My friend and fellow literary citizen Jackson Eflin already reviewed this book, and you should check out what he has to say about it. He goes into more detail on the characters, and he’s the reason I know that this book exists. It had to go through several of his friends (who, like me, only had to hear the title before we begged to borrow it) before it came to me.
The Six-Gun Tarot by R.S. Belcher is like the heavenly bits of Supernatural ran into Stephen King’s Desperation at the start of a zombie apocalypse in 1800s Nevada. Seriously.
It’s the story of a dark force older than God Himself that was chained away when God created the earth, and it kind of wants out now.
This new world was being built upon conflict and death. He feared such a foundation would poison the entire work. And the thing, the creature that was to be entombed at its heart, would squat in the darkness, an undying witness to the lengths to which ambition would reach. …it would seethe, it would hate, and it would remember who put it there. But it would never, never die.
We get the story from several perspectives. There’s the angel who was charged with guarding the creature, a boy running from his past and carrying a magical item he doesn’t understand, a seemingly immortal sheriff, his deputy who’s nickname – Mutt – works on a few levels, the gay Mormon mayor, and a badass woman descended from Lilith, to name a few. I’ve mentioned in other reviews that multiple POVs like this can get muddled and confusing, but I feel like it really works here. I was invested in every character and interested in them.
All of these different magics and mythos could also easily get murky. There’s God, Lilith, Lucifer, angels, Mormons, a Lovecraftian elder god, his zombie-like infected followers, Chinese religion and myths, Native American religion and myths, not to mention some mad science. That shouldn’t necessarily all work together, but it does. What it comes down to is that all of it’s real. The faith that people have in their beliefs are what make them powerful.
The only thing keeping me from giving it 5 stars is that occasionally the writing felt a little awkward to me and I was a little over halfway through before I was well and truly hooked. Still, I’m going to say it’s totally worth putting on your to-read list.