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Portlandtown: A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes
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Portlandtown: A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes

3.39  ·  Rating Details ·  184 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
Welcome to Portlandtown, where no secret is safe---not even those buried beneath six feet of Oregon mud.

Joseph Wylde isn't afraid of the past, but he knows some truths are better left unspoken. When his father-in-law's grave-digging awakens more than just ghosts, Joseph invites him into their home hoping that a booming metropolis and two curious grandtwins will be enough t
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 16th 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Oct 16, 2012 Heidi rated it liked it
Three and a half stars: A blend of the Wild West and the Supernatural!

The rain is pouring down as the old graveyard caretaker makes his way through the mud to investigate the light shining in the cemetery. He finds the retired marshal digging up a grave, searching furiously for something he can't remember.....A few days later, the Wyldes arrive to take their Grandfather back to Portland. Joseph, blinded in an accident eleven years ago doesn't let his impairment bother him. He has learned to see
Michael Jr.
Jun 19, 2012 Michael Jr. rated it liked it
*** Advance Reader’s Copy ***

Portlandtown: A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes
By: Ron Deborde

Overall: 3 out of 5 Stars

*** Please not that this novel is not due out until October 2012 and I am reviewing an advance reader’s copy that could be slightly altered.

Based upon the cover art and the description that this was a “western a la Stephen King’s Dark Tower…” I pretty much had a good idea of what the novel would feel like and what you imagine is pretty accurate.
Years ago, a mysterious and powerful crimi
Bonnie Morse
I was really hoping for a good zombie story local to my hometown. And I still am, because this was not. Mostly there was just too much going on, jumping around between characters and locations with no clue as to how they would fit together. It was obviously going to be supernatural in nature, being a (sort of) zombie book, but there was actually a little too much of that going on, too. A lot of it obviously lifted from other sources with very little original thinking. (The Colt that kills ...more
Book Review & Giveaway: When I saw Portlandtown: A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes by Rob DeBorde, I knew it would make a great Halloween giveaway. Normally we show the book cover at the left; however, I found this poster for the novel on the author’s web site and knew we had to include it instead. Doncha love it? If you’re a Wild West fan or a zombie/supernatural/paranormal fan, this one is going to be perfect. It is indeed “The old west as you’ve never seen it.” Read the rest of my review & ...more
Oct 15, 2014 Tasula rated it liked it
I liked the first half of this book more than the last half, for some reason. I think I started to find the second half a bit tedious- and the ending (for me) was just not satisfying. I think the main characters were just too gentle and patient when dealing with someone who was a relentless killer. Also I expected the author to do a bit more with the strange capabilities of the main family, but was disappointed.
Feb 19, 2013 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, horror, fiction
This was really fun! A mixture of western and the supernatural, and yes, zombies! I really hope this will be a series about the Oregon Wyldes and their friends and family. The world is interesting and I'm sure people from Portland will enjoy it simply for the setting. If you like genre-bending and enjoy westerns and zombies, give this one a go, you will like it!
Jennifer Bookworm Coalition
Disappointed is thy name.

I read the blurb and was all kinds of excited to get approved for this book and read it. I mean honestly what could go wrong... magic, zombies, gunslingers... basically a suped up old western.

Besides, the cover is pretty badass as well.

The day I got approved I was literally jumping up and down but I knew I couldn't start reading it yet.
I knew once I started I wouldn't be able to put it down and would have raved about it all over Goodreads like a lunatic. But sadly, the
Aug 19, 2012 Scott rated it liked it
Shelves: portland, horror, oregon
As a proud Portlander, I could not resist snagging a copy of Rob DeBorde's "Portlandtown" based on the cover alone. What - a gun-toting zombie facing down a sinister, bespectacled gunman protecting/threatening a fair lady, all adorned in some neo-noir/Western attire? And set in Portland?? Freaking awesome!

I'm happy to say that DeBorde's novel brings the goods. He sets the reader down deep inside a story with several years of dark history. Set in the 1870s, Western Oregon is still largely the Wil
Beth Cato
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 10, 2012 Cissa rated it really liked it
An Occult Western

Necromancy! Magical guns! Zombies (of course; ALL books these days must have zombies)! Voodoo (sort of)! Supernatural talents! Mystical Native American totems! And just a hint of steampunk, what with the "firestone".

