By: Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill
Review by: Kylie Comfoltey
A highfalutin zombie western, with a heartwarming touch of steampunk and -- wait for it --cross-dressing.
I have to admit, I was expecting a weird book. A dangfool weird book, darn tootin'. Wow! My western lingo sucks. I'll just stop that right now.
I was happily surprised by the humor in Dead Reckoning. There are three main characters: White Fox, a native-raised white guy with good looks, bravery, and brains to boot; Honoria Gibbons, San Franciscan (woot!) lady scientist with game-changing plans, endless random knowledge and logic out the wazoo; and Jett Gallatin (aka: Philippa Sheridan), a gun-slinging, card-throwing girl posing as a boy on a solo search for her long lost brother. Jett has a cool horse, and I can respect that, but I'd rather ride in Gibbons' fancy steam powered Auto-Tachypode. Oh, modern conveniences; you had me at "convenient."
My favorite character was Gibbons. She is the no-nonsense type. Almost like a semi-western female Sherlock Holmes--and I LOVE me some Sherlock. She sees right through Jett's disguise with one glance and has the natural ability to read and categorize both people and situations. She chooses to focus on logic and reasoning over fear and is able to power through some freaky situations. She also wears pants, so we have at least one thing in common.
Confession: it took a lot of convincing and first-hand accounts from close friends to convince me to pick up The Forest of Hands and Teeth series. I am not a zombie lover. I declined my invitation to Necrophiliacs Anonymous, thank you very much. I want dead, rotting things to stay dead and rotting and to be far, far away from me. Though in the case of a zombie apocalypse, I would do this.
Perpetually prepared. That is my motto.
I'll admit this book wasn't at the top of my to-read list. I didn't read the synopsis and think, "Gimme!" But you know what? It was a very entertaining book! It had me laughing and it even made me a little nervous. At times, the plot plowed on past ends that were left untied; little details left unanswered. I wonder if this was done on purpose, at least for certain aspects of the storyline, so that those ends can be picked up and knotted in the next book?
The action scenes were entertaining. There were some exciting moments in this book! The zombies showed up with bells on right at the get-go, and the bad guy was real piece of work. Creep-alert.
If you like westerns...honestly I have no idea if you'll like this because I have never read a western and don't know how Dead Reckoning would compare. If you like zombies, there are plenty of them lurching around. If you like Cowboys and Indians, there is some of that happening. If you're into steampunk, steam is totally mentioned.
If you like salt--well, then this is the book for you!
I can tell you this: you'll be entertained.
Sexuality: Zip. Hardly anything romantic happens around these zombies.
Drugs/Alcohol: It's a western. Cigarettes are smoked and whiskey flasks are drained, mostly for nerve-calming purposes.
Profanity: I can't remember any real swearing. Lots of western lingo, and since I'm terrible at that I won't give examples.
Violence: Moderate. Zombies, punches and a touch of nitroglycerin were involved in the making of this book.