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by R.S. Belcher

Pub Date: Jan. 22nd, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2932-5
Publisher: Tor

Adherents to a variety of magical and spiritual traditions confront a Lovecraft-ian menace in an 1869 Nevada desert town.

Peculiar people tend to collect in Golgotha, an isolated little place bordering a supposedly played-out silver mine. When an evil older-than-creation begins to stir in that mine, the angel entrusted with guarding it (now masquerading as a shady local businessman), a sheriff who can’t die, his half-coyote deputy, the mayor and heir to the Mormons’ most sacred treasures, an assassin following the path of Lilith and a young fugitive carrying a mysterious Chinese jade eye must imprison it again before it destroys the world. The core crisis—the threat of an eldritch menace to our reality—is so played out that it’s typically the source of parody these days. What distinguishes this book are the colorful back stories of the characters; unfortunately, there is simply not enough time or plot to give these intriguing people the fleshing out they deserve. It would have been wonderful to spend more time with the proto-feminist assassin trained by a legendary pirate queen; the resurrectionist so desperately in love with his best friend’s now-deceased wife that he reanimated her preserved head; the closeted gay Mormon mayor who neglects his two wives to spend time with his male lover; a bordello piano player and so on. This is a debut work; perhaps the author will devote more pages to these fascinating types, or others like them, in the future.

Interesting and polished, if somewhat overstuffed and not entirely satisfying.