-Paul-Tremblay-ebook/dp/B084Q4BH8K/

https://www.amazon.es/Survivor-Song-Paul-Tremblay-ebook/dp/B084Q4BH8K/

Author Paul Tremblay

About the author:

Paul Tremblay is the author of the Bram Stoker Award and Locus Award winning THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD, winner of the British Fantasy Award DISAPPEARANCE AT DEVIL’S ROCK, and Bram Stoker Award/Massachusetts Book Award winning A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS. A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS is in development with Focus Features. He’s also the author of the novels The Little Sleep, No Sleep till Wonderland, Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye, and Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn’t Fly (co-written with Stephen Graham Jones).

His newest book is the short story collection GROWING THINGS AND OTHER STORIES.

His essays and short fiction have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and numerous “year’s best” anthologies. He is the co-editor of four anthologies including Creatures: Thirty Years of Monster Stories (with John Langan). Paul is on the board of directors for the Shirley Jackson Awards. He lives outside of Boston, Massachusetts, has a master’s degree in Mathematics, and has no uvula. You can find him online at www.paultremblay.net. twitter: @paulgtremblay

He is represented by Stephen Barbara, InkWell Management.

My review:

Thanks to NetGalley and to Titan Books for providing me an ARC copy of this novel that I freely chose to review.

I have read a number of glowing reviews of Tremblay’s novels and being a horror fan, I was eager to read one of his books. When I found this one was available for request and read the description, I requested it although wondering if, in the current situation, I’d dare to read it. Then I read a review of it by one of the reviewers of horror I trust and decided to take the plunge. I’m pleased to report it was the right decision.

The description does justice to the plot. This is one of those novels that seem to start with a big “What If”, and we have a clock ticking to ramp up the tension. The fact that the situation has become familiar and requires far less suspension of disbelief than it might have when it was written adds nuance to the story and also increases the chill factor. Yes, the details are different (there is a virus, but it is a variety of the rabies virus rather than a coronavirus, and therefore the illnesses are very different, thankfully), but the background situation and the consequences of the health emergency are eerily similar (lack of resources, lack of PPE, confusion, hospitals overwhelmed, lack of coordination, fake news, conspiracy theories, nay-sayers, heads of governments ignoring scientific advice…). Rather than going large, the author brings the crisis to a personal level, focusing on the story of two women, one British who emigrated and studied Medicine in the US, Ramola, or Rams, and the other, her best friend, Natalie, Nats, married and in the late stages of pregnancy. They shared an apartment while they were students, and although their lives have changed, they’ve kept in touch. Things go wrong very quickly, and Ramola is soon forced to make decisions that place her professional duty in the balance against her friendship. Would you put your duty to society before your friendship or your love for your family? This is a question many of us have probably wondered about, and many have been forced to face for real in recent times.

The story turns into a nightmarish road trip where almost everything is against the protagonists. There are infected animals (and people) on their way, roadblocks, and rogue patrols wandering the streets, and every time they seem to get a break, a new obstacle or delay makes survival more and more difficult. And, of course, we have the illness itself, which turns humans (and animals) into raging wild beasts.

I have mentioned some of the themes, and although this is a dystopian story that feels like reality at the moment (unfortunately, reality is looking grimmer than this novel’s scenario), and it does have much in common with zombie stories (no matter how insistent Rams is that the infected are not zombies, and, of course, they are not dead but ill, their behaviour is quite similar), it is also a story about friendship and the families we create. We have not only Ramola and Nathalie, who are like sisters, but also other characters (especially a couple of teenage boys, Luis and Josh, who are like brothers, share a dark secret, and whose story is given space as well). There is no lack of social commentary either:  there is a strong indictment of the lack of training, of PPE, and of resources in general that hospitals and health providers have to contend with, and also support for the usefulness (indeed need) of vaccines and vaccination campaigns. (Tremblay explains at the end that his sister works at a small hospital and she gave him a lot of information.  They make a great team). Although none of it is original, it does work well, and the focus on only a few characters makes it very compelling.

