Monday, June 20, 2011

Hallowed Ground - Steven Savile and David Niall Wilson

Note to Steven Savile and David Niall Wilson: Guys, you had me at the sight of the mysterious-looking female gunslinger on the cover.

Luckily for those of you who are, ahem, less shallow than me, behind that cover is a fine novel in the burgeoning Weird Western genre. A sinister character known only as The Deacon shows up in the frontier town of Rookwood along with a caravan of grotesqueries and freaks. Is The Deacon a traveling preacher? Is his troupe a circus or carnival of some sort? A rival/old enemy called Balthazar shows up as well, and these arrivals start to have an effect on various citizens, leading up to some dramatic supernatural confrontations.

HALLOWED GROUND is very well-written and makes excellent use of its dusty frontier setting, with influences that seem to range from Ray Bradbury to Sergio Leone. And not to harp on it, but hey, having a beautiful female gunfighter in a book never hurts. I enjoyed this one a lot. Highly recommended.

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