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Publisher's Summary

Owl Dance is a weird Western steampunk novel. The year is 1876. Sheriff Ramon Morales of Socorro, New Mexico, meets a beguiling woman named Fatemeh Karimi, who is looking to make a new start after escaping the oppression of her homeland. When an ancient life form called Legion comes to Earth, they are pulled into a series of events that will change the history of the world as we know it. In their journeys, Ramon and Fatemeh encounter mad inventors, dangerous outlaws and pirates. Their resources are Ramon's fast draw and Fatemeh's uncanny ability to communicate with owls. The question is, will that be enough to save them when airships from Czarist Russia invade the United States?
©2014 David Lee Summers (P)2017 Sky Warrior Book Publishing, LLC
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Customer Reviews

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By DabOfDarkness on 07-15-17

Wild weird steampunked west!

Set in the 1870s, this Wild West steampunk adventure is full of surprises. Ramon Morales and Fatemeh Karimi make a great pair of heroes as they travel from New Mexico to California. Gun fights, dirigibles, steam-powered mechanical wolves, a Russian plot to take a chunk of the US, plus an unexpected alien influence called Legion provide a dangerous playground for our main characters – and plenty of entertainment for us.

I read this book back in 2011 and it was great to see it come to audio! I enjoyed it more in this medium as the narrator did it justice. If you love your Wild West and you like it weird, then this is a great series to get into. The story includes several different ethnicities and I love that about this book. The frontier West was a very diverse place and having that reflected in this work is worthy.

Our Persian healer, Fatemeh, has traveled far from home and she’s a bit vague about why. I love that we have this little mystery about her. Also, she talks to owls… or does she? She claims that she only understands their nature but to others it looks like she is actually communicating with them. While I felt the romance between her and Ramon sparked a little too easily, I also feel they make a great couple. Fatemeh is of the Baha’i faith while Ramon is Catholic and this sets up a dynamic to explore not just culture clash but also these different religions.

Meanwhile Ramon has recently had a big shift in his life. He was a sheriff in Socorro, NM and then things went south.. and so did he while he fled with Fatemeh (who was about to be executed for witch craft). Their search for work takes them all the way out to California. Along the way they meet the eccentric inventor, Professor Maravilla. He’s got a thing for steam-powered mechanical beasties. I loved his owls!

Then there’s the bounty hunter Larissa who I look forward to hearing more about later in the series. She’s got plenty of gumption and loves her independent life but she’s drawn into this bigger plot as Russia starts making moves to invade the West coast.

Now lets talk about that alien influence Legion. We come across it early on but it’s not clear right away if it’s something supernatural, man-made, or from outer space. Whatever it is (and yes, we do get that cleared up in this book), it has a hive mind and can communicate directly with humans as well as influence them. So we got the Wild West (yay!), steampunk (awesome!), and now this unknown big picture influencer. The author does a great job of pulling this all together.

My one real quibble with the story is that sometimes it’s a little too easy for Ramon and Fatemeh to convince a ‘villain’ to assist them. It seems like everyone is really a good guy at heart and was just simply misunderstood or was acting under some false or incomplete data. I think the story would have benefited from a real villain or two.

The Narration: Edward Mittelstedt did a really good job. His Spanish accent was consistent throughout the story. Now, his Spanish pronunciations were sometimes different from what I expected. Living in New Mexico, I expected a certain accent (like for Chavez or Maravilla). Mittelstedt’s pronunciation isn’t wrong but it’s not the local dialect either. I believe it’s the difference between high proper Spanish and the Southwest Hispanic accent. Besides that, he was great with keeping all the characters distinct and also with the various emotions throughout the story. He also gave Fatemeh a consistent Persian accent. His female voices were believable.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Jan on 10-03-17

Fun!

weird, western, steampunk, aliens, alternate-history, action-adventure, audiobook,
What a fun ride! Spent a very hot and humid day enjoying this fantastical tale. It's got everything: ornithopters, Russians, aliens, bigotry, greed, philosophy, pirates, underwater craft, western setting in 1877, other historical figures, and lots more. Yet it would appeal to male or female, and anyone over nine.
Edward Mittelstedt has a very interesting audio performance. I like it.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Amy on 05-28-17

Really am very excited for book 2!here's why...

What did you like most about Owl Dance?

The story is gripping and exciting and very good escapism while ,I believe,teaching a good lesson.I love steampunk and the world,characters and story were quirky and wonderful.I got a lot more than I expected from listening to this book.I recommend It for steampunk fans who like a tale with a slight whimsy to it.The addition of historical figures (I wont spoil the surprise) was pretty awesome and made the experience just that little better .I really enjoyed listening to Edward Mittelstedt narrate this book and hope he will be narrating the rest of the series to follow.

Any additional comments?

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Peter on 04-27-17

A interesting weird western steampunk book.

Own dance gets most of the important things bang on right. The characters are believable with understandable motivations, they are well written and narrated. The setting has lots of potential and it feels like many more interesting things could happen in it. The pacing is good and as events unfold want to find out more and keep you happy to listen until the end of the book.

David Lee Summers has crafted an interesting world and characters that will keep you listening until then end and Edward Mittelstedt does a wonderful job breathing life into the words giving each character a unique voice and letting their emotions and personalities shine.

I can recommend this book wholeheartedly but I am not sure I will remember in in a few years time. It is ultimately it is an interesting journey, enjoyable to listen too yet does not quite become a truly memorable story despite it’s best efforts. That being said I would be very interested to find out what happens next to the world and the characters as time moves on from the events near the end of the book. In my opinion, this could be the start of an interesting series of books.

All and all this is well worth a listen.



“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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