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She Returns From War (Coin Reveal) Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Length: 368 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

As a child, Lee Collins split his time evenly between books and video games. Nobody told him that making games was a valid career choice, so he studied creative writing instead. He and his girlfriend live in Colorado with their imaginary corgi Fubsy Bumble.

Product Details

  • File Size: 660 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Angry Robot (January 29, 2013)
  • Publication Date: January 29, 2013
  • Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A9ET1BG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,267,122 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Lee Collins has spent his entire life in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. Despite this (or perhaps because of it), he generally prefers to stay indoors reading and playing video games. As a child, he never realized that he could create video games for a living, so he chose to study creative writing at Colorado State University. Upon graduation, he worked as an editorial intern for a local magazine before securing a desk job with his alma mater.

Lee's short fiction has appeared in Ensorcelled and Morpheus Tales, the latter of which awarded him second place in a flash fiction contest. In 2009, a friend challenged him to participate in National Novel Writing Month, and the resulting manuscript became his debut novel, The Dead of Winter, published in October 2012. The sequel, She Returns From War, arrived in 2013.

In his spare minutes between writing and shepherding graduate students at his day job, Lee still indulges in his oldest passions: books and video games. He and his girlfriend live in Colorado with their imaginary corgi Fubsy Bumble.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Oh, Lee Collins, I love this world you have created, but you kick me when I'm down!

Not necessarily a bad thing, mind you, but I had a couple of ARGH moments. I am going to try my hardest to be non-spoilery, but this is a book 2, so be warned.

I really, REALLY liked book 1, The Dead of Winter. An older, experienced female lead, lots of kickass action, all set in the late 1800s American West = miles of YES. Also, while we mainly followed Cora's POV (3rd person throughout), we also got to hitch a ride with some of the other characters and villains.

Book 2, however, is a different story. We don't get Cora's POV this time, but rather that of Victoria, an English heiress who needs Cora to hunt down the creatures who killed her parents. We also get interludes with the memories of another character. That's it.

It was interesting to see a beloved character (for me, she might be prickly but I love Cora) from another's POV. Victoria has heard lots of stories of the legendary Cora Oglesby, but when she faces the reality, let's just say she doesn't appreciate Cora's colorful language and lifestyle. Victoria is not always likable, but a lot of her responses were believable. She does come across as naive, but she learns fast. She grew on me.

I was reminded a few times of the movie Unforgiven, with the younger generation getting a look at the real life of a legend, and also learning about the costs of living such a life.

There is action, an old enemy and a new one, and once again Collins kicks my emotions around. I can't say I was surprised by how it all went down, but I thought it was a good end. I like that the vamps here are monstrous.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
When Victoria Dawes, a proper young Englishwoman, sees her parents killed by savage beasts, she embarks upon a journey of revenge. Her journey will take her to Albuquerque NM, in order to enlist the aid of seasoned monster hunter Cora Oglesby. Before Victoria's parents can be avenged, first they must face the menace of a Navaho skinwalker.

Collins' first novel, Dead of Winter, was one of my surprise finds of 2012. It was a solid weird West tale featuring a unique voice and great plot twists. Needless to say, I was excited to read the follow up. Unfortunately, She Returns from War is more than a bit of a letdown.
It's not that this is a bad novel. Plot, pacing, characterization, etc are all good. But none of it really stands out against the competition.

Told from Cora's POV, her voice was a distinctive feature of the first novel. She Returns from War is told exclusively from the POV of Victoria Dawes. After immersion in the roughhewn mind of Cora Oglesby, Victoria Dawes is a rather milquetoast choice.

Additionally, a large part of impact of Dead of Winter hangs upon a very significant plot twist. While my expectation is not that Collins should try to replicate this each novel, the plotting in She Returns from War is rather straightforward in comparison.
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Lee Collins' "Cora Oglesby" series has been described as True Grit meets True Blood. It's a western that takes place during the Old West gold rush, but it includes paranormal creatures such as vampires, hellhounds, and wendigos. Cora is a sometimes bounty hunter that focuses on the supernatural beasties. The series has a dry humor and an in your face heroine in the form of Cora. She doesn't take lip from anyone and lives up to the reputation she has developed as a badass. She can sling guns, play cards, and drink whiskey with the best of them. I absolutely loved this series (is there going to be another book, Mr. Collins???) and found Cora to such an interesting main character. I recommend this series to all paranormal readers, especially those that are looking for something a little different from the normal urban tropes.

Lee Collins took a risk with She Returns to War and gave us an entirely new narrator. We're still treated to Cora's brand of wit and snark, but we see the story through the eyes of young Victoria Dawes. While it took a little while to settle into Victoria's head, I think the change was ultimately successful. Having an outside perspective gave new weight to Cora's actions and decisions. It allowed us to see her as the legend that she is without the self-depreciation she tends to attribute to her deeds.

I ended up liking Victoria (or Vicky as Cora called her) and enjoyed seeing her grow her a prissy, young lady into someone comfortable with the rough frontier life. She didn't back down from challenges and was a fast learner. She and Cora developed a nice rapport, though Cora was always the one with the upper hand.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In She Returns From War Lee Collins takes the reader back to the world he created in The Dead of Winter. We return to that book's heroine Cora Ogelsby four years after the events recounted in it. This time however, the point-of-view character isn't Cora, it is a young British lady called Victoria Dawes. After losing her parents to what appear to be large, black hounds of a supernatural nature, which attack them on the road one night, she swears vengeance and turns to Cora for help. Cora has gotten out of the business since the last book and has set up as a saloon keeper in Albuquerque. Needless to say, she isn't too keen on helping Victoria out. Before Victoria can leave with her request unfulfilled, she's drawn into a reckoning with not just the witch mentioned in the cover copy, but also with an adversary from Cora's past; an adversary who gives Cora no choice but to get involved.

While surprising at first, I found Collins' choice to switch principal narrators for She Returns From War an interesting one. Victoria is a completely different character than Cora and her narration is far less unreliable than Cora's was in the previous book. It also allowed Collins to make choices narratively he wouldn't have been able to make if he'd stuck with Cora's point of view as the principal one. Despite the fact that Victoria encounters several characters of the previous book and one of the villains of that book makes a return performance, you can read this book without having read the previous one and understand everything. Surprisingly enough, Collins even succeeds in not spoiling the twist for The Dead of Winter, which means even those who jump into the series with this book, will be able to enjoy the previous one fresh.
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