Having read this well before the film came out, I feel I might be have been in a better place to enjoy it than those who read it subsequent to the mov...moreHaving read this well before the film came out, I feel I might be have been in a better place to enjoy it than those who read it subsequent to the movie. I had never heard of Priest before winning a copy of this in an SFX competition, so had no idea what to expect.
Well, I found the story to be nothing short of amazing. Loved the whole concept, the execution, the framing story, everything. I found the writing style very easy to get into, more so than other books of Priests I have since read, and I'm a sucker for the old 'Victorian (or otherwise) diary' style. It was one of those stories that just seemed to touch something in me and I have gone back to it a few times, finding it just as fresh as before. It's not a book that's going to give up it's answers easily, though, and in some respects there is still some mystery there at the end. This to me, is part of the attraction, and in many respects, a full explanation might spoil things.
I loved the movie also, and while they did change a few things, I felt that they were necessary to make the film work.
Definitely up there in my top few books (there's loads though, but it's near the top).(less)
OK, first book read of 2014 and it's a pretty good start to the year.
Coyote is a female bounty hunter in the old West, who travels the country with he...moreOK, first book read of 2014 and it's a pretty good start to the year.
Coyote is a female bounty hunter in the old West, who travels the country with her companion, Caesar, looking for 'Outlanders', who are aliens or otherworldly beings, that come to Earth through rips. Coyote hunts the ones that are considered bad and gives a pass to those that do no wrong. Added to the mix is the her long-standing hatred of James Westwood, the man she blames for her father's death.
This West is not like the world of Eastwood and the gun-slingers of the movies. Rather, it is an alternate past, filled with strange creatures, steam powered vehicles and even proto-robots. It's a very distinct steampunk world and unlike anything I've read before.
Coyote is a complex character, beautiful yet tough, independent but carries doubts and insecurities about her past, stuff that is revealed gradually through the story. As for which, it's a fast read, and is probably more the size of a novella. At least, I finished it in a couple of days, so it must be relatively short. At any rate, I powered through it.
It's incredibly detailed and I could visualise the settings easily. It moves quickly from one piece to the next and this could be considered a small detriment as there's little time to breathe between action set-pieces, but it's a small quibble and it serves to push the story and the inevitable confrontation with the antagonists into a giddy, headlong rush.
There were a few things that niggled slightly in my reading. The prose sometimes feels a little stiff, with some repetition of words too close in sentences and I felt that in places, the dialogue would have benefited from more contractions, more casual utterances. The formality works for Caesar, not as much for Coyote. Also, some of the emotions and situations feel over-described and might have benefited from allowing the reader to realise through description rather than telling. But that's just me. Still, it's minor, as I really did like the story, the setting and (dare I say it?), the characters. In particular, the cigar chomping, bowler hat wearing, Coyote, who sometimes felt like some gorgeous young actress channelling Clint Eastwood (not a criticism ).
There are a few things left unanswered - what, exactly are the Outlanders? What causes the rips? And is Westwood really a bad guy, or is there more to him than that? (part of this is dealt with, but there's definitely more...so much more...).
All in all, a very good read, and I could definitely see this as an expanded work, over a number of volumes. It's exactly the sort of thing Angry Robot would publish and there's a lot of scope for more and bigger. So come on, Chantal, what are you waiting for...? (less)