I enjoyed reading “Wanted Dead or Alive (Outlaws Book 1)” by Trent J. Black an excellent writer who, in my opinion, has written a fast-paced western with an exceeding amount of skill carving a highly eventful plot in a very entertaining, adventurous and action-packed story.
I thought the dialog was exceptionally good,
“We’re God-fearing men. We are on God’s calling to open a new church. We didn’t expect to have to fight our way to California. Bandits set upon us last week and robbed us of most of our guns. What guns we have now were tucked away at the time. They stole us blind. Ain’t got no money or valuables left. . .” his voice trailed off when he got a clear look at Blake’s face. “Poor as church mice now,” he added hurriedly.
“Well, you can consider yourselves lucky. A lot of bandits massacre the entire wagon train they rob,” Blake called back.”
I also liked the way the author steadily increased the tension and drama as the story progressed with high points and a low point and many unexpected and very tense twists and turns. I felt, the author described and set the scenes quickly and very realistically. As an example of the author’s skill, here is a brief excerpt,
“Blake closed his eyes. It seemed like he had just shut them when something knocked his hat off his face. His eyes snapped opened. He found himself staring up into the eyes of Lobo. Blake’s fingers inched toward his holster. He could feel the wolf’s hot breath against his face. Blake suddenly thought how funny it would be for the wolf to kill him instead of an outlaw.”
Throughout the story, there is bravery, courage, doing the best with what you have, and other very noble themes in this western story. The author tells it like it really is to a young reader who enjoys Westerns by pointing out the world isn’t always fair and isn’t always evil while reminding us unexpected events happen all the time and can be found anywhere and how to deal with them. I thought another underlying theme is the author telling the young reader not to ever give up hope and always try the best you can with what you have.
I found the story intriguing, enjoyable, and very entertaining written by a very talented author. Highly recommended!
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