These books are slow and meandering. They take a long time to get to the point of the plot. They spend a lot of time just exploring random things going on in the town or out and about in the world.
But gosh, these characters are so great! I feel so attached to them. They’re imperfect and good-hearted and lovable. Their relationships and friendships are so sweet and genuine. I may not be all that interested in some of them, but even those characters are still lovable and I don’t want bad things to happen.
I really enjoyed the parts about 16-year-old Jim trying to catch a serial killer and also having his first romance, Jim and Mutt’s friendship, Mutt and Maude wooing each other and fighting for their relationship despite the hate against them, Harry trying to balance duty and love, Harry and Mutt’s mutual dislike but respect for each other, Jon just trying to get by and survive and keep the town safe but also maybe finally finding some happiness for himself, Malachi also trying to keep the town safe in his own way while having a crisis of faith and getting to know his daughter. I didn’t care that much for Augustus and Gillian’s relationship, Clay’s science experiments, or Maude’s supernatural hunting trip, but, again, they’re still good characters.
The third person omniscient/head-hopping was still there, but it didn’t so much bother me this time because I knew to expect it, and I think it just wasn’t as confusing and chaotic.
The main story was also good, once it got going. And the battle at the end of the book was wild. Townsfolk, psychopaths, assassins, pirates, scientists, supernatural shapeshifters, angels. It was great.
Of course I loved the Old West setting too. These books are quintessential weird west books, what with all the weird sci-fi/fantasy stuff that goes on.
Overall, I loved seeing more of these lovably imperfect characters and their relationships, and I’m glad I continued this series.
Fans of Book 1 in R.S. Belcher's Golgotha series. Anyone who likes sci-fi/fantasy, the Old West, good-hearted characters, and sweet friendships.
More Books in the Series:
R. S. Belcher’s debut novel, The Six-Gun Tarot, was enthusiastically greeted by critics and readers, who praised its wildly inventive mixture of dark fantasy, steampunk, and the Wild West. Now Belcher returns to Golgotha, Nevada, a bustling frontier town that hides more than its fair share of unnatural secrets.
1870. A haven for the blessed and the damned, including a fallen angel, a mad scientist, a pirate queen, and a deputy who is kin to coyotes, Golgotha has come through many nightmarish trials, but now an army of thirty-two outlaws, lunatics, serial killers, and cannibals are converging on the town, drawn by a grisly relic that dates back to the Donner Party…and the dawn of humanity.
Sheriff Jon Highfather and his deputies already have their hands full dealing with train robbers, a mysterious series of brutal murders, and the usual outbreaks of weirdness. But with thirty-two of the most vicious killers on Earth riding into Golgotha in just a few day’s time, the town and its people will be tested as never before—and some of them will never be the same.
The Shotgun Arcana is even more spectacularly ambitious and imaginative than The Six-Gun Tarot, and confirms R. S. Belcher’s status as a rising star.