*I received an ecopy of this book via NetGalley. This has not influenced my review.*
Although this book was about a woman in a supernatural coma, it actually had quite a bit going on. I struggled with the slow pace at first, but I got more invested as the story went on and the plot lines for all the characters started converging and it really became a race against time. Would Carol wake up before her burial? Would her ex-lover James get there in time to stop the burial if she didn’t? Would Smoke, the triggerman hired to kill James, succeed before James got there? Would Dwight, Carol’s no-good, scheming husband who was using her condition to finally get rid of her, lose his mind or incriminate himself somehow? Would Sheriff Opal figure out what was going on?
The characters were interesting, and each one was unique. I liked Carol for how, even stuck in a coma-like state, she kept fighting, trying to move, trying to do something to save herself. Dwight was a scumbag who was trying to kill his wife, so obviously I didn’t like him, but I did wonder what he might do as he got more and more panicked and anxious. Then there was Smoke, who was so villainous he made Dwight’s murder scheme look like child’s play. Smoke was messed up and used his specially made lower leg prosthetics to spill oil around and burn people alive. Last but not least, there was James. I didn’t like that he left Carol all those years ago just because he couldn’t handle her condition, but he felt guilty about that and set out to help her when she needed it. And really, who doesn’t like a mysterious outlaw with a good heart? ;-) I even liked Sheriff Opal for how he didn’t immediately jump to conclusions but was rightfully suspicious and not an idiot about things either.
One thing I didn’t like though was the head-hopping/omniscience. I found myself getting confused sometimes when I thought I was in one character’s head only to suddenly be told another character’s thoughts in the next sentence. And there were a lot of characters whose thoughts/POVs we got even though they didn’t all seem necessary.
I’m also disappointed that a certain carrot was dangled in front of the readers throughout the entire book, but then we never got an answer. I guess that was the point, to keep the reader wondering, but I found it frustrating.
Something that could go either way for readers was the supernatural aspect. It was written in a way that made me unsure what was real and what was just happening in characters’ heads. But I think it was meant to be this way, I felt like it made more sense as the story continued, and it’s the kind of thing each reader will come to their own conclusion about.
Overall though, this was a unique paranormal western story with some mystery, some magic, some darkness, and some outlaws, and you just might be surprised at who the real hero turns out to be.
Anyone who likes the Old West, real villainous villains, old flames, and somewhat dark and mysterious stories.