This is the 1st book from the author Craig Gallant. A great effort let down by a few structural issues surrounding the book. Mr Gallant sets a tone of a steam punk west with a vivid and engaging writing pen. His style is easy to read and evocative of the era the book is set in (late 19th century America).
However the book is plagued by 2 major problems. The 1st is the fact that he is writing the 1st book in a new IP setting which has been defined by a miniature war-games. This means that the book has a slow start and spends a lot of time what feels like name checking and introducing characters from this setting with little to no impact on the storyline. Additionally it causes a suspension of all dramatic tensions; you know that none of these characters are in peril at any point, so much so that in the final act the protagonist turns from a cold blooded killer to knocking out all of the foes that he fights for a very lose story read. This sadly makes the plot less engaging and breaks the flow of the book.
Secondly is that like so many works of genre fiction now this is part of a trilogy and really takes its time to do anything. After some brief one sided gun fights in the opening chapters it won’t be until the end of the second act that you’ll get some more action. The lead character, Jessie James, doesn’t find any form of redeemable sympathies until right at the end of the book more relaying on you to buy into the fact that he’s a bad ass because we are telling you (rather than showing you) in the book.
However with these knocks against it Craig Gallant sets up a great ending to the book and if I could have started the next book in the series after finishing I would have. Would I read another book by this author – absolutely, no doubt. Would I read another book set in the Wild West Exodus setting, maybe not.