Saturday, 3 May 2014

So A Cowboy And A Jackalope Walk Into A Bar...

Usually, I'm not big into the Western scene. I have a couple favorite Western movies like 3:10 To Yuma and Django Unchained (hey, there's cowboys in it!), but when it comes to Western books, I aim for cross-genre with my favorite authors. Case in point: Peacemaker by K.A. Stewart, a wildly fun Western with magic, grit, and a whiskey drinking Jackalope.

One of my favorite covers ever. It looks super cool!
Since I don't need to explain the setting, I'll explain the rest. The main character is Caleb Marcus, a special kind of lawman called a Peacemaker. His job is to make sure that magic users aren't using their skills in dastardly ways. But of course, when Caleb makes his way into a small town called Hope, someone is stealing magic from children. It doesn't help that the Cheyenne are becoming more bold with their raids, or that Hope is being victimized by seemingly random earthquakes. It's up to Caleb to figure out what's going on before the Wild West truly gets out of control.

There are a lot of things I like about this book. The first is the way the magic is introduced and presented. Caleb's sidekick is Ernst (the whiskey drinking Jackalope), acts as a conduit for Caleb when he uses magic, a method I thought was very interesting and vital at the end of the book. I found myself wondering what it feels like for him, since the book is told from Caleb's POV. I also thought it was interesting how people could have their powers taken or lost, and how they would be seen after that happens.

Caleb and Ernst are strong characters and I love their relationship. It kind of reminded me of Jesse and Axel from Sterwart's best known work, the Jesse James Dawson novels. They're meant to be opposites, and Ernst's more upbeat nature perfectly matches Caleb's more cynical nature. Another thing I enjoyed about Caleb was his past. He used to be a very powerful magic user, until a war injury left him scarred and half scoured of his power, which did not make Caleb a happy camper. Some of my favorite parts were when Caleb was thinking about how strong his magic used to be compared to what it is now, and how dangerous the lure of it was near the end of the book.

If I could have asked for more, it would be for more villains. Not to say that these ones weren't good (no pun intended), but I'm hoping that in the future we'll see some really nasty characters. Caleb's the kind of guy who you just know made some enemies in the past, and I look forward to seeing what Stewart has planned for the next novel.

There's a lot to enjoy in this book. The action is great, the characters are fun, and the world is really creative. Stewart's writing is as strong as ever, and I would recommend this to anyone who likes Westerns, urban fantasy, or is just looking for a different. I don't like Westerns, and here I am recommending a Western book. Take that as a good sign, folks!


No comments:

Post a Comment