Book: Billie the Kid by Paul Summerhayes
Genre: fantasy, science fiction, weird west
Available in Kindle Unlimited?: Yes (at time of writing)
Available Formats: Kindle ebook
First glance assessment: This is another one I first noticed while doing research for Jeremiah Jones Cowboy Sorcerer. The cover is awesome, and the tag line is “The Magnificent 7 meets the X-men.” I LOVE the X-men. I knew I had to read this book.
Summary: Wilhemina “Billie” Bonney lives in a town bordering the “Waste Land,” an inhospitable desert-scape filled with man-eating mutants. When Billie’s step-father is killed and her mother injured by a group of these mutants, Billie and her brother must team up with the local sheriff and a group of superpowered marshals to ride into the waste land to find a cure.
Story: As a lover of X-men and an enthusiast of all things weird west, I knew I would enjoy this story. I liked the characters and the world building. As a reader, I like my fantasy books to have a basis in our world (no high fantasy for me, thanks), and Billie the Kid falls squarely in that category.
There were a few events and scenes that felt overly dramatic, but it didn’t stop me from finishing the book. I also felt that the main character, Billie, who is supposed to be sixteen, felt more like a twelve-year-old.
Writing: The writing is serviceable overall, but certain sections could have used another revision. The POV character switches a lot, and there were several scenes where it wasn’t immediately clear who’s perspective we were in.
Editing: Unfortunately, there were a lot of typos in this book. Not enough to make it completely unreadable, but they were noticeable and caused me to stumble several times. There were also a lot of echo words, as well. I suspect that this book was self-edited.
Overall rating: Overall, I’d rate this book a solid 3 out of 5 stars—it would have been 4 if the editing had been better. The concept is awesome and the characters are good. I can see this story going some interesting places. I look forward to reading the next one when it comes out, though I wouldn’t rearrange my TBR pile to get to it any sooner.
If you’ve read Billie the Kid, let me know what you thought about it in the comments!