Mark's Reviews > Bloody Chester

Bloody Chester by J.T. Petty
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"'I'm gonna burn this town to the ground.'

'Even the church?'

'If it's made of wood.'

'A painful death, but worth the salvation.'"

Chester Kates, cruelly nicknamed "Lady Kates," is a teenager in the Old West, along the developing path of the Union Pacific railroad. He is pulled from a life filled with fighting and scraping for food by a railroad officer, who commissions Chester to travel to Whale, the next town along the rail's expanding line, and burn it to the ground to clear way for the railroad. Once he arrives at the town, which everyone had assumed was abandoned, Chester finds a handful of survivors of a mysterious plague that killed off everyone else in Whale. And the survivors will not leave, and the talk of a lost treasure only piques Chester's interest. Chester's questionable morals are further tested as he decides how he will handle these new and mysterious developments.

This was a strange GN to read - the plot took some time to tighten up, and it's hard to find much to relate to, especially in the characters, none of whom are particularly pleasant. The artwork, however, is outstanding, and helps move the story along, once it gets moving. There are some instances of uncomfortable (yet period-appropriate) language, which will trouble some readers, and the violence and aftereffects of the plague are not glossed over at all. But the mix of horror, mystery and Western hooked me.

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