From New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Maberry, the first in a thrilling series of novels based on Deadlands, a hugely successful role-playing game (RPG) set in the Weird, Weird West. Welcome to the Deadlands, where steely eyed gunfighters rub shoulders with mad scientists and dark, unnatural forces. Where the Great Quake of 1868 has shattered California into a labyrinth of sea-flooded caverns...and a mysterious substance called "ghost rock" fuels exotic steampunk inventions as well as plenty of bloodshed and flying bullets. In Ghostwalkers, a gun for hire, literally haunted by his bloody past, comes to the struggling town of Paradise Falls, where he becomes embroiled in a deadly conflict between the besieged community and a diabolically brilliant alchemist who is building terrible new weapons of mass destruction...and an army of the living dead! Deadlands is one of the most popular RPGs in history, with over a million Deadlands gaming books sold.
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I don't like Cowboy Stories. I don't particularly care for Steampunk novels. The ex-Union Soldier Turned Mercenary with a Broken Heart of Gold has been done to death, and the title sounds like a cheesy Hidden Object Game. And yet I frigging LOVE this book - it is FUN FUN FUN. I'm almost sorry that I purchased it so quickly after it was published, because now I have to wait for ??? until Jonathan Maberry cranks out the next one in the series. Narrator Ray Porter is a god, and I suppose I would pay to listen to him read my grocery list (note to self: develop this app), but Maberry is a machine. A gol-durned steam-fired writing MACHINE who cranks out one exciting, tender, violent, terrifying, evocative masterpiece after another. I *have*, I promise you, read a few Maberry novels which I decided were not for me. Nothing wrong with them, but well, definitely not for me. In fact, I was almost convinced to avoid any books which didn't feature my secret-lover, Joe Ledger. So okay, I was wrong. I'm grateful to JM for sharing a review which sparked my interest in this wonderfully fun audiobook. And as far as waiting for the next one? I can always listen to DEADLANDS: GHOSTWALKERS again!
Ghostwalkers is book one in a planned three book tie-in to the Deadlands RPG games. And did they pick a great author to start if off. Jonathan Maberry is an exceptional storyteller, multiple Bram Stoker award winner, and a perfect fit for this world. Best known for his award winning Pine Deep Trilogy, as well as his Joe Ledger series and his YA zombie series, Rot & Ruin. I've listened to all of them and they're all great. It wasn't a question of if I would read this, but when. Especially when you consider Ray Porter is narrating.
Welcome to the Wild Weird West, "a country made for dying." After The Great Quake in 1868; California has been shattered and released veins of a new, mysterious metal called Ghost Rock. Which is used in various steampunk weapons and gadgets, as well as some more devious uses that I will leave the reader to discover on their own.
Grey Torrance is running from ghosts as he sees a man being chased by six others. Torrance doesn't like the odds and goes to help. He quickly discovers there's more to the chase than meets the eye. As he's - let's say talking - with a couple from the group doing the chasing, he sees a blinding flash of blue light and quickly loses consciousness. When he comes to, he sees a man standing over him. This man, Thomas Looks Away, explains why he was being chased and what he's trying to accomplish. After some entertaining dialogue, which Maberry is always good at writing, Looks Away hires Grey to help him save the people of a little town called Paradise Falls. After helping them reclaim their very own town well, Grey discovers what Ghost Rock can really do and it terrifies him. Looks Away and Torrance set out to stop the man responsible for this new hell, each obstacle more terrible and horrific than the last.
This was performed by Ray Porter, "'Nuff said" as far as I'm concerned. However, the man deserves more than that. He is an exceptional narrator, and is at the top of his field. He has read everything from horror and thriller to fantasy and non-fiction, always delivering a great performance. This was no exception. Jonathan Maberry and Ray Porter's chemistry is astounding, as if Porter can crawl into Jonathan's mind and understand exactly how Maberry is hearing the words as he writes them. Listen to anything read by Ray Porter, the man is a force.
This has everything I wanted from it. It's a Western, Fantasy-Horror weaved in such a way that it would be enjoyable for anyone who isn't interested in any of those genres. It's a story about a man who is haunted by guilt and grief trying to right past wrongs, and a group of people who just want their lives back. It's filled with horror, heartache, determination, and love. Written by a man who understands the art of storytelling better than most, and performed by a man who's voice talent is one of the top reasons I fell in love with audio books.
Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
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