R. S. Belcher's debut novel, "The Six-Gun Tarot," was enthusiastically greeted by critics and readers, who praised its wildly inventive mixture of dark fantasy, steampunk, and the Wild West. Now Belcher returns to Golgotha, Nevada, a bustling frontier town that hides more than its fair share of unnatural secrets.Read more...
R. S. Belcher's debut novel, "The Six-Gun Tarot," was enthusiastically greeted by critics and readers, who praised its wildly inventive mixture of dark fantasy, steampunk, and the Wild West. Now Belcher returns to Golgotha, Nevada, a bustling frontier town that hides more than its fair share of unnatural secrets.
1870. A haven for the blessed and the damned, including a fallen angel, a mad scientist, a pirate queen, and a deputy who is kin to coyotes, Golgotha has come through many nightmarish trials, but now an army of thirty-two outlaws, lunatics, serial killers, and cannibals are converging on the town, drawn by a grisly relic that dates back to the Donner Party...and the dawn of humanity.
Sheriff Jon Highfather and his deputies already have their hands full dealing with train robbers, a mysterious series of brutal murders, and the usual outbreaks of weirdness. But with thirty-two of the most vicious killers on Earth riding into Golgotha in just a few day's time, the town and its people will be tested as never before-and some of them will never be the same.
"The Shotgun Arcana" is even more spectacularly ambitious and imaginative than "The Six-Gun Tarot," and confirms R. S. Belcher's status as a rising star.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-08-25
- Reviewer: Staff
Sheriff Jon Highfather, Malachi Bick, and the ragtag guardians of the tiny town of Golgotha (introduced in The Six-Gun Tarot) reunite to face down Raziel, the power-drunk “god of murder and divine secrets,” and his band of cannibals, murderers, and thieves. Golgotha is the wildest of the Wild West, attracting mystics, minor deities, alchemists, seers, and fanatics in a fantastical romp through science, legends, and the Bible. Its defenders are an unlikely bunch, including members of a secret society of female assassins, a group of cutthroat pirates, the mayor, and a secret federal agent. Malachi Bick may be an angel of God, but he is not widely loved, as he controls the town by giving out loans at usurious rates. When it‘s time to repel the invasion, the townspeople unite in quite surprising ways. But traces of the evil remain behind, giving readers plenty of reason to look forward to the next installment. (Oct.)