From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up-- In a future no-time after "terrible biological raging" of the West, a western society lives its notion of what the "Old West" was like. Most of the people have cyborgian "specials": a natural arm replaced by a lariat attachment; a spring placed into a neck so its possessor can never be hanged. Low caste are the "control-naturals"--humans with no specials, such as Hong. In a plot too thin to sustain interest, Hong gets pressed into a bank hold-up gang from which for the duration of the tale he tries to escape. Names are low puns, as one "steerite"--stainless steel bone that grows beef--is named "Chuck"; but let's hear it for Chuck, for he is the most complex and interesting character of the lot. Clean-gore violence saturates the action: cyborgs get shot, torn apart, smashed, but they bleed not, nor do they die. As for Hong, he is bonked, zonked, klonked, and schlonked ad nauseum --but he's up and at 'em always. Some readers will plow through this book, but not many. --George Gleason, Department of English, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield
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