Dark Reckoning by Keith L. White

Dark Reckoning

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In White’s debut novel set in the Wild West, an ex–buffalo soldier named Jericho Raintree faces monstrous forces on his quest to find a home for himself and his adopted daughter.

Ben Dalton, on his way to join his brother and fellow U.S. marshal, comes across a grotesque massacre featuring a “sickening mix of guts and organs” oozing from at least one severed torso. From a dying man, he hears about a “devil woman.” Earlier and elsewhere, readers meet a mysterious woman named Nahema as she siphons power from several powerful Native American shamans—except for one, Tave, who’s able to call for help from the aforementioned Raintree, who hears the call while on his way to California with his adopted daughter, Tosha. But before he can face Nahema and save the shaman, he finds himself making an enemy of a powerful, greedy man in a small town. This man recruits several other people to stop Raintree, including Ben Dalton’s own brother. Meanwhile, an evil power continues to rise in the land. If this all seems like a lot to put into one novel, that’s because it is. However, White does a very good job of keeping the story moving, easily switching from one story thread to another; readers are told about the human forces arrayed against Raintree, then about Tosha’s struggle with a cannibalistic wendigo spirit, and so on. It makes for an exciting, fast-paced read, as there’s always something new to threaten and bedevil the good guys. Because of the sheer number of characters, though, readers don’t always get a clear idea of them as rounded individuals, as this book seems more interested in simply delivering an exciting plot. Sometimes, though, supernatural genre clichés creep in, as when an evil child calls out to another to come out and play.

Entertaining supernatural action-adventure with some horror elements.

Publisher: Manuscript
Program: Kirkus Indie
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