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A Demon in the Desert

(Grimluk, Demon Hunter #1)

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  85 ratings  ·  31 reviews

The Wastelands mining town of Greenreach Bluffs is deteriorating: with each passing day its inhabitants grow more fearful and paranoid, plagued by...something. They suffer nightmares and hallucinations, there are murders at the mine; the community is on the brink of madness and ruin and, as events escalate, realization dawns: the town has a dem
Kindle Edition, 155 pages
Published June 1st 2015 by Ashe Armstrong (first published May 28th 2015)
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3.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  85 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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The Shayne-Train
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it

This story was great! I'm really digging on stories that stretch and flex the boundaries of classic fantasy, and this book definitely delivers in that category.

How 'bout a 'grimdark' fantasy with all the Tolkien/D&D races present, but happening in a goddamned spaghetti-Western mining town? Check. Orcs with revolvers? Check. Elves with coal-smudged skin drinking whiskey in a saloon? Check. Demons and dragons and monsters and shot
Quentin Wallace
Jun 15, 2015 rated it liked it
I'd actually go 3.5 Stars on this one.

In the interest of full disclosure I will say that I backed this project on Kickstarter, and I think it was a sound investment. This was the first project I have ever backed, and to this point the only one.

This is Ashe's first novel, and it's a very promising first effort. I love the Grimluk character, and I love the setting. It's a post apocalyptic wasteland loaded with monsters and demons. This fits into the "Weird Western" genre, as it's basically a weste
Krista D.
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun weird wild west with demons and orcs.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Demon in the Desert is the fairly short first installment of the Grimluk, Demon Hunter series. It is largely self-contained and could be read as a standalone adventure. The writing is polished and fairly smooth, with believable dialogue and a likeable main character. The story takes place in a small town in the Wastelands, or Wastes, a large and desolate desert infested with strange creatures and spirits. The town is protected by a magical barrier, but has been plagued recently by a demon that ...more
C McDaniel
I wish GR allowed for "halves," but no matter how hard I click, it won't magically manifest that functionality. That said, please read this as if I'd rated with a half tacked-on.
I, too, contributed to the Kickstarter and have had the opportunity of the past couple of years (has it been that long?) to get to know the author just a little bit. I don't think that has too much bearing on my review, or if it does, it's not a large influence. I will also preface this with the fact that Westerns are
May 15, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-published
Actual rating 2.5 stars but I won'r round it up.

Ashe Armstrong’s Demon in the Desert is one of books I read as part of my r/fantasy 2017 Bingo Challenge. The story follows adventures of an orc gun – slinging demon hunter who, in first chapter of the book, presents himself to some misguided bandits in following way:

Name’s Grimluk and if you’d like to continue having use of your limbs, I’d advise you to back off.

Evidently Grimluk ia a badass. But he also has good manners – he tips his hat at the l
Grimluk takes a job from the bounty board, sending him to a small village beset by a demon that has been turning friends and neighbors against one another and generally F*&King things up.

The story does a lot of things well, I love the Grimluk character (I can totally see him sighing with annoyance as a column of undead come at him) and the high level story is great. However, in truth the execution wasn't quite there, during a long sequence of Grimluk interviewing the townsfolk one person's m
Jennifer (bunnyreads)
There have been a few exceptions, but on the whole I’ve never been a fan of books with talking horses, cats, dogs, etc, so I wasn’t sure how I would feel about a story with an Orc as the main protagonist. I know, he’s not technically an animal, but you get gist of what I mean and you can see why I was surprised to like this as much as I did.

Grimluk, is all those old school western heroes that I loved so much as a kid, all rolled up in one. He a gentleman with manners, tips his hat at the ladie
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My initial impression of this book was that it was exactly what it looked like - a fantasy version of a Sergio Leone Western. Given that I love Westerns, this is not a bad thing, and it's a decent shorthand way to describe the book.

