Melinda West: Monster Gunslinger

Brigids Gate Pr. (Melinda West, Bk. 1). Feb. 2023. 247p. ISBN 9781957537375. pap. $11.99. HORROR
DEBUT In an alternate-history Wild West, “the Edge” at the foot of the mountains holds a danger of epic proportions. It is a border between worlds, where monsters, such as giant flying scorpions and snow krakens, regularly slip into human settlements, threatening all. Enter Melinda West and her life partner, Lance, monster-neutralizers for hire. With the support of Aunt Bea, a historian of the supernatural, and Abel, a master weapons-builder, Melinda and Lance have spent a year on the road saving numerous towns from monsters and pocketing enough money to finally settle down. However, as soon as they return home, a soul-sucking spider attacks Abel, plunging them straight into the Edge on a desperate mission to save him. Grifant takes her time building the world and its characters, imbuing all with a complexity that adds depth to this wildly entertaining story.
VERDICT This fun, imaginative, and confident series opener will be a massive crowd pleaser for general audiences, especially for those who enjoy a wide range of popular weird western offerings, from the more historical, like Stoker’s Wilde West by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi, to those with cosmic elements, such as The Last Storm by Tim Lebbon.
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