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(Deadlands #1)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  513 ratings  ·  84 reviews
The first of three media tie-in novels based on the hit RPG franchise Deadlands

From New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry, the first in a thrilling series of novels based on Deadlands, a hugely successful role-playing game (RPG) set in the Weird, Weird West.

Welcome to the Deadlands, where steely-eyed gunfighters rub shoulders with mad scientists and dark, unna
Paperback, 476 pages
Published September 22nd 2015 by Tor Books
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3.65  · 
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 ·  513 ratings  ·  84 reviews

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For all you folks out there waking up and suddenly getting a craving for an Undead Raptor Jesus, this is your lucky day!

What? What?

Or I should say, the Weird West is out in full colors with this novel, an adaptation of the Deadlands paper-based RPG game that's full of great storytelling elements from a WoDish dark Wild West with screaming rocks, undead soldiers, mad scientists, and Hell beginning to encroach upon the Earth. This is the Weird West, full of high-tech gadgets, magic, and a hell of
Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews
Deadlands: Ghostwalkers is a lot of things. It’s an alternate history western with a whole lot of action and adventure, mixed together with some undead here and there, and a splash of steampunk tossed in to add a little color. What it is, is a book paradise for someone like me.

Often, I find that when a book tries to do too much, it fails; kind of a jack of all trades, master of none kind of scenario. But Jonathan Maberry has pieced all of these parts together to create a masterfully presented st
Frank Errington
Sep 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Review copy

Jonathan Maberry is a New York Times bestselling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author. Probably best known for his Joe Ledger novels and for his award-winning YA Rot & Ruin series. He currently resides in Del Mar, California and you can find him online at

Deadlands: Ghostwalkers is the first in a thrilling series of novels based on Deadlands, a hugely successful role-playing game (RPG) set in the Weird, Weird West.

Jonathan Maberry can spin a yarn with
Yzabel Ginsberg
[I received a copy of this novel through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

I used to play the Deadlands RPG when I was in high school. That was, well, long ago. Long enough for the game to be in its original iteration, no LCG or anything. Back when we used poker chips that could act as jokers, but we greedily kept them because the unused ones would turn into experience points at the end of the game. Yeah, that was quite a few years ago.

So I wanted to try and see what a novel set in th
Paige  Bookdragon
Just imagine the love child of Lone Ranger and The Walking Dead. Shut the fuck up and take my money.
Quentin Wallace
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

Im a huge fan of the Weird Western genre, and Maberry is one of my favorite authors. So I had a feeling going into this one I would like it, and I wasn't disappointed.

This novel is based on the "Deadlands" role playing game. I've never played it, nor any other role playing games, but I have always loved the world building that goes into them. The games automatically weave a rich tapestry full of stories just waiting to be told. That's basically what a role playing game is anyway, anothe
Jeff Powers
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
As a huge fan of the Deadlands roleplaying game, I was super excited for the first of three announced novels set in the Weird West. Having written adventures in this fantastic setting I don't envy the task of having to write the first Deadlands novel. Like making your first roleplaying adventure, part of you wants to use everything in the setting. Peppering your tale with every cool monster and bit of lore. Sadly this is exactly the trap that Maberry falls into with this novel. There is a great ...more
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, ha-tbr-2017
A lot of fun. I look forward to reading the other books in this series.
Scott Firestone
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
I read Deadlands: Ghostwalkers because I enjoy the LCG from AEG Games, and I thought I'd see how this connected, if at all. It doesn't, really, other than the silly "ghost rock" present here and in the card game. That's fine, I can still read it for what it is.

What it is is a Weird Western, with zombies thrown in because everything has to have zombies now. It was a fast, thrilling adventure with everything you'd expect from the genre.

