Book Review: Melinda West: Monster Gunslinger By KC Grifant
Weird monsters in the Old West – and sparkling heroine – make a great debut novel!
California author KC Grifant displays her penchant for horror, science fiction, fantasy, and weird western stories in this new novel MELINDA WEST: MONSTER GUNSLINGER – her debut. Her stories and thoughts have been widely displayed in both magazines and short story collections, and she is the co-founder of the Horror Writers Association, San Diego chapter, Her mastery for creating vivid and near realistic visions of the bizarre is evident as she opens this story: ‘Melinda never missed, not in her twenty-eight years of gunslinging. But then again, she never dealt with giant, flying scorpions before. She aimed at the two shapes above a cactus several hundred feet away, fired, and watched as one of the bodies dropped. Aside from being bigger than any insect on this earth ought to be, the scorpions’ six back legs were webbed, giving them the oh-so-handy ability to become airborne. A calf-sized one flew through the air with its green-tipped tail poised directly toward her head…’ The ability to admix wit with horror is a gift Grifant owns!
Unlike most novels that bring the Old West back into our view, Grifant inserts the bizarre, and in doing so creates a story that is fascinating and irresistible, condensed as follows: ‘Sharpshooter Melinda West, 29, has encountered more than her share of supernatural creatures after a monster infection killed her mother. Now, Melinda and her charismatic partner, Lance, offer their exterminating services to desperate towns, fighting everything from giant flying scorpions to psychic bugs. But when they accidentally release a demon, they must track a dangerous outlaw across treacherous lands and battle a menagerie of creatures—all before an army of soul-devouring monsters descend on Earth.’
The mood for this fast reading book (just over 200 pages) is well established by the books artwork on the cover, courtesy of artist Luke Spooner. But it is the joy of reading a ‘weird Western’ with a female protagonist that sends this debut novel into the realm of first class debut releases. Highly recommended.