Review of “The Adventures of Kyle McGerrt: Hunt for the Ghoulish Bartender”, by Charles Day

 

charles day2

The old Indian chief had all good, vengeful intentions in mind when he cursed Bart Shires with his dying breath.

However, instead of creating a mindless monster that would eliminate its own race, Bart becomes even worse: an intelligent ghoul that can propagate and run an entire army of his own. And his tastes go beyond the people of European descent–ol’ Bart hates everyone, except as unwilling dinner guests. From a gang of heartless outlaws to a gentle Baptist preacher, he does not discriminate when it comes to killing and destroying.

The only man he fears, the only rival that is untouchable, is a 16-year-old kid by the name of Kyle McGertt. And that boy is fixin’ to ride into town in the very near future. Protected by one-half of a special gold medallion, Kyle is safe, as long as it is around his neck.

Ghoul or good guy—who will it be? Much rides on each one’s cleverness—and who has the medallion in the end.

 

Charles Day has invented a page-turner here. A very nice twist on the traditional Western novel, he introduces characters that are straight out of the 1800s, but mixes in a bit of magic as well. The descriptions are well-written; the reader can almost smell the whiskey and sweat, the dust and the heat, of this remote Western town. The characters are fairly typical Western-novel inhabitants, and as in many Westerns, they are background for the main characters. Yet the reader can definitely cheer the hero and curse the villain—there is no doubt who is who. In many ways, this book is very much like a 19th-century version of the TV show Grimm, where an officer of the law finds himself fighting creatures that had heretofore been considered mythical.

What I really liked was the introduction of the little girl, Mary. She seems the innocent little six-year-old orphan, but there is just the right amount of tension, where she might be something other than her outward appearance.

Perhaps we will find out more about her, and see where she fits into the game, when Mr. Day’s next book in the series, Curse of the Earth Monster, is released.

I for one am looking forward to it.

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