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I have always been fascinated by ancient mythologies, so this book definitely caught my interest. It takes place during what seems to be the end of the civil war. Emmett and his Native American mother were left at home while his father, a white man, was off fighting in the war. Emmett was 16 and his mother became deathly ill. Medicines and doctors couldn't heal her so Emmett decides to connect with his mother's father who is a shaman. Unfortunately, his grandfather is also dying and is not in his right mind. He offers Emmett a way to save his mother by contacting an ancient spirit. This is where the Native and Norse mythology comes into the story with ancient Gods, witches, giants, and other beings. Overall, it was a great story with a great narration. Jason Sprenger has the perfect voice for this story.
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I would like to state that I know nothing about the historical wild west or even the typical tropes involved in this genre.
As a non-native English speaker it was a bit exhausting in the beginning to listen to the drawled accent of the reader, but after some getting used it it was actually remarkably easy to understand considering how different it still sounds.
The main protagonists of the story are intriguingly shaded on the moral spectrum. (Though a bit overpowered in a „perfect male fantasy“ way.) Everything they do, good or bad, is very relateable to the reader/listener I think. The „big bad“ however was not written in this way at all. The evil entity is just evil because it‘s evil. It comes form a place of evil and all it wants to do is eat babies. No explanation is given as to the motives or personality of the opponent. We are given a clear side of the conflict to root for, even though that side is not squeaky clean and saintly either.
The plot was interesting and unpredictable. Overall I had a good time, even though it did not win me over to the genre of grimdark western permanently.