Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Shooter's Cross Review

Another great review from an Amazon reader, A. Kaplan "Penelopecat":

Sam Blaylock comes to the town of Shooter's Cross, TX, and buys a plot of land with the intent of setting up a ranch for him and his family. He gathers a crew together and starts to build something special. In the process, he makes both friends and enemies in the town of Shooter's Cross.

This short novel, the first installment of the Rancho Diablo series, showcases just the sort of thing I'm enjoying in the new ebook revolution. Because the authors are able to publish frequent, shorter installments, each book can focus on the job at hand. In this case, that job is to introduce the main players of the series, and their location. It's a classic western, with a tough cowboy trying to retire from a violent former life and start a new, peaceful one for himself and his family. Along the way, he has to contend with difficulties from the land, and from greedy bad guys trying to take that peaceful life away from him.

It's a great setup for a series, and a decent story in its own right. Readers will find a sense of closure at the end of the story, but also hunger to know what happens next. The prose is very visual and detailed, while still clear and unpretentious. The characters are well-drawn, each with their distinct voices.

If I have one complaint, it's that Sam is a bit too perfect. He's a great gunfighter, engineer, card sharp, scout, etc. However, this is only the first book in the series. Hopefully, his character will become a little more fleshed-out as the series progresses.

And I'll definitely be along to see that progress. This first installment has me hooked, and I'm ecstatic that I don't have to wait any time at all for the next one.


Penelopecat said...

Heh! That's my review! I just posted a blog entry at http://tinyurl.com/3uv3dmj where I talk a bit more about the Rancho Diablo series.

Mel Odom said...

Yep, it is! Thanks for all the kind comments. Tried to find your email and couldn't.