Series: Reeferpunk #1
Pages: 357, ebook
Published: July 2011
Review by Lis
The year is 1918. Chancho Villarreal and his Native American friends, Muddy and Nena, live a quiet life on their goat ranch and marijuana farm north of Del Rio, Texas. But when ghosts from Chancho’s revolutionary past combine with local panic over stories of the demon El Chupacabra, the three friends inadvertently draw the attention of Texas Ranger, T.J. McCutchen.
McCutchen has made it his personal crusade to prevent the little known intoxicant, marijuana, from corrupting his borderlands, despite the dark secret that he depends on its medicinal properties to control his seizures. When he discovers the remains of the marijuana field his worst fears are confirmed — the drug is being grown in Texas soil.
To stay ahead of McCutchen’s brutal brand of justice Chancho, Muddy and Nena, are forced to pack up all their worldly possessions, including their marijuana harvest and herd of goats. What follows is an action-packed ride across the wilds of a weird-west, dieselpunk Texas haunted by rumors of El Chupacabras behind every bush.
Well hell… this was something different alright and that coming from the girl who recently read the most disturbing book in my reading career! Not only does this author take elements we don’t often get to see, he creates a unique story with them too. I have to admit that I was browsing a bookstore; I would never have picked this up. That’s the beauty of review books, you read stories you’d normally never read. Sometimes that’s a bad thing, but in this case it’s good.
This story is about Chancho, a Mexican, Nena, his wife and Kickapoo Native American and Muddy an African American man. They are a sort of family together and own a marihuana farm along with goats. The antagonist in this story – depending on the way you see it – is Texas Ranger T.J. McCutchen. He is the law and very strict about the rules. Even if he bends them a little for himself. Can you guess where this is going?
No you can’t! Trust me. Every time I thought I had a grasp on the story something else happens. At time I found it a bit preposterous and well weird, but it fit the story. I especially loved the Diesel Punk elements, but that’s an acquired taste.
It’s an action packed story and that’s where the strength lies. The characters are also not half bad, but they are an acquired taste and you have to like them! Especially Chancho and McCutchen. They all have a certain amount of wickedness to them and never quite are what they seem.
It’s hard to really explain this book, because it was so different, yet likable. I found myself enjoying the story and if you really want to know about this story, all I can tell you is to pick it up for yourself!