But it fell short in two ways--one of which is major. First,
Jul 06, 2015 rated it liked it

Publisher: Tor/Forge

Publishing Date: September 2015

ISBN: 9780765375261

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2.6/5

Publisher Description: Welcome to the Deadlands, where steely-eyed gunfighters rub shoulders with mad scientists and dark, unnatural forces. Where the Great Quake of 1868 has shattered California into a labyrinth of sea-flooded caverns . . . and a mysterious substance called “ghost rock” fuels exotic steampunk inventions as well as plenty of bloodshed and flyin
Hurk Oarsman
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
I was sorely disappointed in this book.

I love the 'weird' Wild West setting of Deadlands and Maberry does a great job of setting it up. The introduction to the characters and the world they live in drew me in...and then everything drifted away like a tumbleweed through a desolate ghost town.

The characters are barely cardboard tokens moving where the plot tells them to go. Their motivations for even following the plot is questionable at best.

The western setting of the book, which is why I picked
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars

Review to follow!
Thomas Disbrow
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
My wife picked this up for me at our local library—I know, right?—because she knows how much I love the role-playing game (RPG) this book is (loosely) based on. This world, the setting, means a lot to me; naturally, I have some problems with how it was treated in this novel.

Let's start by discussing the RPG this novel is set in, Deadlands. When the game was first published, in 1996, the setting was the American West in the year 1876, 13 years after the Battle of Gettysburg, after The Reckoning.
Lynn Williams
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Just finished reading Deadlands by Jonathan Maberry. This is one super strange read! It’s a fantasy smorgasbord. Set in the weird wild west with a larger than life gun toting bad boy cowboy gun for hire who, with his almost Tonto-but-not sidekick, is about to come to the rescue of a sleepy backwater town where the inhabitants are being driven out by a greedy rail magnet type. I actually enjoyed this. It’s larger than life, totally hammed up and full of eve
Sachin Dev
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-good-reads
Confessions, I haven’t played the Deadlands RPG before nor did I have any clue as to what the game is about. So was a greenhorn thrust headlong into this fantastic world – a weird western landscape where the discovery of “ghost-rock” has accelerated technological innovations and at the same time, thinned the veil between worlds to allow for other-worldly ‘souls’ to invade the human realm. And man, did I love this pulpy adventure or what.
This unlikely juxtaposition of two to three different genr
David Caldwell
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A wandering gunslinger, haunted by his own past, joins forces with a Sioux scientist in protecting a small town form a diabolical madman bent on conquering the territory with his army of undead soldiers.

Truthfully, I don't expect much from novels based on games anymore. I have been burned by too many in the past. They tend to either read like a game session thinly turned into a story or a story that follows logic that only works in a video game. The worst is the stories that do neither the game
Oct 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: weird-west
I picked this book up because I love weird westerns, and I have always had a fascination of the Deadlands RPG. I had read a number of the Deadlands novellas before this, as well as a few other weird westerns, so I was ready to dive into another weird western. Unfortunately, I should have noticed the author before picking this up, and by the time I realized it was a Maberry work, I was half way through the novel.

Maberry is an amazing action scene writer. His combats, be they melee or ranged, are
Sep 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novel, fantasy, wild-west
This book was very kindly provided by Tor through Net Galley in return for an honest review.
Let's get this out of the way first -- I love Deadlands.

For those who aren't familiar with it, Deadlands is a tabletop RPG combining the Old West setting with the mad science of pulp novels and the creepy horror notes of Lovecraftian and zombie tales. In addition to its own system, has also been converted to a number of more common tabletops over the years. I personally have the original books an
Angela Crawford
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I received an ARC of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this book.

Deadlands: Ghostwalkers was my first foray into the Deadlands universe, but if this book is an example of the stories I'll find there I'll be going back soon and often! A combination of weird western and steampunk horror with a definite Lovecraftian feel, this novel had me hooked from the very beginning. The descriptions and action were so well written I felt
Hope Sloper
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Don't let the fact that this book is based on an RPG game discourage you from reading it. If you do, you will only be denying yourself an epic read.

