Book Twirps's Reviews > Portlandtown: A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes

Portlandtown by Rob DeBorde
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May 07, 2012

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Read in October, 2012

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 Hanged Man was very dangerous as he dealt in dark magic and possessed a supernatural revolver and a book of magic that aided him in his reign of terror. A few years later, someone gets their hands on the revolver and the book and resurrects the Hanged Man who comes back to life seeking revenge on Wylde and his family.

Despite a clunky opening, the book really grabbed me. It had elements of a good old fashioned western, and the addition of the paranormal made it fresh, though I never felt like I was able to buy into it 100%. Maybe it was because I’m not a huge fan of westerns. There is plenty of action, and the writing flows pretty well. The zombies here aren’t born of a virus, and exist through dark magic (necromancy). For some reason these types of zombies don’t freak me out as much as the virus-caused, flesh-eating types, so this dampened the feeling of terror for me a bit.

My biggest complaint was that I never felt like I really connected with any of the characters (and there are a lot of them). There were also quite a few loose threads that I felt were left hanging, though if this is a planned series, there is definitely room to explore these open points more. Still, it’s a fun read, and definitely one I would recommend to readers looking for a different sort of zombie and/or western novel.

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