Year of the Horse
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Year of the Horse

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  36 ratings  ·  12 reviews
A thrill-ride adventure novel capturing the adventure, mystery, legend, and lore of America

Year of the Horse is literary fantasy at its very best, a novel that delves into our myths, legends, hopes, and fears; a coming-of-age fable set in our fondly remembered (if often fictional) past, an adventure more than capable of setting your hair on end.

Year of the Horse tells the...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 15th 2009 by Overlook Hardcover
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Theresa L. Stowell for

Justin Allen sends young Yen Tzu-lu, also known as Lu, on a Wild West adventure in this humorous twist on the old-fashioned western story.

Lu is the fourteen-year-old son of Chinese immigrants who lives with his intimidating mother and mysterious grandfather in the apartment above their general store. Lu's humdrum life undergoes a drastic change when larger-than-life hero Jack Straw comes to visit his grandfather.

Lu is surprised enough to find ou...more
I know this is going to sound weird but I was put off before I even reached chapter one by the authors "note and warning". I read it twice. Was he serious or kidding? I am still not sure but his "voice" outside the narrative of the book annoyed the crap out of me and for that I will not likely pick up another book by the author despite the fact that the story was pretty good.

I enjoyed the characters, their journey, the conflicts, the magic, lies, ghost-riders, and the devil, apparently. The plot...more
Lu, the child of Chinese immigrants; Henry, first a slave then a Union soldier and now free; Chino, once just a Californian and now a Mexican with no homeland; and of course Jack Straw, also a former Union soldier and now a privateer of sorts; are all hired by John MacLemore, former Confederate loyalist, and his daughter Sadie to get their gold mine and homestead back from the man who murdered Sadie's mother. They travel across mountains, canyons, plains, and deserts. They also deal with Mormons...more
I feel bad about not finishing this book, since stories about Chinese having adventures in the West are super rare to nonexistent. However, though the writing is competent and features nothing to complain about, I still cannot get emotionally evolved. If I didn't have a pile of other books to read, I might have continued it, but alas...
Very entertaining, and a wonderful homage to a varied collection of classic writers and their tales of Old Scratch.
Fun read!
I now kind of know why I don't like Westerns. Too white, too slow, too macho.
The author did TRY to bring up some racial issues, though they were handled pretty vaguely, in the way that they're mentioned, but in the end it's "just the way life was". Motive and character growth were rather stunted and unclear for most of the book/characters - some things were forgiven too easily, the main character was too follow-the-leader, the mysterious/dramatic hero just ended up really annoying.
I did like som...more
Before the book even starts, the author threatens to sue
whoever doesn't let EVERYONE read it.
Who does that?

" . . . will be sued to the fullest extent of the law. The firm of Lister, Gatliff, Patrelle, Irons and Murphy has already filed a dozen such suits, and is prepared to enter into literally hundreds more. The author considers this fair warning."

Well, take your book and shove it -- "where the sun don't shine".
MINUS five stars.
Don't know that I've ever really read many western novels, but this one was great. Good characters and plot. Sorry when it ended.
I'd say it's more 3.5 stars, but it gets 4 for excellent use of geography and unusual characters and history.
Because of the genre of the book, we didn't think I'd like it, but I couldn't get past the reader.
It was okay, but the end ruined it for me.
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Justin was born in Boise, Idaho in 1974. He grad­u­ated from Boise State Uni­ver­sity with a degree in phi­los­o­phy, was named one of the school’s Top Ten Schol­ars, and invited to present the vale­dic­tory address at the com­mence­ment of the Col­lege of Arts and Sci­ences. Soon after, Justin moved to New York City, where he enrolled in Colum­bia University’s Writ­ing Pro­gram, spe­cial­iz­ing i...more
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