All this within a novel that seems to also be based fairly solidly in the early years of Portland, OR, so it's maybe alternative history.

I found it a really compelling read. The supernatural elements were not cliched; they were interesting and original, and drove the
Sep 03, 2012 Brian rated it really liked it
Let me start by saying I don't read westerns.. that even though I'm a huge Stephen King fan I haven't read the gunslinger series... only a couple short stories. So--this book was out of the 'norm' for me on that count.

Having said that--I enjoyed this book. It was very well written (save the first few pages.. where it jumps into the story and I had trouble telling who was who or what was going on). However that confusion was quickly cleared up on subsequent pages.

The main characters are immediate
Jul 17, 2012 Janin rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I enjoyed reading this book. Though I have to admit, I was so afraid of the climax and confrontation, I would read a chapter, stop, walk away, worry about it... then realize I wanted to know, more than I was afraid of knowing, and pick the book back up. Ergo, it took me -forever- to read the last 1/3 of the book (lol). Well written and very easy to visualize!
Nov 02, 2012 Stephanie rated it it was ok
Shelves: october, 2012
Great premise, but the writing needs more development.
William White
Feb 27, 2013 William White rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 03, 2013 Alan rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of mashups
Recommended to Alan by: Roberta's research
Yer ma ain't gonna like this one bit.
Maybe not... but you might. I did. Its cowboy drawl drew me in from that very first sentence, spoken so regretfully by gravedigger Walter Peterson to a long-dead young lady in Astoria, Oregon. This one turned out to be a fun, light read, with a fair amount of local color for folks who live along the Columbia River. The Wylde family make for interesting protagonists, from Joseph, the blind man who perceives more clearly than his sighted compatriots, to his
Sep 17, 2012 Hannah rated it liked it
I received this ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, St. Martin's Press!

3.5 stars. Portlandtown was a real surprise to me. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect and for some reason had gotten the idea that this was going to be steampunk, but it turns out to be a zombie western novel! While westerns and zombies are not really my "thing," I found myself enjoying not only the western aspect but also the dark, suspenseful atmosphere throughout the book
Nathan Miller
Sep 12, 2016 Nathan Miller rated it really liked it
We've all seen and read modern zombie stories. Here's one set in the 1880's. It's the first time I've seen two different zombie traditions spliced together. The author incorprated what I'm pretty sure are elements from "Lord of the Rings." I had a lot of fun spotting some of our favorite Portland fixtures, including the Rose Festival and Powell's Books under a different name. The characters were decently written and each had his or her own limitations that contributed to their difficulties ...more
Book Twirps
Oct 16, 2012 Book Twirps rated it liked it
When I first heard of this book I knew I had to get my hands on it as it not only had zombies in it, but it takes place in Portland, OR, one of my favorite cities in the US. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started it, and even now, it’s tough to categorize. It’s part western, part history, part horror and part paranormal.

The basic gist of the story is that a powerful criminal known as The Hanged Man is tracked down and brought down by Joseph Wylde and his U.S. Marshall father-in-law. The Han
Jul 18, 2012 TheGeekyBlogger rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-read
Won from Library Thing Early Reviewers
Overall Rating: 3.25
Story Rating: 3.50
Character Rating: 3.00

First thought when finished: This was a fun mix of gritty historical western with a huge side of horror and thriller elements! Really hard to categorize!

What I thought of the story: I thought the story was great! The thing I found most compelling was it was a unique spin of the "paying for the sins of your father (ancestors)" type of story. The paranormal element added that "umph" to making it liter
It's the first book in the series, and unfortunately it does that thing where ALL the characters, backstories, worldbuilding, and main conflict are set up all at once. There's a LOT going on in this book, with the end result being that I don't entirely understand wtf is going on. The story itself is fairly simple but the details surrounding it are confusing, especially since I assume the main plotline is going to continue onward in the next book if not the entire series.

For example: the bad guy
Jul 20, 2012 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lt-giveaway
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review.

