04 May, 2012

ARC Review: Dead Reckoning by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill

Published: June 2012, BLOOMSBURY

Series: none
Source: Around The World ARC Tours, no other compensation given for an honest review

From Good Reads:
Jett is a girl disguised as a boy, living as a gambler in the old West as she searches for her long-lost brother. Honoria Gibbons is a smart, self-sufficient young woman who also happens to be a fabulous inventor. Both young women travel the prairie alone – until they are brought together by a zombie invasion! As Jett and Honoria investigate, they soon learn that these zombies aren’t rising from the dead of their own accord... but who would want an undead army? And why?

My Review:
When steampunk is mentioned, most people think of a Victorian setting, but DEAD RECKONING integrates the steam sensibility into a western setting, and does it well. I've only read Mercedes Lackey's high fantasy books, and though I enjoyed every single one that I read, I was really happy to see her branching off into a new genre, especially in the YA category.

DEAD RECKONING tells the tale of a disparate group of young people that find themselves embroiled in a mystery involving the disappearance of a whole town, the possibility of a zombie army, and a creepy cult that has created a religion around a fanatical leader, and the idea that reanimation is holy. Even with the relative ease that this book can be read, there is still a fair amount of meat to it, owing to the writing skills of both Lackey and Rosemary Edghill.

Though some of the background of the main characters, Jett, Honoria and White Fox is revealed as the story unfolds, DEAD RECKONING keeps its focus on the three trying to figure out the truth behind the zombies. Honoria's science blends nicely with Jett's street smarts and White Fox's tracking skills and intellect. They make a good team and I like how each one has their chance at POV, while not narrowing the rest of the plot.

DEAD RECKONING is a good read for someone looking for a book that straddles the line between western, steampunk and paranormal/fantasy. It has a nice adventure plot, mixed with two smart female characters, and an interesting male character. It is the type of book that would appeal to both sexes over 12, and has appropriate language and content for those readers also. The journey swept me along, the plot wrapped up satisfactorily for the pace, and DEAD RECKONING is a stand-alone that stands on its own.

4/5 for plot
4/5 for characters
4.5/5 for language

My Rating: 12.5/15 (3.5 stars)

Highly Recommend, if you liked:

The Girl In The Steel Corset by Kady Cross
The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
Wilder's Mate by Moira Rogers

Find Mercedes Lackey at:
Website | Blog | Twitter | GoodReads | Facebook

Find Rosemary Edghill at:
Website | Journal | GoodReads

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