'I don't care what else you've seen in the bookstore today. Read this one' - Kevin Hearne
'I enjoyed the hell out of it' - Patrick Rothfuss
Nettie Lonesome lives in a land of hard people and hard ground dusted with sand. She's a half-breed who dresses like a boy, raised by folks who don't call her a slave but use her like one. She knows of nothing else. That is, until the day a stranger attacks her. When nothing, not even a sickle to the eye can stop him, Nettie stabs him through the heart with a chunk of wood and he turns to black sand.
And just like that, Nettie can see.
But her newfound sight is a blessing and a curse. Even if she doesn't understand what's under her own skin, she can sense what everyone else is hiding - at least physically. The world is full of evil, and now she knows the source of all the sand in the desert. Haunted by the spirits, Nettie has no choice but to set out on a quest that might lead her to find her true kin . . . if the monsters along the way don't kill her first
A rich, dark fantasy of destiny, death and the supernatural world hiding beneath the surface.
Delilah S. Dawson's first book under the Bowen name, set in a gritty and well-realized paranormal Wild West, is a warm-hearted winner. Nettie Lonesome, a mixed-race young woman who dresses like a man, has been told all her life that she's worthless. She runs the failing ranch of a married white couple who treat her like a slave, but her heart lies with the nearby Double TK Ranch, where she trains horses and is welcomed with respect and acceptance. When a man attacks her and she kills him, he turns to sand and her entire world flips upside down. Soon tragedy strikes the men of the Double TK, and Nettie, with the help of enigmatic shape-shifter Coyote Dan and some lawmen who are no strangers to the strange, sets out to find her destiny, as well as a child thief called Pia Mupitsi. The unforgiving western landscape is home to supernatural beasties as diverse as the human inhabitants, and no-nonsense Nettie is pragmatic and brave. Themes of self-worth, gender, and the complexity of identity are treated with frank realism and sensitivity, and the narrative is a love letter to the paranormal western genre. Fantastical history fans will be delighted.