While it is a bit of a long read, this book is NOT boring in any way, shape or form. There is plenty adventure, great dialog, and character development within the pages to keep you going until the very last page. I developed a deep fondness for the two main characters (Grey and Looks Away). They are strong characters, and can totally stand on their o
David King
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really like Mabberry's style. This is a Deadlands story so it's western horror but we find the author adding way more character background than one usually finds in such. You really care about the townsfolk good and bad. Evil is still evil but they once were human.
Craig 'KODIAKC' Black
enjoyed it I always liked the idea of the Deadlands looking forward to the next ones
John Bonfiglio
Was a fan of Deadlands, a weird western rpg and also a card game. Saw the book and read it. Was actually better than expected and will read more, as it looks like they have made a sequel.
Sep 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Come check out my Book Blog for more fun stuff and reviews!

A Copy of this Book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for a Honest Review.

The Official Book Blurb:
“From New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry, the first in a thrilling series of novels based on Deadlands, a hugely successful role-playing game (RPG) set in the Weird, Weird West.

Welcome to the Deadlands, where steely-eyed gunfighters rub shoulders with mad scientists and dark, unnatural forces. Where the Great Quake of 186
Shedrick Pittman-Hassett
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
From my blog:

Full-disclosure: My wife and I are currently playing a Deadlands campaign together. It’s great game with an interesting poker card-based mechanic and a setting bubbling over with the possibility of great stories. So when I saw that Jonathan Maberry (Dead of Night, Rot & Ruin, King of Plagues) had written a novel based in that world, I was there faster than a silver bullet.

Grey Torrance is a gunman who is constantly running from the literal ghosts of
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
In the ‘90s I became a pretty big fan of the Weird Western genre thanks to the Jonah Hex comic books that writer Joe R Lansdale and artist Tim Truman did for DC Comics Vertigo imprint and some of the short stories I read by one of my favorite pulp writers, Robert E Howard (creator of Conan), that mixed elements of the Western with horror and darker fantasy. The Weird Western was just a fun combination. It was like the literary equivalent of Psychobilly; a musical genre that melds punk and rockab ...more
Krisztal Rangel
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Since it was by Jonathan Maberry, I had to give it a shot. It had a little bit of a slower beginning that what I'm used to with his books, but the slow build is worth it, as things get really strange and take weird, fun turns. Towards the end it really picks up the pace and since it is a stand alone book, the ending was a really good mix of leaving you wanting more because you love the characters, but also not leaving unanswered questions.
Vernon Burt
Jun 26, 2018 rated it liked it
A decent book that hits that odd cadence where the character try to take a very silly environment seriously. We have your classic gunslinger with a past (with a better backstory than most), his double-ethnic sidekick, and a love interest with a complicated backstory. I feel there is a lot that could have been done with this setting, but instead it's a pretty standard villan taking over the world scheme. There are some good spots, but the whole thing is pretty goofy.
Aug 14, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was . . . different. The chapters were very, very short - but it kind of worked with the way the story seemed to play out. And really, for an entertaining read, you can't go wrong with cowboys, British Native Americans, zombies, necromancers, dinosaurs, steampunk and ghosts - all rolled into one!
Holly Booms Walsh
Haven't played the RPG that this is based on, but this was a weird mashup of steampunk, zombies, alternate history, and magic in a hokey Old West setting. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes very gory, always odd. Not entirely sure if I liked it or not, though Mayberry sure knows how to write a listenable tale.
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JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and five-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author, anthology editor, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. He was named one of the Today’s Top Ten Horror Writers. His books have been sold to more than two-dozen countries.

He writes in several genres. His young adult fiction includes ROT &a

Other books in the series

Deadlands (3 books)
  • Thunder Moon Rising (Deadlands, #2)
  • Boneyard (Deadlands, #3)
“Grey had maintained a long and passionate affair with pain. He knew all her secrets.” 0 likes
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