This here is just a quickie review to tide ya'll over while I try to Frankenstein my computer back to life, which is only slightly harder than getting water to burn with a magnifying glass. Sigh. I don't get paid enough for this crap.
Anyway, I just recently finished reading Coyote: The Outlander, the first in a book series mixing elements of Steampunk and the Weird West. Let me just say that this book is frigging awesome and I have very few complaints. Our protagonist going by the name of Coyote, is a smokin' hot female bounty hunter and quick draw gunslinger hunting down interdimensional criminals who are causing problems in the West, and she's just the gal to whip them into line! Already, from the premise alone, you know this is something special.
I mean, come on! Bounty hunters, dimensional travel, strange weapon technology, what's not to like? Right away I responded well to the author's writing style. Crisp, clear and with a distinct voice. Sure, she does a bit too much telling at points, but that's hardly enough to put a dent into this piece.
Coyote is a pretty fun character and actually quite well defined, feeling more like a real person but at the same time does have a pulpy flavor to her. I don't think this is written intending to be pulp, but I do get the vibe that this is a character that female readers can latch onto. I mean, let's face it: Gals just haven't had nearly as many action role models as guys. We've got Tarzan, John Carter, Conan, Solomon Kane, the Sackett's, Master Chief and innummerable others. Ladies don't have quite as many, and those that do actually survive are usually pounded into the ground by crappy games and creepy fanart.
But not so with Coyote! She's drop-dead gorgeous, determined, darned clever, deadly with a handgun and ready to kick arse at the drop of a hat, this gal is pretty darned cool! A bunch of snooty jerks who've never written a thing in their lives will more than likely accuse her of being a Mary Sue and that the character should be burned at the stake for having so many awesome traits rolled into one. Well you know what? Screw those guys. Coyote is awesome! And remember, I'm the guy who spends most of his freetime trying to find new ways to be manly. So shut up and enjoy the awesome.
I don't want to explain the whole story here as this is a quickie, but I'll try to tack out the basics. Coyote gets hired to hunt down a creature that has come through a Rip, a tear in the fabric of space I believe, that is eating children and in general just being a jerk. So, Coyote has to acquire a particle beam pistol to kill the darned thing cuz her regular six shooter just can't penetrate his hide, and then track the poor sap down and reduce him to an unpleasant memory.
Sounds straightforward enough, and it is, but there is an astonishing amount of detail given to fleshing out character and history here. Like wow, I was genuinely not expecting some of the twists that took place in this story. I don't get blind-sided like that easily, so that's saying something. There are also points where the story has the sort of intensity that makes you clench up tight enough to crack your molars. Most of the pacing is pretty liezurely, but wow there is one chapter early on that almost made my muscles lock up. Now that is cool!
I won't provide spoilers here, so try taking my word for it. This is a story well worth reading and I plan on reading more in the future when I can afford it. There are some attatched games and codes tied in with the chapters, but I haven't messed with those yet. This here be about the book.
Let's see... I don't want to sound like I'm totally sucking up, so I'd better mention something that I didn't like. Hmmm... Um, give me a second... I already mentioned how on occasion the author does a bit too much telling, but that's small potatoes. Erm... Oh! Okay, the only other thing that actually seemed not really cool to me was the fact that Coyote didn't gun down an entire orchestra worth of bad guys. Minor spoiler, but she actually doesn't kill anyone in this story. Most of the meat and potatoes goes to fleshing out her character, which I really shouldn't be complaining about. Maybe it's just the dude in me, but I would have liked to have seen her shoot three or four guys with her six-shooter and then strike a fun Power Rangers pose. Well, maybe that'll be in the next book!
Anyway, go take a look at this good example of Weird West writing!