on Sep. 19, 2012 :
Steampunk, weird western, and horror. Three things that when combined can create amazing worlds and stories.
Merriam has created a very interesting world for this piece of fiction. Taking what starts off as a steampunk piece, he slowly adds other parts into it with a nice level of skill that allows for all the pieces to blend rather than compete with each other.
The characters are well done, each of their voices are fairly unique, as are their opinions and reactions to the events that take place. The way that various supernatural elements are brought into the story are just enough that they play a part yet are not overwhelming. This is where Merriam succeeds beautifully, in their characters. They draw you in, and they leave you wanting more stories from them.
That said, the characters are also one of the largest flaws for this tale. Written in first person, Merriam has decided to do it from everyone's point of view. This leads to jumping from one character to another to another to another. It leads to disorientation as the reader is left to puzzle out who's head they are in after each jump until some clue is given. This would have been fine had the story been from two people's point of view. But it's not. It's from far more. It bods the tale down and ruins what is overall an amazing tale.
I really enjoyed Merriam's story. I can't wait to see more of the same characters and their lives beyond what happened at Cold Springs. I think the story contained the right element of horror to everything else, and overall I recommend this to anyone who is interested in steampunk or weird west fiction.
(reviewed 14 days after purchase)
on Jan. 3, 2012 :
decent horror. steampunkish, but still more 'horror' at heart and also weird-western
(reviewed 10 months after purchase)