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Conspiracy of Ravens (The Shadow) Hardcover – October 11, 2016
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"Killers of the Flower Moon" is a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history. See more
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"Rhett is one of Bowen's (Dawson's) best characters to date, and the world built in this series is rich and complex. One of my favorite new series, to be sure. If you haven't picked up the first book, Wake of Vultures, you really should. Then pick this one up too."―Pop Culture Beast
"Frankly, I need more Nettie Lonesome's on my shelf."―B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog
"Gritty and well-realized... 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."―Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Wake of Vultures
"Of all the books I've reviewed this year, Wake of Vultures' Nettie Lonesome stands out as the most compelling, well-crafted protagonist I've encountered... Bowen's superlative grasp of both character development and worldbuilding elevates a familiar story to mythic heights. "―RT Book Reviews (Top Pick!) on Wake of Vultures
"Bowen's Wake of Vultures overflows with imagination and voice, channeling shades of Stephen King's Gunslinger and Western classics like Unforgiven. Nettie Lonesome is sure to become one of the iconic characters of this generation. This book puts you under its spell and will not let you go!"―Jason M. Hough, New York Times bestselling author on Wake of Vultures
"Bowen has created a fascinating, textured Wild West world...Readers will love this absorbing fantasy adventure [and] its strong, dynamic heroine."―Kirkus (starred review) on Wake of Vultures
"Wake of Vultures is, quite simply, brilliant. A mind-bending mix of history, fantasy and folklore, it's a wild bronco of a read that'll leave you breathless for more."―Rachel Caine on Wake of Vultures
"Nettie Lonesome is a complex, tough, all-around wonderful protagonist. And Lila Bowen is equally wonderful for bringing us Nettie's story, set in a magical old west full of harpies and monster-hunters and stolen children and more. I look forward to more of Nettie's journey."―Jim C. Hines on Wake of Vultures
"I don't care what else you've seen in the bookstore today. Buy this book because it's the thrilling, delightfully written, and important one you've always wanted to read."―Kevin Hearne on Wake of Vultures
"Wake of Vultures doesn't just fly -- it soars. Lila Bowen brings in a wild fantasy quite unlike anything I've ever read, with a voice that's weird and wonderful. Bowen is truly a talent to watch. Hot damn, is this book good."―Chuck Wendig on Wake of Vultures
"Sharp as a silver Bowie and unsentimental as a stray bullet, Lila Bowen's Nettie Lonesome earns a place among the legends of the Weird West."―Matthew Stover on Wake of Vultures
"Wake of Vultures is a ferocious, fascinating take on the magical Old West - creatively and unsentimentally grim, yet rich with hope and heart."―Cherie Priest on Wake of Vultures
"Nettie Lonesome kicks major ass. There is something strange and wonderful going on in Lila Bowen's head. It's the weird west fantasy that I never knew I've always wanted to read. Now I need more!"―Wesley Chu on Wake of Vultures
About the Author
Lila Bowen is a pseudonym for Delilah S. Dawson, who writes fantasy, horror, young adult, comics, and romance. She recently won the Steampunk Book of the Year and May Seal of Excellence from RT Book Reviews. Delilah loves fancy boots, trail rides, adventures, and cupcakes and lives in the North Georgia mountains with her husband, children, a Tennessee Walking Horse named Polly, and a floppy mutt named Merle.
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Top Customer Reviews
In the character of Rhett, she has written a character torn between multiple worlds and identities, but ultimately finding a way to be comfortable in his own skin and finding his own place in the world.
There are definitely moments of darkness in this story, and a fair bit of gore and torture which might put off some readers. Overall though, if you enjoy Westerns (and especially Weird West) stories, this is the novel you've been looking for.
Once again, the writing is intimate, gritty, and completely believable. Nettie's – or rather Rhett's loyalties are tested, his abilities are stretched and expanded, and his affections are tested. As if there hadn't been enough changes in his life, the realization that hit him – and hit him hard – at the end of Wake of Vultures turns into the biggest change at all. It leads him to a new friend – or, well, a new companion, anyway, both reluctant mentor and counter-irritant, and to a new quest – there's trouble surrounding a moving camp, laying track across the country – big trouble, and no one to deal with it but Rhett and his companions. So Rhett basically goes undercover to try to start its destruction from the inside.
There is at least as much action as in the first book – probably more, actually – but this is even more character-driven than that first book. Here Rhett has left behind any vestiges of femininity, as though the first shape-shifting burned it away. But he still carries a torch for his friend, and keeps finding himself in strange conjunctions with the sister of his other friend, and like other reviewers I found this a weak spot, a distraction in the plot.
But when all's said and done it's still a truly remarkable bit of world-building and character-building. I look forward to more.
The usual disclaimer: I received this book via Netgalley for review.
This book was written well. It has a good general story going on and a great description/feel of the book. 99% of the characters and interesting and complex. My mind is completely, 100% in 1800's Texas when reading and I love it.
But I strongly dislike the main character. There may be slight spoilers going forward.
I really liked Nettie. She had a tough life, worked hard, and despite being confused and not simply knowing a lot of things, she had a good idea of what she was and what she wasn't. As Wake of Vultures progressed, Nettie went back and forth about what it meant to her to be a girl. She had been dressing as a boy for some time, but still physically felt a girl (that we could tell, for the most part), and even had a crush on a boy. What she wasn't was a girly girl; no dresses, no clean and proper, no weakness. She was a strong person and I think it would have been awesome to explore what it would have been like to be a strong-willed bi female who dressed like a boy and liked to break horses in the Wild West.
But instead we had to jump on the trans bandwagon and turn Nettie into Rhett, who is not a very nice guy.
Leading to the decision to become Rhett, Nettie toyed with the idea of maybe females don't have to be what she thought they did all her life, even maybe making peace a little with the idea of being female. I don't feel like she actually felt like she was born in the wrong body, and if she did then this really should have been made more clear in Wake of Vultures and Conspiracy of Ravens leading up to the switch. I read it as Nettie not wanting to put in the effort to explore what it means to her to be a girl and push or break boundaries, but as a scapegoat of not wanting to put in that effort and instead just switching teams because it's easier. It really seemed like the easy way out.
Once Nettie became Rhett, Rhett turned into the jackass kind of guy I think would be running around on a horse out west in the 1800's. He ends up sleeping with three different people, keeping each one a secret from the others and setting himself up to really hurt people who care about him, and this really bothered me. It's like he turned into all the men who treated him like s*** is whole life. He started thinking with his imaginary penis instead of staying focused on his quest to save people's lives and stop all the bad guys.
I also feel that the fact of Rhett being "The Shadow" should have been discussed more leading up to the end of this book, because it actually plays a decent part in this story. I re-listened to Wake of Vultures before reading Conspiracy of Ravens and I don't recall it being mentioned much there either. It seemed to be a suddenly important part of the story.
I gave this book two stars because I still feel like it is a good story and has all-but-one great characters. If you're looking to read a book specifically with a trans element, I suppose this would be as good as any other and it certainly is unique. I am sad to say that I probably won't be reading any more books in this series, but I strongly recommend any other books by Delilah S. Dawson (Lila Bowen is her pen name), especially the Blud series.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book one concluded with a scene that allowed the reader to come up with his or her own conclusion.Read more