A Dead God’s Wrath
By: Rusty Webb
In 1895, deep in the Southeastern U.S., a sleepy little town is home to one of the most violent criminal families in the country. When Thomas O’Brien witnesses the brutal murder of his best friend and the kidnapping of his beloved Mary at the hands of the O’Malley brothers he thinks things can’t possibly get any worse.
But when a mysterious stranger shows up to help, Thomas begins to suspect this man is more than he seems. This stranger pledges to help bring Mary safely back from the O’Malley brothers, no matter the cost.
Tom’s real nightmare is about to begin.
At just under 10,000 words, A Dead God’s Wrath is a Science Fiction novelette.
In the year 1895, Thomas O’Brien is a young man caught up with the wrong “people” and trying to make sense of things going on around him. His best friend, Nate, secretly borrows money from the O’Malley brothers to help their feed store. When he doesn’t pay it back, they are attacked. The woman Thomas loves, Mary, is kidnapped by the evil group of brothers.
I found this story to be a unique and interesting read because it blends science fiction with a western setting. Here is another author who has great skill with description and word usage that puts the reader right into the era. He also hooked me into caring about Mary, which upped the tension of Thomas’ fight to save her from the dreaded O’Malley brothers. At the same time, he struggles to comprehend the supernatural things happening around him.
I enjoyed the way the author slowly brought in hints that this is not an ordinary brush with criminals. About halfway through, I couldn’t put it down. This is a character story that asks the question “How does a man of the late 1800’s cope with the extraordinary and possibility alien happenings?” He’s a man who has never even seen a television, but at best has only read one or two early science fiction stories. How does he comprehend these happenings?
As the story rolls along, questions come up about Mary and her friend Charles who helps them. Charles is the mysterious man on the cover. I can’t say too much about this without causing a spoiler, but some of the questions I had were only answered vaguely at the conclusion. I would’ve liked to see a few more explanations – perhaps by switching to Mary’s viewpoint.
However, I still found the story intriguing and enjoyable. Since it’s a novelette, it maintains a focus on what Thomas considers to be the most important, despite his confusion and while the ending didn’t answer all the questions, it was also somewhat inspirational. I highly recommend this novelette.
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