A captivating tale that brings to life the sounds, smells, and tastes of the old West…
Unique in style and delivery, Shellenbergar’s first installment in the Elijah Pike series brilliantly reflects the color and adventure of the wild, wild West with its fascinating blend of sharply defined characters, wit and insight, and sharp dialogue. When Elijah Pike, the experienced solider and the best of bounty hunters, is contacted by an old friend to hunt down a band of outlaws wanted in gold robbery, he has his reservations but after learning the fact that his sister’s killer is one of the outlaws, Elijah sets on the trail of the menacing looters. But what he comes across is something far beyond his imagination: a bigger conspiracy is at work that puts Elijah in the path of powerful conspirators. The major portion of the narrative takes Elijah on the trail of a higher-level conspiracy, and Shellenbergar spreads himself a bit thin by covering the national espionage plot rather than focusing exclusively on Elijah’s journey of revenge. However, the wild, wild West background bursting with fascinating atmosphere of the era outshines the conventional conspiracy plot. Shellenbergar’s meticulous research and lively storytelling will have readers savoring the thrilling details of cowboy life. The characters are wonderfully fleshed out and leave lasting impression on readers’ minds: Elijah is this one-man-army, who is the fastest shooter and kills without remorse but a tender soul underneath; readers will appreciate the warmth, compassion, and tenderness that his character exudes; Blue (Elijah’s horse) is a thoroughly fleshed-out character, an individual personality in itself. There’s a dash of the chaos and drama of romantic love in Elijah’s story, and it’s through Elijah’s love story that Shellenbergar examines the issues of alienation and personal mortality, conveying the spirit of his protagonist who is at once hopeful but still very much aware of his own brittle morality. A hefty dose of quicksilver friendship, moral dilemma, and redemption mixed with usual genre trope: daring escapades, ruthless killings, revenge, action, mystery, and suspense keep the reader thoroughly invested in the novel. Shellenbergar takes a classic western setup and revives it with strong writing, tight plotting, fine characterizations, swift pacing, and a vivid sense of place. This entertaining tale of revenge, random violence, and idealism in the old West will delight lovers of western fiction.
(Elijah Pike Book 1)
By Mike Shellenbergar
Pub date May 29, 2020
Price $3.03 (USD) Kindle edition, $9.99 paperback
Categories: Action and Thrillers