The story is written in the present tense (for the most part), in the third person, although the chapters alternate between the points of view of Natalie and Ramola in the three main parts of the novel. There are also a prelude, and interlude, and a postlude, which are told from a seemingly omniscient viewpoint, where the narrator provides a frame and a commentary on the story itself (we are told this is not a fairy tale, it is a song, and we are also given information about the larger scale of things, and even told about the future). My experience with present-tense narration has not always been good, but I felt it worked well here, as it makes readers feel as if the story was taking place right now, and as the main narrative develops over a few hours, it does bring home the relativity of time, how two minutes can feel like two hours or vice versa. The book has some lyrical passages, and it’s particularly strong when reflecting the way our minds can wander even at the most inconvenient moments, and how we all have our own protective mechanisms (telling ourselves stories, taking refuge on events from the past, fairy tales…). The author writes fluidly, and he makes good use of the alternating points of view, and of other devices, like Facebook chat pages, the video diary Natalie is keeping for her child… This also provides variety and a bit of a break from the tension of the story.

I’ve read some reviews where people didn’t like the book because they didn’t like the main characters. It is true that because of the way the story is told if you don’t connect with the two protagonists, I don’t think the story will work. We don’t know everything about the two characters straight away, as much is revealed through the novel, as they think about the past, about shared experiences, and also about the future. For me, the relationship between the two characters felt real. They often knew what the other person was thinking, they cared for each other and it was like reading or witnessing the interaction between two close friends, where not everything needs to be said, and there is a lot of background to the relationship that will not be evident to strangers. Being a doctor, I probably felt closer to Ramola and her difficult situation, but I enjoyed the story and I also got to like Luis and Josh (and some of the minor characters as well).

The ending… Well, if there wasn’t a postlude, the ending would be ambiguous but the postlude makes up for it, and we get a satisfying ending (if not particularly surprising). I confess I’m not a fan of happy endings for horror novels (or films), but this is not standard horror, and despite the warnings about this not being a fairy tale, I do think it reads like a fairy tale for adults (or a scary tale). And perhaps the ending is right for the times we are living. Let’s hope…

So, yes, I recommend this novel to fans of Tremblay, and to readers of horror or dystopian fiction in general. I’d advise readers to check a sample, in case the present tense narration doesn’t work for them, and if you prefer your stories big and your disasters of world proportions, this is not that kind of story. Although the focus is on a couple of characters (mostly), there is plenty of violence, blood, and guts, so I wouldn’t recommend it to those who prefer their thrills to be subtle and understated. Also, if you are concerned about reading this story right in the middle of a pandemic and are very anxious about the news, I’d recommend waiting for a while before reading it, because it does hit very close to home. I look forward to reading more novels by this author.

Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for the novel, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click, review, keep smiling, and above all, keep safe. ♥

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Book review Book reviews

#TuesdayBookBlog DEAD MEAT DAY 1. Nick Clausen(@NickClausen9) A quick read, full of frights, tension, and touches of dark humour

Hi all:

I bring you a book by an author I discovered recently, and I wanted to keep reading. And he gracefully obliged. It also seemed very appropriate for Halloween.

Dead Meat. Day 1 by Nick Clausen
Dead Meat. Day 1. Nick Clausen

Dead Meat Day 1. Nick Clausen

The end of the world one day at a time

In this new apocalyptic zombie series from the author of They Come at Night and Human Flesh, we follow events day for day as the world slowly but surely descends into mayhem as the zombies take over. Don’t miss the thrilling ride!

For fans of The Walking Dead, The Orphans Book and World War Z.

How it all began

Three teenagers find themselves trapped in a stuffy, warm basement. The old lady who used to own the house is now dead. She’s also standing right on the other side of the basement door, scraping and moaning, trying to get in. Patiently. Tirelessly.

How did they end up here? Just a few hours ago, all three of them were sitting in Thomas’s car, sweating and listening to music, not a care in the world. They were almost done with the paper route when they came to the old lady’s house. And that’s when everything turned to chaos.

Links:

US: https://www.amazon.com/B07XZ7V47P
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/B07XZ7V47P
CA: https://www.amazon.ca/B07XZ7V47P

Author Nick Clausen
Author Nick Clausen

About the author:

He began writing at the age of 18 with a promise of doing 1,000 words a day until he got a book published. Still keeping that promise of 18 months 13 manuscripts later. He has written almost 30 books since then. Fortunate to live as a full-time writer since 2017. He began translating his books into English in 2019. Prefers horror, fantasy and sci-fi. Resides in Denmark. He is inspired by the stories of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman and Thomas Harris.

https://www.amazon.com/Nick-Clausen/e/B07NC5X94M/

My review:

I received an ARC copy of the story from the author which I freely chose to review.

