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Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Release Day Revew: The Six-Gun Tarot by R.S. Belcher
Author: R.S. Belcher
Publisher: Tor Books
Source: From Netgalley
Buy it here: Amazon | Book Depository
Reviewed by: Beth
The Six-Gun Tarot is about an old West town in the Nevada desert called Golgotha. The story revolves around the residents of the town when the old silver mine is reopened. Strange things follow the reopening and have a connection of apocalyptic proportions.
The novel starts out with, Jim, a fifteen year old boy who is stuck in the middle of the desert with his horse, Promise. He is saved by the deputy of Golgotha, Mutt, who senses that he carries something of magical ability with him. Mutt also brings with him a man named Clay, which we quickly realize has some kind of obsession with death. Jim carries his father’s jade eye, connected to it is the magic Mutt senses. Readers know that something bad happened in Jim’s past, but not what. As the story unfolds readers slowly discover Jim’s past, along with the stories of other characters.
Once Jim arrives there is trouble at the store Augustus owns. Before Mutt can handle the situation the sheriff comes back into town. Jonathan, the sheriff, is known as a dead man. He can’t seem to die, but not for lack of people trying to kill him. Readers are also introduced to the Mayor of the town, Henry. Henry at first doesn’t seem very important, but as his complicated relationships are described he quickly becomes one of the more interesting characters.
Golgotha is a town where a lot of strange stuff goes on, and strange people flock to it. For a small Western town it has a ton of very diverse people. The diversity, backgrounds and the detail in the characters makes the simplistic plot rich with detail. While it might be the run of the mill, ‘bad guys are going to kill the earth,’ story, it’s the characters that make it stand out.
Before you think this is all cowboys and action, there are quite a few complicated relationships. Augustus, the shop owner, is unknowingly stuck in a romantic triangle of sorts. Maude, who might be one of the most powerful characters of the story is stuck in a marriage, but also finds her attentions on someone else. And there is Henry who tries to be community and spiritual leader along with hiding his relationship with a Piano player.
The Six-Gun Tarot is R.S. Belcher’s debut novel. There are a ton of central characters, and he did an amazing job making each one stand on their own.
While I greatly enjoyed it, I didn’t give it a perfect score. Over all the story and characters are fantastic, but sometimes it’s in the little things. Some of the conclusions fell short with me. While The Six-Gun Tarot doesn’t seem to be a series, I think it would be a neat start to one. I left the story with a couple questions, and wanting to hear more about each character. I really hope this ends up becoming a series. A western, an adventure, complicated relationships and a fantasy, The Six-Gun Tarot has something to offer just about everyone.