I found the genre blending of this book to be really interesting. I've not read a zombie/Western book before, but I enjoyed Portlandtown. The Wyldes family was interesting, Kate was constantly trying to keep the twins out of trouble. The Hanged Man has a dark history with the Wylde family, especially Joseph. They were once partners but then Joseph saw the light and turned from crime. The Hanged Man wanted revenge, but was killed before
Oct 18, 2012 Burgoo rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012, fantasy
When the Wylde family invites their father the marshal to live with them, they have no idea that they will be targeted by necromancers & undead outlaws. Fortunately, it seems that the Wyldes have a few secrets of their own…

Portlandtown is a fast paced supernatural western. DeBorde does a great job playing with the mixture of horror and western tropes. We have evil outlaws, cursed guns, books of black magic, Native American magic, and some zombies for the kids. The action picks up quickly, &a
Sep 09, 2014 Unwisely rated it really liked it
Saw this one recommended at a bookstore and was curious enough to pick it up. It seems like a worthy next book for people sad that the Cherie Priest Seattle steampunk books are over, because, hey, steampunk in Portland! (OK, maybe it's not technically steampunk, but it's gotta be close. It's certainly in the same family as Territory, whatever what was.)

Anyway, there's magic, zombies, and the old west. It's a bit of set up, but quite readable. My one complaint is that it seems to be set up to be
Sep 26, 2014 Amanda rated it liked it
When I first picked up this book I was fascinated to find a title about the Portland area in the late eighteen hundreds, even if it was fictitious. When I first started reading I quickly became immersed in the story and my curiosity grew the more I got to know about the characters. I loved that I was able to identify with different landmarks of Portland and Astoria. However mysterious the events in the story became I still felt that it was missing an integral part. I kept reading on and even ...more
Jun 04, 2015 Harry rated it really liked it
I really loved this book. Portlandtown is about, you guessed it, Portland, which makes it really fun and easy to visualize. It has a lot of character jumping, and switching between what's going on from one area to another, but as long as you can handle that little bit of confusion, it's terrific. It has tons of wonderful characters, and every member of the Wylde family, seemingly simple bookstore owners, has a certain special trait. It starts off normal enough, with everybody still on edge from ...more
Jessica at Book Sake
I enjoy my zombies and I keep hoping for a mix of zombies and wild west that hits the nail on the head. The beginning started out well enough – I particularly love the interactions with the Wylde family. The twins are amusing and have a connection that we hear a hint of but never truly get to explore. Actually all of the Wyldes have a little something extra and while Joseph’s is mentioned a bit, it still seemed like his whole story wasn’t being told..

It felt as if one story was written – the zom
Sean Mcginn
Mar 15, 2014 Sean Mcginn rated it liked it
Portlandtown: A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes is a book that many fans of zombie novels will probably dislike. This is because the story is not a dark tale of zombies, but it is actually a rather light hearted story about cow boys and magic. The zombies in this story aren't even introduced until late in the story. The story instead draws you in with its interesting characters and its dark yet fantastical tales of magic. I'm going to avoid writing a summary here and simply say that the story drew me ...more
Jun 18, 2013 Rob rated it liked it
A book that had moments of being better than I expected, but ended up sadly mediocre portland fan-fiction. As a teenager I probably would have loved it, but approaching thirty and with a creative writing degree, I found it a series of poor genre tropes and frustrating characterization. Still, I love Weird West stories, and for a fair stretch (maybe the first half?) the Hanged Man and his curse came through strong and drove the tale. Also slipped in was a fair amount of native portland ...more
Jan 10, 2013 Tiffany rated it liked it
This was a solid & unique story, but it just didn't keep me completely engaged--partly because it was different from what I was expecting (which is my fault) and partly because the writing didn't draw me in. I thought it would involve lots of zombie action in a Western format, when in reality this was the least "zombie" of the zombie books I've read. With the exception of the primary character of the Hanged Man, who is only a sort-of zombie, no one else started crawling out of the grave ...more
Jason Lang
Apr 27, 2015 Jason Lang rated it it was ok
A little supernatural goes a long way. Too much, and the "super" natural becomes... natural.

At it's core, Portlandtown wants to be an alt-history about a cranky old sheriff and a undead outlaw that he has to put down... again. And to some extent, it does that.

But around this are magic totem poles, a son-in-law who is blind by sees through magic vision, psychic twin grandkids, voodoo, Native American myths, mystic grimoires... halfway through the book, you expect the weatherman to pull out some t
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