I have recently read a novella from the same author that I enjoyed (here you can find my review for Human Flesh), and when he contacted me and offered me a copy of the first part of his new zombie series (new in English, although already published and successful in Danish) I had to say yes. Despite being a horror fan, I haven’t read many zombie books but, like many of us, I’ve watched enough living-dead movies and series to be familiar with the genre.

In this brief narrative (the first in the series, as the title indicates), we are plunged into the action (or rather, the tense waiting) from the very beginning. The author does a great job of making us feel the heat, the anxiety, and the claustrophobia of the basement where the three youths have taken refuge and the fear and uncertainty of the characters, whom we don’t know yet but will soon get to grips with. We have Thomas, his girlfriend Jenny, and Dan, Jenny’s younger brother. What had started as a standard newspaper run, ends up getting them into real trouble.

The action, narrated in the third person from different characters’ point of view (not alternating, so there’s no risk of getting confused. I don’t want to discuss this in detail to avoid spoilers, but we all know mortality is high in zombie stories) is pretty relentless. There are brief intervals when the characters are waiting and trying to decide what to do, but this is, perhaps, more scary and anxiety-provoking than the actual direct confrontations.

The explanation behind the zombies’ existence is believable within the constraints of the genre; there is plenty of gore (despite the young protagonists, I wouldn’t recommend this story to people who are squeamish); due to the use of alternating points of view, we get to experience the story as if we were there, and I kept wondering where and when the next zombie would turn up (and trying to come up with a workable solution to their predicament). There were a few moments when things seemed to be about to get sorted, but weren’t, and also hair-raising scenes aplenty. Oh, and there is some slapstick and dark humour as well (although it might depend on what you find funny).

As for the characters, although we don’t know too many details about them, due to the extreme situation they find themselves in, to their normalcy (from the bits of information we learn they are not extraordinary in any way, and it’s easy to imagine we might have reacted in similar ways if we were in that situation) and to the way the story is told, where we hardly get any break, it’s impossible not to empathise and root for them to survive. Of course, this is only the first book in the series, and we’ll have a chance to learn more about the characters in the next books. Although… well, this is a genre book.

As you can imagine, there is no definite conclusion or closure to the story. Although things change and it looks at some point as if everything might work out all right (at a heavy price, of course), well, there is no happy ending, and I suspect most of you will spot what is the missing element and why this is only day 1.

I enjoyed this short read, which provides thrills and scares aplenty, captures the claustrophobic atmosphere and the anxiety of the situation, and makes good use of all the tropes of the genre. I look forward to learning more about the characters and also seeing what happens next.

Thanks to the author for the book, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click, review, and always keep smiling!

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Book review Book reviews

#Bookreview Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western (The Adventures of Bodacious Creed Book 1) by Jonathan Fesmire (@FesmireFesmire) Highly recommended to Western, steampunk, and zombie lovers #Western #steampunk #zombies

Hi all:

Although I’ve slowed down on my reading, don’t think I have stopped, and today I bring something pretty original…

Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western by Joanthan Fesmire
Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western by Jonathan Fesmire

Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western (The Adventures of Bodacious Creed Book 1) by Jonathan Fesmire

U.S. Marshal James Creed has known loss, starting from the untimely death of his wife and daughter in a sudden fire. His work, chasing down and arresting outlaws across the Wild West, is all he has left to live for. Then one day, in 1876, the infamous killer Corwin Blake catches Creed by surprise and guns him down.

Creed awakes after a mysterious young woman resurrects him in a basement laboratory beneath a brothel. Half alive, Creed feels torn between his need for justice and his desire to fall back into the peace of death. Creed’s instincts drive him to protect the city of Santa Cruz, California, from the outlaws it harbors while searching for Blake.

He uncovers a secret criminal organization, likely protecting Blake, determined to use resurrection technology for its own ends. The former marshal, now faster, stronger, and a more deadly shot than ever before, must work with a brothel madam, a bounty hunter, and the remaining marshals to uncover the criminal syndicate before they can misuse the machines of rebirth and create more mindless zombies. Meanwhile, he must also stop Blake, before the outlaw kills the only people he cares about.

His own death can wait.

https://www.amazon.com/Bodacious-Creed-Steampunk-Western-Adventures-ebook/dp/B073Z4KRVY/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bodacious-Creed-Steampunk-Western-Adventures-ebook/dp/B073Z4KRVY/

Author Jonathan Fesmire
Author Jonathan Fesmire

About the author:

Jonathan Fesmire lives in sunny Southern California with his son. His writes “The Wild Steampunk Blog,” located on his website, http://jonfesmire.com/. It covers steampunk, writing, art, and related topics, and also has many interviews with people prominent in the steampunk community.

