Shotgun Arcana by R. S. Belcher is the sequel to the
first book in the series, The
Six-Gun Tarot. Mutt, Jim, Sheriff Highfather, and company are back in this
wild west fantasy tale. In this read, the Deputies and the Sheriff face off
against a rogue angel and his army of serial killing cannibal cultists who are searching
for a magical skull. If they can get the skull it means the end of all life on
Earth as well as every other word. If
the heroes of Golgotha-- the Deputies and the Sheriff along with a few others--
fail to stop the cult, no one will survive.
tale is told slightly different as each chapter from the perspective of the
hero is followed by a backstory chapter focused on one of the thirty-two cultists.
Each of the flashback chapter is used to explain the backstory of the cultist
and why this horrible person needs to be killed. This book also includes
several flashbacks from Golgotha local angel who now goes by the name Bick. Each
one of those flashbacks is its own chapter as well. Somewhere more than a third
of the book is therefore a flashback of one type pr another.
Shotgun Arcana is set a year after the events in The Six-Gun Tarot.
This means those events and what has happened these past twelve months have further
changed these characters. For example, Jim has gained confidence and has fully
embraced his inheritance of the magical eye and is seeking to become the master
of it. Another example is the fact that Bick no longer has faith in the
goodness of men and seeks to control the citizens of Golgotha. There are many other
changes which should be saved for readers and not revealed here.
banter is as great as ever as they discuss and reference events that happened outside
of this book. One example is where folks had to be evacuated after giant
spiders came up the drains into bathtubs in tremendous numbers. When an event
happens in this book that results in many people being forced to leave a
building, one of the people starts screaming about hoping it is not giant spiders
that I loved about the first book is included once again in this series that
absolutely must be read in order. Shotgun
Arcana is good, but there are a lot of plot points that are obviously
included only to create the next book in the series. They serve no purpose in
this book. That was a bit annoying as much of this book is used to create that third
book titled, The Queen of Swords.
R. S. Belcher
Tom Doherty Associates (Tor)
Hardback (also available in digital and paperback formats)
reading copy came from the Downtown Branch of the Dallas Public Library System.
A. Tipple © 2020