Tuesday, 23 April 2013
The Good The Bad and the Infernal - Guy Adams
Let's just dive straight into the story. Every one hundred years or so, the town of Wormwood appears. Normally, no one would care, as towns comes and goes, much like the tide. What sets Wormwood apart from the myriad of other towns popping up like weed on the American frontier is that it is a gate to heaven. A phenomenon which attracts all sorts of attention, not always the right kind though.
We get the follow a delightful mix of characters on their quest to find Wormwood. A group of elderly monks, an eccentric inventor travelling with his daughter, and finally a group of circus freaks. Each with their own story to tell.
Great characters - the kind which runs up to you, shakes your hand before dragging you into the story with them - is Guy Adam's trademark. The Good The Bad and the Infernal is no different. His characters always feel so real, I wish I could hang out with them. They are just good lads really. Well, not the bad ones though, they are just creepy. Such a sense of realism is engaging, there is nothing more annoying than an out of character personality.
The other thing I have come to expect from Guy Adams is horror, and he does not disappoint this time either. It's not a fully blown gore-fest, instead you get a feeling for when something bad is about to happen, but he strings you along to build up the suspense even more, before unleashing a nasty surprise. I was pleasantly (scarily) reminded of The Restoration House, which has a similar scary feel to it without being a fully blown horror novel.
Combining steampunk and westerns works well. It's fitting to see technological wonders in the new frontier, where the gadgets are almost as dangerous as the setting. There is not an abundance, far from, of gadgets floating around, which is a good thing as too much would steal the show from the western aspect. Guy Adams captures that gritty, disheveled and grubby feel I associate with spaghetti westerns. Stubble, greasy hair, sweat and dirt.
The Good The Bad and the Infernal is an absolute stonker of a read, a perfect combination of steampunk, horror and dirt. I never get tired of saying this - and I know Guy Adams does not get tired of hearing it - Guy Adams is a great writer, and has once again written a must read.
The Good The Bad and the Infernal weighs in at 318 pages and is published by Solaris Books.