You can find a detailed interview with the author available on his Amazon page.

https://www.amazon.com/Jonathan-Fesmire/e/B002BM1ZXQ/

My review:

I was offered a free copy of this novel that I freely chose to review.

When I read the description of this novel, I must say I was intrigued. It’s a Western. But not just any Western. It’s a steampunk Western. I have not read a lot of steampunk (some blogs and short-stories) but I am intrigued by the concept, the art, the clothes… Oh, and there are zombies. OK, I could not resist. I generally like Westerns and historical fiction set in that period, but the unlikely combination of the three elements proved impossible to resist. And it did pay off.

I don’t want to go into a lot of detail about the plot, as it is full of surprises, and although some you might see coming, I assure you there’s plenty to keep the brain ticking and the pages turning. James Creed (“Bodacious” indeed) is a great character, although we only get a glimpse of the true man before he is killed and then… resuscitated. Anna, the madam of the bordello the House of Amber Doves, has something hidden in the basement, and she is an inventor, and also… Well, let’s say she hides more than her scientific knowledge and talents. We have Anna’s lover, Jonny, who was injured and now is also part of her experiments, although loyal, loving, and also a great inventor. There is a bounty hunter, Rob Cantrell, who, although morally grey at times, becomes a part of the team we root for. We have a variety of baddies, from psychopaths to business types ready to sacrifice anybody for an advantage and for the power to harvest all the knowledge, legal and not. Although not all the characters are psychologically complex, in most cases we learn what makes them tick, and discover that most of them hide interesting background stories and hidden motives for what they do.

The story, told in the third person but through a variety of character’s points of view (including Creed, Anna, Jonny, Cantrell, and some of the baddies), is set in a fascinating alternative version of historical Santa Cruz. Imagine that there is a compound (the ether) that can be used for the construction of automatons, cyborgs, healing units, and ultimately units that can bring the dead back to life. Imagine that human beings can be enhanced with something akin to bionic technology (yes, I know, but imagine that happened in the late XIX century). Imagine that a company has the monopoly of all these inventions (Tesla works for that corporation as well) and anybody who tries to invent or commercialize such things is breaking the law and can become an outlaw. And imagine that kind of technology in the hands of a crime syndicate in the old West. Yes, the combination of crime and technology, as we well know, can be very dangerous, and, unfortunately, not all the experiments bringing back the dead go well. Although that causes violence, mayhem, and deaths, we also have the good and useful automatons (or steelies, as they are called), the automated pets, Creed acquires a pet cyborg coyote later in the story, and we have undead cats and zombie rats… And the characters are not the only ones hiding secrets. Santa Cruz also has a few aces up its sleeves and it is an important protagonist of the story. Yes, not a moment’s boredom.

The alternating points of view help us get more perspectives into the story and understand better the motives behind some of the characters’ surprising actions. And although it is not always pleasant, it is interesting to see the action from the point of view of the bad characters as well (as some of their reasons are not always bad). Matters of morality, spirituality, personal versus community interest, and family ties are also part of this story that should satisfy Western lovers (yes, there are plenty of gun and fist fights, shootings, traps, wild rides), steam-punk enthusiasts, and although the zombie angle is a bit more subtle (well, at least for a lot of the book), I don’t think those who are into zombie novels will be disappointed either.

The story flows well, the language fits in with the imagined historical period (I am not sure what historical fiction readers would think, but my guess is that they might find it interesting), and there is enough description of the places and the inventions to make us feel as if we were there, without unduly slowing the action. As a doctor, I could not help but wonder about some of the actual experiments (Frankenstein is mentioned more than once), but sometimes you just need to go with the flow. There are lots of characters, though, so I recommend paying close attention when reading it. I did enjoy the ending of the story (well, I imagine there will be more books) but no spoilers here.

The end note of the author explains the peculiarities of the Santa Cruz of the book (the author hails from there) and also shares how the book came to be. The story of the startup he organized to fund the book is fascinating in its own right, and he explains how as perks for participating in the project, some people got to have characters named after them, including Cantrell, the bounty hunter, and in some cases, even helped write the part. A fascinating story inside another one.

A great mix of genres, recommended to those who love to try something original and don’t fear to tread outside of the normal paths. For Western, steampunk, and zombie lovers. Highly recommended.

Thanks to the author for the novel, thanks to all of you for reading and remember to like, share, comment, click and REVIEW!

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