Book Review: Melinda West: Monster Gunslinger by K.C. Grifant

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Title: Melinda West: Monster Gunslinger

Author: K.C. Grifant 

Release date: February 2nd, 2023

Truthfully, when K.C. Grifant emailed me, I initially replied that I would love to review it – but – I wouldn’t get to it for a few weeks, as I was deep into reading four other books. Well, then I saw the cover. And read the synopsis. And much like my childhood excitement for cowboys and monsters, I knew that deep within my reading brain, I couldn’t put this off any longer.

What I liked: The reality of this book is that what you see is exactly what you get. This is a western book with monsters. If, you as a reader, are not intrigued by this one or excited by that premise, this isn’t a book for you. For the rest of us – those who love these wacky mashups of giant beasts battling gun-wielding, horse-back riding characters – this is EXACTLY the book for you.

The story follows Melinda West, back in town for only a short time, when they discover its become overrun with monsters and they offer their services to exterminate the creatures. We get a ton of action, a ton of many-legged splattered scenes and throughout, we root for Melinda and her partner, Lance.

Grifant writes with a deft hand, giving us compulsive prose and an easy feeling for her storytelling. I found I was utterly shocked at how much book I was devouring and how quickly – and if you know me, you know I read fast already – such is the way this book is laid out.

The other thing I’ll note – and it’s definitely not a negative – while this is a ‘serious’ book, it doesn’t take itself overly seriously, if that makes sense. We get a number of themes throughout, and a lot of tension and anxiety laid into the narrative, but this one never gets depressive or despondent, which sets it apart from a lot of the current crop of Splatter-Westerns we see on the market.

What I didn’t like: Truly minor, but at the very beginning, the reader is expected to just believe that Melinda is this fierce gunslinger. We learn more about her as we go on, but for a new-to-me character, I think some initial backstory peppered into the opening would’ve showcased her more to the reader and it would’ve been easier to accept how deft she is.

Why you should buy this: Well, as I said, if you get ramped up when you see cowboys and monsters, then there you go. Case closed. Preorder it now and thank me later. If you’re on the fence, a reader kind of intrigued by this subgenre, then just know that Grifant is a powerfully imaginative author who paints cinematic pictures easily with her descriptions and will make you feel the dust and smell the gunpowder time and time again.

Great stuff.

5/5

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