17 December 2019

Review || Beasts of Babylon by E.A. Copen



Gunslinger Anastasia Thorne won’t stay dead.

Ten years ago, monsters murdered Anastasia and her children. Now, she’s back to hunt down the creatures responsible. She knows their names, their faces, and even where they’re hiding.

There’s just one problem. No one in town believes her.

After a botched bank robbery, Anastasia finds herself on the wrong side of the law, riding into the mountains in search of vengeance, notorious outlaw, Jesse Gallagher, at her side.

With the sheriff of Babylon hot on their trail, ghouls on their heels, and werewolves and skin stealing monsters in the mountains, Jesse and Anastasia quickly find out they’re outgunned and in for a long night.

It’s going to take more than silver bullets to put these monsters down.


 



I picked up Beasts of Babylon on a whim. I'd seen the cover come across the "you may like" page a couple of times and I thought since it was Kindle Unlimited... well, why not? Boy, am I glad I did.

For some reason, I really enjoy the Horror Western (or Weird Western) genre, which is odd because I'm not really a big western person. When it comes to movies though, I'm a huge fan. Bone Tomahawk is one of my favorites, as is Dead Birds and The Burrowers. There's just something about the grit and forlorn landscapes of the primitive western setting combined with the dread of horror. Needless to say, horror westerns are few and far between. And well done novels? Well, almost non-existent.I went into Beasts of Babylon not expecting much and it blew me out of the water. 

Anastasia Thorne rides back into town to collect a bounty on a ghoul, which is odd enough but it's not the ghoul that has people giving her a wide berth. No, you see Ana died 10 years ago in a fire, but some things just won't stay dead. After being killed in a fire, Ana finds herself standing next to her grave that is filled with burning coals. She's seen the faces of those that killed her and she has revenge on her mind. Her husband, the town's sheriff, who obviously still cares for her, thinks that dead should just stay dead. He doesn't really even claim her as his wife anymore, stating that he buried his wife. He's not willing to help her with her burning revenge, so she finds some men on the wrong side of the law that will, even if they are only doing it for the money. Of course, when she rides up and steals the man that was being strung up for his crimes, that means the sheriff husband-that-was now has to track down his reanimated dead outlaw wife and her posse and try to bring them to justice. 


What I liked about Anastasia was that dying didn't suddenly make her a bad ass. She was the one that held down the ranch with her brothers. She was one tough chick BEFORE. She didn't suddenly wake up with superpowers, though the "undying" part does make for a pretty good show. Add in some Native American and Norse mythology and a beautiful web winged horse and this dark western mashup made for an engrossing read.  

I think maybe there’s something you don’t understand about a woman like Anastasia Thorne.” The monster scowled. “Oh? And what’s that?” “You don’t get to fuck her,” Christian said, narrowing his eyes. “She fucks you.”

All I know is that when I turned the last page, I immediately went online looking for book number two and may have groaned out loud when I realized that there was no continuation of Ana's story. I'll definitely pick up another one of the author's books but I don't know that I could possibly love them like I did Beasts of Babylon. Everything from the setting to the characters was gritty, dark, and wonderful. 


Are there any horror westerns that you love? 

I'd love to hear recommendations if you have any!