H. Duke Author - writer of fantasy, horror, and more

Review of “Billie the Kid” by Paul Summerhayes

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!

Find Billie the Kid on Amazon

And if you’re a fan of the weird west genre, check out Jeremiah Jones Cowboy Sorcerer: The Complete First Season, now available on Amazon!

Review of “Coilhunter” by Dean F. Wilson


Book: Coilhunter by Dean F. Wilson

Genre: Science fiction, weird west

Available in Kindle Unlimited?: Yes

Available Formats: Kindle ebook, paperback

First glance assessment: I first noticed Coilhunter while doing genre research for Jeremiah Jones Cowboy Sorcerer. I don’t read sci-fi often (I’m more a contemporary fantasy girl, myself), but the premise intrigued me. I decided to give it a whirl since it’s in Kindle Unlimited. Weird West pickin’s are slim, anyway, so I can’t be too picky.

Summary:  Nathaniel Nox is a disfigured former toy-maker-turned-bounty hunter. Terribly scarred while trying to save his family from a fire, he now wears a mask that’s become a symbol of dread for the outlaws of The Wild North, the lawless post-apocalyptic desert-scape Nox calls home.

Ever since the deaths of his wife and children, he’s been searching for their killer. When he forms an unexpected alliance with “Handcart Sally,” a woman with a bounty on her head who claims to know information on the murderer, he just might get the revenge he’s been waiting for.

Story: Coilhunter follows the usual western tropes—the protagonist’s family is murdered, and they’re hell-bent on getting their revenge, dusty-desert landscape, etc. The story was well-paced and the characters were interesting and well-motivated. I enjoyed the glimpses into Nox’s past-life as an inventor and toy maker, because they really made his character sympathetic. My favorite aspect of the story was Nox’s mask. The author did a good job of making us wonder what it’s for.

Writing: While not a literary masterpiece by any means, it certainly got the job done. There were certain phrases that I stumbled over, but they didn’t occur often enough to lessen my enjoyment of the story.

Editing: This book was flawlessly edited. I didn’t notice a sing typo throughout the entire text.

Overall rating: Overall, I’d rate this book a solid 3.75 out of 5 stars. It’s a fun dystopian sci-fi western romp through the desert. I will probably read the rest of the series (there are two more after this one), though I will be cycling through the rest of my TBR pile first. If you’ve read Coilhunter, let me know what you thought of it in the comments!

Click here to purchase Coilhunter on Amazon

And if you’re a fan of the weird west genre, check out Jeremiah Jones Cowboy Sorcerer: The Complete First Season, now available on Amazon!