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!