The plot of the story is pretty straightforward - a demon is stirrin' up trouble in a mining town, and Grimluk the orc demon hunter is hired to deal with it. He deals with the townsfolk, some more friendly then others. He investigates, following the thread of what he
Rachel Sharp
Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't know that I wanted a fantasy western, but I did. I really, really did.
The first few pages are a little rough, but they're the squeaky gate to a perfectly paced, unique, and overall well-constructed story that's entertaining as hell. It may have some minor flaws (occasional typo or misused word), but the bottom line is, I did not care. That's how good the story was.

Bonus points:
-Awesome female characters (always on my wishlist)
-Seamless genre meld (not easy)
-You will not see the dragon u
Being an original backer for this book in 2014, I was very interested in reading the final product. Throughout the campaign Ashe provided snippets of what to expect from the book. He even obliged to my ‘fight scene’ suggestion.

He even had the first chapter up for us to read. When I first read a sample from ‘A Demon in the Desert’ I was very impressed with how imaginative and descriptive it was. Also the fantasy mixed with a Wild West theme was completely new to me. I had no idea such a sub-genre
Felipe Soares
The book had a pretty rough start and middle, but to the end it becomes a very fun pulp story. Sometimes the story felt directionless, with things happening without really advancing the plot, but at the end almost of all the things presented ended up being relevant. The prose was a bit weak, with too much repetition of the character's names. The protagonist was likeable and interesting, being a Hellboyish "big scary guy with enormous gun that is actually very nice once you know him". All the act ...more
Sep 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would--it's not normally the type of book that I'd pick up off the shelf if I were browsing a bookstore (I'd actually probably rate it 3.5 stars to be honest). I'm not into western's and I'm not into orcs, but somehow this worked for me. I think it started off a little weak but as it went on it really improved for me. The character of Grimluk was easy to like and want to follow on further adventures. One thing I really enjoyed was the mix of genres- ...more
Stephanie Embry
This debut novel had several good things going for it. The premise drew me in: a demon-fighting orc in a DnD-populated American West. Sign me up for that, it sounds great. I went in hoping for something like a spaghetti western LoTR, and in ways it did meet that.
A wild west themed game of DnD is a pretty good way to describe this book, and while it’s an entertaining read, it feels like something that would be a lot more fun if you were actually playing that game.

Overall: It’s an interesting idea
3.5/5 stars. This was the first self-published book I've read and I definitely wasn't disappointed. It was a lot of fun; for me it had that RPG side quest feel that's hard to find even in fantasy books plus mixed in with a bit of supernatural mystery. Though they're different in many ways, the vibe reminded me also of The Last Wish which isn't something I've really been able to find in any other books that I can recall. Loved the sense of humour too. Definitely recommend, especially for folks wh ...more
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is just... It's just so much fun. And there's also suspense. And also some drama? But it's fun drama? Is fun drama even a thing? Am I just going insane? Possibly.

Western, fantasy, orcs, and fun. This is exactly my cup of tea.
Courtney Cantrell
Aug 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ashe Armstrong's first novel, A Demon in the Desert, has a lot in store for the reader of Weird Westerns. In casting the main character as an orc instead of a more traditional protagonist (human, elf, etc.), Armstrong promises a departure from same-old same-old fantasy, and he delivers on that promise. Elves, the zombie-like undead, dwarves, vampires -- magical creatures galore populate this Western. The climax offers a surprise appearance by a fantasy creature I did not expect, and Armstrong's ...more
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one's been in my "to read" pile for way too long and I regret taking as long as I did to read it.
It kept me sane and happy during a long day of flying and layovers.
The story isn't anything revolutionary, but it doesn't need to be. It's fun and fast enough, and with just the right mix of different genre elements that I came away satisfied.
This is one of those books that makes me love Fantasy. Especially fantasy that isn't afraid to bend the rules. Because of course orcs are badass, revolver
Marcus Sherman
I have very mixed feelings about this work. The concept is great, but the execution is fairly lacking. I love the character of Grimluk, but I want to see him actually sling guns... You know, being a gunslinger and all.
It is sorely in need of editing; many typographical and spelling/grammar errors abound.
It feels like there needs to be more world-building, more lore about how these traditional fantasy races ended up in a western desert setting. A lot of it just feels like a cardboard western bac
Kyra Halland
Move over, Clint Eastwood, there's a new gunslinger in town, and he's an orc. Yes, a gunslinging orc; what more do I need to say? Well, I'll say this too - Grimluk is a great character. A true gentleman, good with children, but completely badass when facing down bandits, zombies, corrupted officials, and demons. Oh, and dragons. This book takes all the familiar fantasy characters - orcs, elves, halfings (a hobbit by any other name) and plops them down in a world inspired by the Old West. A fun, ...more
Danielle Casale
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Interesting mashup

