Friday, March 17, 2017

Further West

Yes, it's "further" and not "farther" in this case, because we're talking about the author David J. West again.  Now that I've had a chance to finish The Mad Song I've got a better handle on the guy.  Let's be honest, it might not be entirely fair to judge an author based on one book, but that hasn't stopped me yet, and it's not going to stop me now.

This collection contains twenty-one stories published between 2011 and 2014, and each one is a rollicking adventure in a different vein.  It's got everything from warriors gone a-Viking to mythos inspired space adventures, and even a few Crusaders going full Deus Vult.  The longer pieces are interspersed with one or two page vignettes and something I wish we saw more of these days - epic poetry about blood and thunder.  That style of adventure fiction shouldn't begin and end with Odysseus and Shakespeare.

In my initial take, I mentioned that the first few stories didn't give me the virtuous hero fighting for truth, justice, and the [insert local positive theme here] that represent all my favorite heroes.  By the end of the book, I got what I wanted. 

West seems to be a part of the Utah action-writer crew along with Correia and Torgersen, and his work reminds me strongly of Correia's.  They share a healthy blue-collar disregard for literary frippery in favor of a blunt, smash mouth style of writing.  I actually prefer West's writing to Correia's - the Monster Hunter International series felt cold and angsty to me.  So if you're looking for more in the Correia vein, West is a safe bet.

Given that these works are all a couple of years old, and that West writes at Pulp speed, I'd actually recommend starting with his more recent work.  He seems to be a pretty smart cookie, and it's a safe bet that his writing has only improved since he inked The Mad Song.  I haven't read his Porter Rockwell series yet, but it's on my short list.  If you've read it, let me know what you think.

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My first novella, King's Dragon is free to download, for today only.
It's the story of a badass hero killing a big snake.
Think of it as my Saint Patrick's Day gift to you.

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