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Deadlands: Boneyard Kindle Edition
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|Length: 328 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Our heroine Annie Pearl, mistress of a carnival's Oddities and mother to an ill and injured girl, must protect all her charges from threats in a mysterious Oregon forest town, while her past life looms behind her.
The DEADLANDS setting itself is not my cup of tea. Nevertheless, I would 100% buy and read any future DEADLANDS book by Seanan McGuire, especially if it starred Annie Pearl.
I will be totally honest and say that Deadlands: Boneyard is not my cup of tea. I am not familiar with the Deadlands RPG system that the books are based around, but I don’t think that affected my overall enjoyment of the book.
McGuire does weird well, and she seamlessly blends circuses, mad scientists, steampunk, and the wild, wild wilderness in Oregon. She builds a cohesive world and interesting characters. My issue is the plot.
There are no holes, dangling threads but boy is it slow to start. I’ve read a lot of McGuire’s writing (just about everything I can get my hands on) and a slow start isn’t atypical for her, but Deadlands: Boneyard was the first where I struggled with the slow start. McGuire spends the first four chapters of the book just setting the scene. It isn’t until part of the way through the fourth chapter does the plot start to finally take shape. Once it gets going, she builds and maintains tension with skill making Deadlands: Boneyard a perfect October, pre-Halloween read.
McGuire’s writing is lyrical and descriptive, though she does sometimes get lost in metaphorical descriptions it does make for a nice turn of phrase.
I received an ARC from the publisher to review.
The characters are well done. I enjoyed reading about Annie Pearl, her mute daughter, and unraveling her mysterious past. The side characters are just as engaging as the main ones. I always enjoy books that are set in a circus setting; especially a traveling circus setting (it is kind of odd though because McGuire's last InCryptid book was also set in a circus).
The circus travels to Oregon to stop in The Clearing for one last performance. Of course the circus members know nothing of the dark history of The Clearing and the creatures that lurk in the dark woods surrounding it. What happens in the The Clearing will not only change everyone’s life, but lead to a confrontation Annie has been dreading.
The story is full of adventure, action, mystery, and some horror. There are quite a few steampunk elements as well and the tone is very Wild West. While I didn’t enjoy this quite as much as McGuire’s other books, I did still like it a lot. Deadlands is a very interesting world and this book has me intrigued enough that I might look into the RPG.
Overall a well done book. There is a good balance of interesting world-building, action, horror, mystery, romance, and engaging characters. I would recommend to those who enjoy the whole steampunk western theme and don’t mind a horror undertone to their stories.