October 6, 2014

Book Review ~ One Night in Sixes by Arianne "Tex" Thompson

Disclaimer: I'm friends with the author, but this in no way influenced my review. In the words of crit groups everywhere "Friends don't let friends write crap." Or in the case of review, continue to write crap. Which this isn't. But, I had to get the disclaimer out of the way.
Oh the pretty cover!
One Night in Sixes follows a few different characters, the main ones being Appaloosa Elim (a mule, or mixed-race, horse hand) and Sil Halfwick (a pure-bred Nortman). The initial plot involves Sil needing to sell some horses and deciding to take them across the border to Sixes to offload the beasts to a wealthy buyer. Of course it wouldn't be a story if this was an easy trip, and it only takes "One Night" to start an avalanche of excrement hitting spinning blades in the worst way.

This story is coined as a "rural fantasy" and the setting is much like the old-timey American midwest, except...not. There's an undercurrent of mysticism and magic, and things are definitely not what they seem. The magic here is subtle but promises more in the sequel. Personally, I'd prefer seeing a little more magic-ish stuff right off. There's some in Sixes, but I'm much more excited to see what's waiting around the corner in Medicine for the Dead.

What amazed me the most about this book was the writing. Tex has produced such beautiful prose, and the turns of phrase just make me smile. It was like listening to Mal Reynolds narrate in my head (if you don't know who that is, shame on you. Go watch Firefly this instant). So if you're a lover of language, Sixes is a feast. That being said, it's not a "light read" by any stretch of the imagination. If you've got a toddler running around your heels as you're trying to read, you'll miss something. Possibly something huge. You'll need to put on your thinking cap and devote full attention to the read to get everything out of it, all the delicious subtlety and subtext.

The final word is, I enjoyed One Night in Sixes a great deal. "Westerns" aren't usually my thing, and the only one I really liked was Firefly. So, I'm happy Sixes has enough spec fic elements to keep me turning pages. My hope is to see more of the mystical side come out in book 2.

Side note: Tex rocks. Here's her blog. That is all.


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