The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed

Sorry for the quote in the title, but I found it fitting. Why Stephen King’s quotes, though? After all, I did mention I didn’t like his writing. I still don’t 😛 but these stories I picked up seem to be similar. Well, at least, the first one.

Today I’ll present you with two stories by Tim Lebbon.

Deadman's HandDeadman’s Hand (Assassin #1) by Tim Lebbon

My rating: star-full-iconstar-full-iconstar-half-full-iconstar-empty-iconstar-empty-icon

Goodreads | Amazon

Goodreads blurb: 

Doug is a just a normal guy. He lives in Deadwood, runs a store, and does his best to keep away from trouble when it rides into town. But when trouble comes looking for him – in the shape of a one-eyed, wounded gunfighter called Gabriel – Doug is drawn into his skewed world. Because Gabriel is here to find and kill Temple, a man he says is much more than a man. He’s a demon. A demon with a particular mission in mind.
Deadwood is about to get lively.

I’m not that much into westerns. I do have one that I really liked, Shane
Jack Schaefer but other than that one all of the few westerns I’ve read were either boring or simply not good.

This one wasn’t boring. It might not be filled with action, but it reads rather well. The ending rather surprised me, especially since I knew there will be a second story. What brought me down was the brutality of the world presented there. Yes, it fitted, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Pieces of HatePieces of Hate (Assassin #2) by Tim Lebbon

My rating: star-full-iconstar-full-iconstar-empty-iconstar-empty-icon

Goodreads | Amazon

Goodreads blurb:

For centuries Gabriel has been pursuing the assassin Temple, part-demon, part-man, seeking revenge for the slaughter of his family. Now he has picked up Temple’s scent again, and the Caribbean is set to become their latest battleground. But this sea is already red with the blood of pirates, and in such a period of turmoil and death the outcome of any fight is far from certain.

This is the story I signed up for. You know – pirates :D. And if this one was the only one I’ve read I might’ve had a better opinion of these stories. Then again, maybe not.

Pieces of Hate shows you the beginnings of Gabriel’s story. How he became immortal. How he became a revenge-fueled hunter. Wherever Temple goes, Gabriel will follow. And to find him he’ll use whatever means necessary. His old wounds show him the way – the closer he gets, the more they hurt.

In this rather short story, the author used a sentence “snake in his/her/their eyes” several times. After a while, I really had enough of it. It seems the further the story went, the more people had snakes in their eyes and some of them for no reason. At first, I thought it was something like an evil look, but I’m guessing it means way more.

I also couldn’t find myself liking the characters. Any of them. I know this wasn’t really the type of story where you do like them, but I was actually glad it all ended.

One thing I have to admire in Tim Lebbon, he can surely create a mood. He presented us with the world that was perfect for this story. All very real, brutal, dirty. People’s reactions were fitting to the situations, very natural. Even though these are stories about an immortal and a demon, they feel as if they might’ve really happened.

Pieces of HateAs a bonus, here’s the cover of the second book that tempted me to read it. Then I read the description and I thought “I want it!”. Nice one, right? Way better than the original. But to tell you the truth – the original fits better to these stories.

To sum it up

Somehow I couldn’t find myself liking these stories. They were rather well written and I did like the feel of the world, all brutal and dirty and very realistic, but the first story was just a bit too similar to the Gunslinger by King which I simply couldn’t get through. I think this one might find some fans, I’m rather curious to see how the story will continue, but I don’t think I’ll read the next one.

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

TV-Kitty-icon2How about you, have you read it? Did you like it?
Or maybe you’re going to read it?


5 thoughts on “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed

  1. Pingback: Monthly summary – March ’16 – Magic of books

  2. I haven’t finished a western since ‘Lonesome Dove’, which was great, not because it won a Pulitzer prize but because it was such a good story. They seem to be rather out of fashion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. [adding to my TBR list]

      if the story’s good the fashion shouldn’t matter, I think this genre is simply underappreciated. If there’s too little western stories, how can people start loving them again?


  3. I was thinking I’d rate these probably 3/3.5. I didn’t love them but I thought they were well written. I’m not a lover of short stories as a rule and I think had I known there were two books involved (both short) and another due out I might have waited to read the set. As it is I will probably carry on out of curiosity.
    I haven’t read Gunslinger so I can’t compare but I admit that these were particularly brutal and I wouldn’t have minded them being a little less so – although I suppose they certainly had an impact!
    Lynn 😀


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