Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Mini-Review: Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen
I live in the West and I have a soft-spot for the ‘weird west’, at least when it’s done well. So, I was intrigued by Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen – it sounded like something different … something weird and west in all of the best ways. Not only was I not disappointed, but it far exceeded my expectations.
In my mind I have so many good things to say about this book, but I love this elevator pitch from the author herself:
It’s Lonesome Dove meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a biracial, genderqueer heroine.
Honestly, I’d throw in a comparison to Preacher as well, not for anything specific, but these two just feel like they get each other. Note: that Bowen quote is from The Big Idea:Lila Bowen, which absolutely worth a full read if you’re wondering about this book.
It’s the voice of Nettie Lonesome that stands out perhaps most of all. She’s caustically witty, sarcastically ignorant, and delightfully direct. Reminiscent of the strong voice of Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear, to throw yet another comparison into this review.
Nettie’s journey of self-discovery and struggle with her identity brings the depth to Wake of Vultures, but what I want to emphasize is the wonderful, weird fun of the book. It’s a menagerie of fantastical beasts in the scrub-lands of the West, mixing mythologies with a dark, cynical tinge wrapped in just enough humor. It’s a perfect setting for some monster hunting fun: vampire bordellos, sirens at the bar, chupacabra roaming the range, harpies circling above, werewolves on a warpath, and a band of monster hunting rangers on the prowl.
Wake of Vultures is a fun read full of weird, even horrific, adventures in a re-imagined West. I thoroughly enjoyed it and enthusiastically recommend it. Also…it’s only the beginning of The Shadow series, with a sequel, Conspiracy of Ravens, coming in October, 2016, and more books planned for the future.
The Shadow Series:
Wake of Vultures: Amazon
Conspiracy of Ravens: Amazon