Series: Between the Badlands and Heaven 01
Author: Elita Mae
Genre: Wild West, Shifter, Paranormal
Length: Novel (182pgs PDF 290pgs Kindle)
Publisher: Senzuri Books (5th /6th June 2012)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥1 ½ – 2Hearts
Blurb: When the west clashes with fantasy, a group of rejected souls find themselves tangled in the same situation. A danger lurks close behind as they try to high tail it out of wherever they may be. On their journey escaping the persistent shadow they fall right into his hands. Raylan, a cowboy with the heart of fire and a sword sharper than the Grim Reaper’s scythe, progresses through the lands. Ready for a quick kill, he gets more than he bargained for by an innocent trip to take a piss, a day that would forever change his lone ranger habit. Gabe, a man who suffers from gaps of time, searches for something he doesn’t even know. Day by day he idly wanders unsure how he ended up in one place or another. One day he wakes up in bed, naked, beside Raylan. No memory of the night before, he struggles against the fate binding him to this cowboy who insists not leaving him behind. Fresh out of bed, the two venture off on their long journey side by side.
Review: Raylan is a drifter. He drifts from town to town and maybe sometimes he might do a bit of robbing… okay, so he’s a wanted man and on this night he enters a town where his fate just might change. Gabe wakes up next to a cowboy, but he has no recollection of him. Unfortunately, for Gabe the cowboy doesn’t remember much either. But, circumstances throw them together repeatedly. Mako ends up tagging along and ends up with his own companion Zack.
This story has a very good premise, but the execution was poorly carried out. Raylan is alternatively running from and then hunting something that used to be an old friend. Gabe is in a roundabout sort of way looking for revenge although he doesn’t know it. Zack just wants to be accepted and Mako is a young man who prefers the company of animals to humans. These four end up together traveling across the flatlands having adventures and facing enemies. While, Gabe begins to trust Raylan, in between his blackouts, and Zack and Mako become very close.
I found this book really hard to get into because of the writing style; it jumped from POV to POV with no warning. So one second you are in Gabe’s head and the next you were in Raylan’s. it was hard to follow what was going on and I would lose the thread as it jumped from subject to subject. But, if I ignored all that and just concentrated on the bare bones it held my interest. The storyline is more complex than we are led to believe, because Gabe’s blackouts are not just blackouts, and we are introduced to a variety of characters that inhabit his body. So, the very first encounter between Raylan and Gabe is actually between Raylan and Bane. Zack is really a wolf who can take on a humanoid form and Mako is very sensitive to auras.
Anyway, if this book had been from my personal library then I really don’t think I would have finished it, because, by the time I got to page 70 I had a killer headache from all the jumping about of POV (we even had the horses POV) and trying to keep the thread alive and the only reason I didn’t set it aside for a later date was because I was reviewing it. (I always said I’d be honest.) But, this author has a lot of potential, the bare bones are great, it was just the execution that fell short in my eyes and I am a sucker for this type of story. If the POV hadn’t jumped about so much or was at least clearer when it happened, and their own background stories clearer it would have got at least a 3 Hearts . And I would love to know what happened to the eye patch?
So, if you want a story at combines the Wild West with the paranormal, with shifters, unexpected trouble, a complex man, a brooding cowboy and a happy for now ending then give this book a try.