I liked the mix of elements. I found the modern names and dialogue a little off putting at first, but hey, if you can stick an Orc demon hunter in a western, you're kinda off the wall enough to do what you like with other elements too. Fun book from a promising fantasy author.
From the back cover: The wasteland mining town of Greenreach Bluffs is deteriorating: with each passing day its inhabitants grow more fearful and paranoid, plagued by…something. They suffer nightmares and hallucinations, there are murders at the mine; the community is on the brink of madness and ruin.

As events escalate, realisation dawns: the town has a demon problem. Two attempts at hunting it down fail, Greenreach Bluffs is at breaking point…and then Grimluk the orc strides in out of the wast
Radu Anca
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greenskins
Reading, watching or playing fantasy anything is my main means of getting rid of stress, so I bought this book during a time where I was very interrested in everything with an orc or goblin theme. That being said, western/fantasy mash-ups never worked for me, in the few books of this type that I have read. So, for personal enjoyment I would give it 3 stars, but since the book is otherwise not bad, I'll make it a four in the rating.
The MC is the gruffy but kind type we all know and love, there i
Eric Dicarlo
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
A solid, pulpy adventure!

Typically, I don't really go for stories like this. It always seems that, when the guns start firing or the swords start swinging, the author loses track of the action they've built up to for the entire book.

This is NOT the case with Armstrong's Grimluk. His action scenes hold together SO well, and that level of craftsmanship is all throughout the story! Rather that relying on a super cool premise (a demon hunting orc), he envelopes it with fun characters, fun conflicts
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(I rated this 3.5/5 stars!)

The weird western subgenre has recently become a massive special interest of mine and this definitely scratched that itch in a satisfying way. There's not much I can say here that hasn't already been said by other reviewers: bit of a slow middle, would appreciate a lot more world-building, extremely likeable protagonist, etc.

All in all, an enjoyable start to a series! I'll definitely be reading more of Grimluk's adventures and anticipating more from this author in the
Jan 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun little read, with a few minor editing issues. I really enjoyed Armstrong's writing style, keeping fairly clear pictures of the town in my head as I read. The small town mystery aspect of it all worked for me and the action scenes were well done. If I had a complaint, I'd say the ending felt a bit abrupt.

A solid debut novel. I'll check out the sequel in time, as I liked Grimluk and want to see where his next adventure leads.
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good times!

Bought this book ages ago and read it in short bursts. It’s telling of the quality that I could take long breaks from it and not feel lost. Great action, characters, characterizations, and a dynamite climax. Highly recommended for fans of both fantasy and western stories.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grimluk is an Orc. He's also a gunslinging demon-hunter with a heart of gold. He's nice to animals and small children.

If you just happen to like all of the above, this book is for you. Even if you don't like them, you should read this book, just because it's good.
James Singh
Apr 07, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is just bad, almost amateurish writing.No other way to say it' Seems like a badly written of Supernatural
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Dark Western

A very grim western that doesn’t match the brightness of the books cover which isn’t bad. Was trying to figure out what made the Demon Hunter better equipped to deal with demons then the local mage and really don’t know if I ever got it. But he was strong as heck and determined so maybe that was a byproduct of his training.

Favorite Line: N/A
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I grew up watching and reading about adventures and having horrible nightmares. That last part may not seem relevant, but it is. I liked monsters and cryptids and the paranormal and scary things in general but I also liked them while hiding under the covers. I was also huge into science and learning. I was, shocking as it might sound, a Nerd. Eventually, nightmares were normal, I embraced being 2 ...more

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Grimluk, Demon Hunter (3 books)
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“Have you ever seen a chicken filled with a manifestation of evil?"

Trilgor shook his head. "Can't say I have."

"It's an evil most fowl.”
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