Yea Though I Walk
Genre: Western Fantasy
Release Date: July 10, 2016
Publisher: Curiosity Quills
Gunning down the heathen monsters of the untamed West is the calling of the Godpistols, and may be Linthicum Odell's only path to redemption. A Union Army deserter, Odell figures he has plenty of sin to atone for. As he has yet to earn the Godpistols' trust, they send Odell on a thankless errand to Gold Vein, a mining town with two afflictions: a corrupt local justice named Lars Richterman, and a horde of cannibal wendigo in the surrounding hills.
Half-dead from a wendigo attack, Odell is nursed back to life by Denton Folger, a righteous press man from the East Coast. Intent on settling debts, Odell takes up Folger's cause against Richterman and his schemes on the land surrounding Gold Vein. Odell soon realizes that Richterman and the wendigo in the hills are not the only monsters threatening the town. His greatest ally comes in the form of Folger's ferociously capable wife, Katherina, who holds the secrets to the intrigues of this valley. To save Gold Vein, Odell must pry loose these secrets, though her dark allure may prove too much for Odell's loyalties… both to his Godpistol dogma and to Folger.
When Odell discovers the truth of what brought him to this valley, and why Katherina keeps this truth buried, will his virtue fail? Or will a bag of silver bullets be enough to survive this war between devils, virtue be damned?
Source: eARC via Publisher
Rating: 4 Stars ~ Loved
While doing a bit of browsing, I got curious about this one that had an intriguing Biblical sounding title, was listed as a fantasy, but the blurb had me thinking it might be a tough, gritty, paranormal Western. Well, um, it was a bit of all that when all was said and done.
And might I add that it had the hallmarks of a decent 'horror' story going for it. I would be hard-pressed to nail this one down since it seemed a bit of everything. And, really, I find it a tough road putting my thoughts on this book into words, but I'll give it a go.
First of all, setting and backdrop are decidedly western. Tough, gritty people and situation. The post-Civil War when men headed west for a new start on the American frontier. Opportunities in mining, ranching, and farming, but opportunities that came with a cost. Some folks just wanted to live in peace and prosperity while others followed the outlaw trail and preyed on those other folks.
But beyond that it is also a story loaded with paranormal and horror elements. The monsters that go bump in the night (and in the day) are real. The good people of Gold Vein live in terror of what lurks in the hills and also a bit closer to town.
Into this situation, rides the lone hero, Odell Linthicum, who escapes a particular grisly death from a camp of flesh-eating Wendigo in the woods when the camp is attack by a group of 'Striggers' (vampires). A snake bite is what lays Odell low and makes him believe death is near, but he wakes up rescued by local newspaper man, Denton Folger, and his beautiful and very after-dead wife, Katherina. Odell is forced assess all that he has been taught. Katherina knows what is really going on in and around Gold Vein and wants Odell's help, but she needs him to figure out the truth for himself.
Odell finds himself with more trouble than any one man should be asked to handle- human eating Wendigos, untame Striggers, a grasping and greedy Richterman who controls the town and keeps grabbing for more land, and then there is Odell's attraction to Folger's wife. It's going to take a tough, determined man to rally the townsfolks and see it all through.
The world the author created was right up my alley as I like a blending of old Western with paranormal elements. I liked the gritty situation and the hero, Odell, who wants to prove himself and doesn't even realize he already is strong, brave, and a leader. He's foul-mouthed, but savvy and determined. It was funny seeing him partnered with Folger. Folger wants to fight Richterman and his rabble, but he is polished and one of those genuinely good men who feels the pen is mightier than the gun.
Now, there was a lot going on in this one and oh so much more than I can even share without spoiling this story. Let's just say the true wonder of this story only dawns on the reader near the end and then forces the reader to re-think every conception that has been established up to that point. I love it when a story can turn things on it's head and make me think on it long after I was done reading.
Beyond this, there is the slow-build tension filled trouble coming from all sides it seems like any good Western can bring with the huge money-shot climax scene.
The balance was good between Western, paranormal, and even a dab of romance to the elements. I need my Western formula which naturally has things culminating in a huge gun battle against all odds and I got that and more. The ending left me gutted, but it made sense.
So, all in all, this was a reading experience that left me amazed at the author's creativity and whirling with how things played out. This will be for those who enjoy blended genres involving gritty Western, ghoulish paranormal and even shades of horror.
My thanks to Curiosity Quills for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Sophia Rose regularly blogs and reviews at Delighted Reader.