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Creed awakes after a mysterious young woman resurrects him in a basement laboratory beneath a brothel. Half alive, Creed feels torn between his need for justice and his desire to fall back into the peace of death. Creed's instincts drive him to protect the city of Santa Cruz, California, from the outlaws it harbors while searching for Blake.
He uncovers a secret criminal organization, likely protecting Blake, determined to use resurrection technology for its own ends. The former marshal, now faster, stronger, and a more deadly shot than ever before, must work with a brothel madam, a bounty hunter, and the remaining marshals to uncover the criminal syndicate before they can misuse the machines of rebirth and create more mindless zombies. Meanwhile, he must also stop Blake, before the outlaw kills the only people he cares about.
His own death can wait.
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By Madelon Wilson on 01-29-18
Since I recently read and reviewed the eBook BODACIOUS CREED, I concentrated on the narration while listening to the Audible edition. I have often read print books and then listened to the audio version in the past; however, I have not done this before in such close proximity in time. Where the author of the words in print dictates the tone of a book, it is the narrator that is the tone of the audiobook. D. Golden's use of her voice gives each character distinct personality. Her voice for the nineteen year old sociopath, Corwin Blake, is irritatingly spot on.
I did notice that Ms. Golden pronounced one or two words throughout the book in a way that made me think she is pretty young and unfamiliar with them. Most notably, the way she said 'hearth' which, by some reckoning, might be a somewhat archaic term.
I often wonder if the popularity of audiobooks goes beyond convenience. When I listen, the days of bedtime stories always crosses my mind. This may also be due to the fact that I almost can't go to sleep without reading my own version of the bedtime story. The drawback, of course, to listening before sleep is that one can lose one's place and have to figure out just how far back to go in order to get the whole story. I read the eBook so recently that if I did miss a bit in the listening, memory filled in the blanks. I have also gotten in the habit of noting the Audible chapter number (which always seems to be the author's chapter plus one) before I turn out the light.
So much for the audiobook; on to the book review. Having read and listened just days apart, the following is my review of the book as it appears on Goodreads and Amazon.
When I was a kid, I was a big fan of TV westerns. In my old age, I have become a big fan of steampunk, a sub-genre of science fiction and fantasy, in all of its many forms. BODACIOUS CREED is a perfect marriage of the wild, wild West and steam.
As we grow older, it is sometimes difficult to remember those little joys of childhood. I am reminded of a time when I was 8 or 9 years old when I used to play TV westerns with the kid next door. We had bikes for horses and six-shooter cap guns. We became the heroes and bad guys from our favorite shows. We had no grass or dirt paths, but in a child's imagination, even concrete Bronx sidewalks can be dusty trails with tumbleweeds. Jonathan Fesmire brought all that back with his descriptions of U.S. Marshals, bounty hunters, and their horses.
What I am not is a fan of current zombie fiction… no Walking Dead for me. Such zombies are just too nihilistic. I have always had a fascination with Voodoo and its tradition of creating a zombie slaves. As horrible as that may be, at least they don't feed on others to make more of their kind.
So how do steampunk cowboys end up with zombies? Steampunk is a very broad spectrum sub-genre of science fiction. As such, there is an 'anything goes' acceptance of everything so long as it runs on steam and can be described as mechanical. Extrapolate from that the need for gears and levers and add in the ether (or aether) and you have all the ingredients for raising the dead with science rather than ritual.
Although the setting is Santa Cruz, California, there is a Dodge Cityesque saloon run by a "soiled dove." Anna Lynn Boyd is the strong, intelligent woman who happens to be the madam of The House of the Amber Doves. This is her story as much as it is U.S. Marshal James Creed's.
While reading BODACIOUS CREED, the movie "Cowboys and Aliens" kept coming to mind. That was a must see movie for me that I truly enjoyed. There is something about the flavor of this book and that movie that seem to overlap. Also, if you are a fan of the Will Smith movie "The Wild, Wild West" you might just love this book as much as I did.
So without telling the story, what we have here is a well-written tale capable of making an old soul feel young again. That feat of legerdemain is accomplished with charismatic, well developed characters and writing that pays homage to attention to detail without getting bogged down in repetitive minutia.
I would highly recommend that upon finishing this book you avail yourself of the short story offer on Jonathan Fesmire's website. "The Obstructed Engine" provides a starting point for some of the characters in the Creedverse.
Oh yes, and I love the cover art.
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