Meet Nox, the Coilhunter. A mechanic and toymaker by trade, a bounty hunter by circumstance. He isn’t in it for the money. He’s in it for justice, and there’s a lot of justice that needs to be paid.
Between each kill, he’s looking for someone who has kept out of his crosshairs for quite a while—the person who murdered his wife and children. The trail has long gone cold, but there are changes happening, the kind of changes that uncover footprints and spent bullet casings.
Plagued by nightmares, he’s made himself into a living one, the kind the criminals and conmen fear.
So, welcome, fair folk, to the Wild North. If the land doesn’t get you, the Coilhunter will.
|Amazon||ebook||208||Dioscuri Press||scifi/ steampunk||April 17th, 2017|
The Coilhunter Chronicles starts with this cracking scifi western novel. Dean F. Wilson strikes again. If you’ve read The Great Iron War series by Wilson, then there will be aspects in the Coilhunter that you are familiar with. If you haven’t read The Great iron War series, fret not, Coilhunter will give you the right amount of info you need without infodumping.
Leaving aside the familiarity of the world, I feel like Wilson has his unique writing style (which I truly like), and I’d like to believe that if I were to read a book without his name on it, I would recognize it. There’s this special signature on the dialogue, the prose and the character names. And the book covers… gosh, The Great Iron War series had book covers to dies for, and now I’m admiring the cover of the Coilhunter Chronicles… [smiley with heart-eyes]
The people who recognised him had a dozen different names for him, and all of them were grim. The Coilhunter. The Sandsweeper. The Masked Menace.
Nox- a man that has lost all he held dear is now the unofficial sheriff of the Wild North. A bountyhunter that many fear. Wearing a multifunctional mask over his nose and mouth, he travels on his monowheel, accompianied by a mechanical duck, to hunt down the faces on the Wanted posters, while keeping an ear to the ground to find out who murdered his family.
There’s money to be made, but Nox doesn’t do it for the money. He does it for justice. If your face was on the Wanted poster, consider yourself hunted. Even worse, consider yourself most certainly on borrowed time and soon dead if it was the Coilhunter that was after you.
The bones weren’t much use either, not with the meat not on them. They didn’t weigh a whole lot without it. He knew that well, as he sometimes had to let the carrion birds pick a body clean to lighten the load when heading back to town. Except the head, of course. He had to keep that intact for identification. If anyone complained that there wasn’t much of a body left to go with it, he’d go with his usual retort: “Ya shoulda drawn more than a head on the poster then.”
Nox himself is of course the most important and full-bodied character of the novel. With a troubled soul and an immense drive to make sure he saves people before they become the victims of the criminals, there is no grey area with him. It’s either black or white. Criminal? You get a bullet. And the Wild North has taught his trigger finger not to tremble when facing scum.
But Nox isn’t just a grumpy, mask wearing guy trading bodies for coils (that’s moolah, btw). He can also be quite sarcastic and what I loved most about him was the fact that in certain situations he just walked away. Like he was too good, too busy to mingle with the underbelly of society. He doesn’t waste time nor breath on small talk or flirtations. Nox is cunning, smart and a man on a mission.
From beginning to end, this novel is action packed and fast paced. Where there’s Coilhunter, there’s plenty of background criminals. Sorry, characters! Each with a fantastically fitting name. We have TNT Tom, Danny Deadmaker, Nine-finger Nancy… nine-finger Nancy, who ‘only needs one finger to pull the trigger‘… heh… fabulous!
Wild North is like a sandy jungle of gangs and criminals, all making money off whatever they can. But there are some rules. Rules created by those who have the most money, power and presence in the vast desert.
“Don’t you worry about her,” Nox said. “I’ll take care of her.”
Ruby raised an eyebrow. “You do what you want, but the only bangs I want to hear are the sounds of bedposts against the wall. You can leave the pistols with me.”
The writing, as the case has always been with Wilson’s creation, is flawless and full of thoughtful little gems in addition to making the desert arena come alive with descriptions which will make you feel the sand and dust, the smell of gunpowder, the tense yet slow motion moments of pistols being drawn. The scenes where the tension was the highest (and there were many of those) fully captured me. These intense moments offered equal amounts of apprehension, humor and matter-of-fact philosophy.
If there were gods, you couldn’t trust them. Better to forge your path alone. Hell, better to see if there was a bounty on those gods too.
Perfect blends don’t only come in packs of tea. Coilhunter will offer you elements of scifi, steampunk and western as promised, all fused together in perfectly measured amounts.
I can not wait to read more about Coilhunter, so I preordered Rustkiller, which will be published on October 10th, 2017. It’ll be a helluva read I gather as Nox will face down the Clockwork Commune! Yikes!