Wednesday, June 6, 2018

You Die When You Die (West of West #1)You Die When You Die by Angus Watson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From a title like this, I almost expected a thorough fantasy grimdark bloodfest that wouldn't stop until the main character died in a spectacularly glorious fashion.

Okay. So I was wrong.

But that doesn't mean that the novel didn't have its fair share of a ton of bloody action and gratuitous death. It did! It just happened to have a bunch of funny moments, clever internal dialogue, and a generally slow-moving grind through many various American Indian tribes roughly a thousand years ago.

And let's not forget the mushroom people. They're called that because they have skin like mushrooms. And they are supposed to smell as bad. Those are the descendants of Vikings. :)

What we've got here are vague prophesies of the white man killing everything, the destruction of the Hard Work clan, and a long and varied chase as the dominant clan kills everyone in their path to wipe out the mushroom folk.

But what about the magic?

It's not heavy, but it is familiar. Totem animals and the eating of special flesh for a big boost. Animal talking. Prophesies. They all have rules and it basically gives a lot of spice to the utter escapism of this kind of book.

People are people. The point is not the technology, but what people do with each other. For all that, I had a pretty fine time. :)

I was reminded, offhand, of Kevin Hearne's Seven Kennings and some of Adrian Tchaikovsky's Tiger and the Wolf, as well as a bit of John Gwynne. If you like any of these authors, I'm certain you'll have a grand time with this one, too. :)

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