Book Review: Deadlands: Boneyard
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Deadlands: Boneyard
Deadlands Series Book 3
Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook
By Seanan McGuire
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: October 17, 2017

Halloween is my favorite holiday. Now, this technically has not a thing to do with Deadlands: Boneyard, but as it was released right before my favorite day, it seems fitting that I share that with you. The creepy and scary books all tend to drop around this time, but few have an element of fantasy mixed into the suspense and horror. With this particular novel, you get it all. Read on and I will try to satisfy your curiosity, one and all! Welcome, gentle folk, to the story of the Blackstone Family Circus and Traveling Wonder Show!

I thank you for allowing me to be your guide into the Weird West, as seen through the eyes of our protagonist, Miss Annie Pearl. But wait, she is anything but a damsel in distress! No siree bob, Miss Annie is a single mother with a very special gift. As the caretaker of the oddities for the troupe, she is fearless in their protection, feeding, and care. Seeing everyone and everything as viable parts of the universe, she shoulders a responsibility few would dare! From her “nibblers” to the “corn stalker,” she treats them all with respect.

And though she is the mistress of the monsters to some, she is mother to but one: her darling daughter, Adeline, who herself is different from most. Cautious but understanding, Annie gives her daughter a lot of freedom. For in a traveling circus, they are all one family and family takes care of one another. Right? Until the band of travelers turns towards a town with a reputation for both fortune and destruction, that is! For The Clearing is just such a place. Circus folk are renowned for their independence, but there is a limit for every creature, apparently.

This is a town unlike any other. A last stop for the season, sure. But a last stop forever? Perhaps. The name betrays its situation, located in an immense clearing. But it is not the town they should fear, at least not entirely. There is something in the lush woods nearby. Something, or somethings that is. And when little Adeline wanders off, you can be damned sure her mother will seek her out, going to the gates of hell if she must. One must wonder, however, if those gates might not be nearby!

Loaded with spooky children who always seem to be hanging about, as well as circus folk who are tight-lipped around strangers and more than willing to defend their own in any situation, this tale is slow to start but picks up speed like a runaway steam engine! Seanan McGuire captures the plight of those in the Old West, but updates the freaky factor to meet the needs of the Weird West in this tale. Mostly grounded in reality, you will feel sympathy for almost everyone in the story, but you will rest uneasy in knowledge that life is hard for traveling troupes with death a common occurrence, through both natural and unnatural means.

It’s the right time of the year to grab this book for yourself or a friend. It is both adventurous and supernatural at times, but always focused on the human condition. The first in the Deadlands series to feature a female lead, Boneyard has raised the bar and I hope to see more like it sooner, rather than later. I have not read one of McGuire’s books before, but I look forward to reading more of them, as you will after you consume this one. It is a rarity that I do not find at least a little something that bothers me about a story, but even the slow start gave me a better understanding of Annie and what drives her to achieve more, in spite of her past. This book is available in print, audio, and digital forms. Grab this one today, All Hallow’s Eve will not be the same without it!

The newest book based on the hit Weird West RPG franchise Deadlands!

Step right up to see the oddities and marvels of The Blackstone Family Circus and Travelling Wonder Show! Gasp at pit wasps the size of a man’s forearm. Beware the pumpkin-headed corn stalker, lest it plant its roots in you!

Annie Pearl is the keeper of oddities, the mistress of monsters. Her unique collection of creatures is one of the circus’s star attractions, drawing wide-eyed crowds at every small frontier town they visit. But Annie is also a woman running from her past . . . and the mother of a mute young daughter, Adeline, whom she will do anything to protect.

Hoping to fill its coffers before winter sets in, the circus steers its wagons to The Clearing, a remote community deep in the Oregon wilderness, surrounded by an ominous dark wood. Word is that a travelling show can turn a tidy profit at The Clearing, but there are whispers, too, of unexplained disappearances that afflict one out of every four shows that pass through the town.

The Clearing has it secrets, and so does Annie. And it may take everything she has to save her daughter””and the circus””from both.

A gripping tale of the Weird West, set on the haunted frontier of DEADLANDS, the award-winning game from Pinnacle Entertainment Group.

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