Cold as Hell

Blackstone. (Black Badge, Bk. 1). May 2022. 419p. ISBN 9798200710676. $28.99. FANTASY
James Crowley always expected he would go to Hell when he died, after running with a gunner gang. Instead, he wanders the West as a member of the Black Badge—part of a sacred group taking on otherworldly threats, serving the White Throne as his penance for his choices in life. Sent to investigate a bank robbery where the group wields ice and other powers, Crowley must deal with these outlaws, along with demons, shapeshifters, and an unforthcoming angelic guide. Not undead, yet not really alive, Crowley will face the power behind the robbers—along with the past that brought him to this purgatory. Authors Bruno (“The Circuit Saga”) and Castle (The Luna Missile Crisis) bring the wide, desolate setting of the Wild West to life, filled with gunfights and gory eldritch battles, while slowly building Crowley’s backstory, creating a future bigger than a dead man would ever believe he has.
VERDICT A weird Western starring a taciturn lone gunman who will remind readers of Andrzej Sapkowski’s Geralt of Rivia.
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