Give me magic, gadgets, monsters, zombies, everything that seems impossible, and throw in some tough chicks with swords. That's the stuff.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review: The Dead of Winter

The Dead of Winter (Cora Oglesby #1) by Lee Collins

This book was so good - a mix of the action I love, interesting characters, and a few kicks to the emotional gut.

Cora Oglesby is a character I always want to read about - the older, experienced, battle-hardened female lead. Cherie Priest and Philippa Ballantine have done this so well, and now I can add Lee Collins to the list.

Set in the late 1800s American West, Cora and her husband, Ben, are bounty hunters. However, the things they hunt are vampires, werewolves, hellhounds, and other dark creatures that prey on humanity. They have been doing this for a long time - 20 years, and while very experienced and kickass, Cora is starting to feel those years. Her penchant for whiskey and gambling takes its toll too.

Cora and Ben find themselves in a mining town beset by a savage killer who is hunting people for food. They also meet an English vampire hunter and scholar whose employer has a problem with vampires in his mine. Through it all Cora relies on her network of priestly connections for information and weapons, faces a terrible enemy, finds a bitter truth, and kicks some serious ass.

Cora and Ben's relationship is also unique. At the start of the book,  it's quiet and understated. You get the feeling that they know all about the other persons crap, have accepted it, and made their own groove to fit alongside. This isn't the fiery first passion. These two have lived and fought together, respect each other, and have a real partnership, to the point that Cora takes point on most of their hunts. Ben is more the bookish type. It felt very real.

And here I'm going to stop because I will not spoil one thing. I will say that there were more than a few "Damn!"'s uttered as I read it. Those kicks to the emotions I mentioned. Yeah, Collins delivered.

However, if you read it and want to discuss, we can do that.

Another book that proves the Western is not dead. Can't wait for book 2.

[I received an ARC to review.]

1 comment:

  1. I just finished the second book, and can recommend both. I really liked the fast pace and the story twists. But best of all was the colorful and crazy Cora Oglesby.