R. S. Belcher's debut novel, The Six-Gun Tarot, was enthusiastically greeted by critics and readers, who praised its wildly inventive mixture of dark fantasy, steampunk, and the Wild West. Now Belcher returns to Golgotha, Nevada, a bustling frontier town that hides more than its fair share of unnatural secrets.
1870. A haven for the blessed and the damned, including a fallen angel, a mad scientist, a pirate queen, and a deputy who is kin to coyotes, Golgotha has come through many nightmarish trials, but now an army of thirty-two outlaws, lunatics, serial killers, and cannibals are converging on the town, drawn by a grisly relic that dates back to the Donner Party…and the dawn of humanity.
Sheriff Jon Highfather and his deputies already have their hands full dealing with train robbers, a mysterious series of brutal murders, and the usual outbreaks of weirdness. But with thirty-two of the most vicious killers on Earth riding into Golgotha in just a few day's time, the town and its people will be tested as never before—and some of them will never be the same.
The Shotgun Arcana is even more spectacularly ambitious and imaginative than The Six-Gun Tarot, and confirms R. S. Belcher's status as a rising star.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Sheriff Jon Highfather, Malachi Bick, and the ragtag guardians of the tiny town of Golgotha (introduced in The Six-Gun Tarot) reunite to face down Raziel, the power-drunk "god of murder and divine secrets," and his band of cannibals, murderers, and thieves. Golgotha is the wildest of the Wild West, attracting mystics, minor deities, alchemists, seers, and fanatics in a fantastical romp through science, legends, and the Bible. Its defenders are an unlikely bunch, including members of a secret society of female assassins, a group of cutthroat pirates, the mayor, and a secret federal agent. Malachi Bick may be an angel of God, but he is not widely loved, as he controls the town by giving out loans at usurious rates. When it s time to repel the invasion, the townspeople unite in quite surprising ways. But traces of the evil remain behind, giving readers plenty of reason to look forward to the next installment.
At least as good as its predecessor.
Often dark and disturbing in its brutality, this book also has some of the most adrenaline-inducing action sequences I've ever read or seen. The highs are exhilarating, and the lows are enough to send the reader crashing into his or her own private hell. This book has a little of everything – compelling characters, great plot twists, all of the western tropes one expects, humor, drama, and even a little philosophy thrown in for good measure. The story is complete in and of itself, with just enough lingering questions to make me eagerly anticipate the next volume of the series. Thankfully, since I already possess the next volume, I don't have to wait that long! Very highly recommended.