Doc gestured to someone behind her. Something hard came down on the back of Ana’s head and she sprawled forward, taking another punch to the stomach. Her gun fell from her grip and skittered across the floor. She doubled over, but whoever was behind her jerked her back up by the hair and held her there as Doc leaned over her, sneering. He reeked of sour tobacco.
“You’re going to wish whatever devil raised you up from the bowels of Hell had kept your soul locked up tight. When me and the rest of my boys are done with you, they’ll have to pick up the pieces to bury you.”
The fingers gripping her hair clo9sed tighter. It hurt, but even the pain didn’t stifle the chuckle that bubbled up out of her throat.
Doc stepped up, his putrid breath prickling the skin on her face as he leaned toward her. “Why the hell are you laughing, dead woman?”
The tell-tale click of a shotgun chambering its shells reverberated behind his head. The man holding the shotgun was a middle aged, mustached cowboy with a silver deputy star on his chest.
Ana grinned from ear to ear as Doc’s eye twitched. “My gun might not have been loaded,” she said, “but I can promise you the deputy’s is.” —EA Copen
Welcome to the Manic Writer!
I’m here with a special extra book review and I’m glad you are too! Are you a Manic Follower? You should be! Just drop your email in that subscribe box to the right and never miss a moment again! You’ll be subscribed to my exclusive newsletter; a monthly summary of my blog posts and news, exclusive content and notice of my giveaways and Indie Author BLT spotlight.
My last two reviews, Shearwater by D.S. Murphy and The Arena by Santana Young can be found by clicking on the titles. While you’re poking around, why don’t you check out my Indie Author Spotlight. It’s Madeline Dyer this month and her dystopian fiction is amazing!
This month I had an opportunity to read and review an ARC (advance review copy) of Beasts of Babylon by EA Copen. As you know, Copen is a favorite indie author of mine and I gobble up her work so I jumped at the chance. If you haven’t met her, then check out my spotlight of her from May and see my reviews of her other works.
Note: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. My review is my honest opinion and has not been biased by the gift.
Anastasia Thorne is a dead gunslinger with a purpose. She’s out to avenge the monster who killed her and her children, even if no one else, including her husband, believes her story. She returns to Babylon to do just that and finds a less than welcome reception. After all, who wants a woman who can’t die hanging around town?
When she does find help, it’s from the brother of the ghoul she just killed for the bounty. Can she trust him? Or is he looking for an easy revenge? Will she fall prey to him or the skin stealing monster she’s hunting down?
Anastasia might have met her match with werewolves, ghouls, outlaws and the monster that killed her. Or she might find help from the most unlikely of sources.
EA Copen is the author of the Judah Black series which I loved. It’s paranormal urban fantasy about a federal agent who is tasked with keeping the peace on the paranormal reservation. On April 1, 2016 Copen published her first Judah Black book, Guilty by Association, her second book on July 8 and her third on November 4. Let me reassure you, they are all powerhouses that will keep your eyes glued to the pages as you stay up long past your bedtime.
With Beasts of Babylon she’s expanding her reach as an author writing a weird western horror.
And horror it is.
What I loved
I will always love Copen’s way with words. She has a way of drawing you into the story and making you feel as if you are there, right next to Ana Thorne as she battles the ghouls and the skin stealing monster.
I love, love, love Anastasia Thorne. One of Copen’s gifts is creating strong female protagonists that haven’t lost their femininity. Ana is believable and relate-able. If I was a gunslinger who couldn’t die, I’d want to be Ana. She’s strong without being overpowered. She’s feminine and tough at the same time. As a mother I felt her pain and her desire to avenge her children. As a woman I cheered her ability to do just that.
What I didn’t love
Okay, this is terrible.
I don’t love horror.
I must admit that this is the first horror novel I’ve ever read. And the morning after I finished it I sent a bleary eyed message to Copen thanking her for the nightmares it gave me.
She apologized. Publicly. (A fact for which I am honored. She is really sweet despite the horror she writes!)
Seriously, though I didn’t love the nightmares, if you love horror you will. Copen does an amazing job of raising the tension so slowly that you don’t even notice it at first until you can’t put it down. You will be compelled to finish the book. Make sure you start it early in the evening!
Despite the fact that I love Copen’s writing, and the character Anastasia Thorne she created, I will probably be passing up the sequels to Beasts of Babylon in the future simply because of how scary they are. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll crave a nightmare or need to stay up all night sometime.
Beasts of Babylon can be found at your favorite book store when it releases on August 1. On Amazon it’s $2.99 for the kindle version and $12.99 for the paperback.
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