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James Pratt likes to create realistically flawed but basically decent characters and have them cross paths with serial killer angels, redneck vampires, slithering horrors from other dimensions, and the end of the world. He also likes to write stories that demonstrate how the ever-present darkness threatening to wash over the world like a wave of endless night can be held back with a little courage and a big shotgun (assuming one hasn't already used both barrels, of course). Some take place in the distant past, others in the far future, and still others somewhere between eight minutes ago and twelve minutes from now. Whether sci-fi, adventure, or straight-out horror, the running theme is that the universe is very, very big and we are very, very small.
on Sep. 18, 2012 :
I really enjoyed Pratt's 'Restless on Boot Hill' and was excited to see that he had written more with the characters from that story. So in a heartbeat I snapped this up.
Pratt, as in Restless, immediately goes straight into the story. The issue is presented, and then very quickly the tale goes into the climax and resolution. It all happens very quickly, much as it did in Restless. But if there's one thing Pratt can do well, it's make this flow of action fairly tight and keep the reader interested.
Another thing I enjoy is Pratt's characters. Not just his protagonists, but his antagonists as well. In this one, the Lovecraft element is increased and it works well in the world that he's creating, as well as his protagonists. The Lantern show is an interesting way to bring about the plot devices that he does and I highly enjoyed it being an element.
However, one issue I did find within this story was the way that sentences flowed. I noticed it more towards the end of the story, but there were more and more sentences that, when read, would cause me to reread them. The reason was that they didn't seem to scan well, and when read out loud, they didn't flow.
The other problem I had with the story was The Messenger. When the final battle happens, all you see is 'The Messenger, The Messenger, The Messenger' over and over again, sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph. It repeats so much that it becomes distracting and detracts from the story.
All of that said, this is easily a four star story, but I had to give it three because of the way the sentences read and the constant use of The Messenger in the final part of the story. If you like weird westerns, pick this up, as well as 'Restless on Boot Hill'. Pratt writes amazing worlds and his stories are entertaining.
(reviewed 13 days after purchase)