After reading (and reviewing) Fated Ends: The Grates I couldn’t resist the lure of reading more of Drummond’s awesomesauce fiction. This time I turned to her latest release, Deadlands Hunt, an alternative paranormal romance.
Deadlands Hunt by G.L. Drummond
Beyond the borders, in the dreaded Deadlands, orcs and trolls roam freely, killing anyone to cross their paths. And it is into these very Deadlands that Amethyst must venture in order to discover the truth about her sister’s disappearance. There’s only one way to ensure her survival: by hiring the werewolf Chase to protect and guide her. But accepting Chase’s help is a decision that will turn her life upside-down.
Deadlands Hunt is a 45,000 word novella set in an alternate universe where humans, werewolves (Weren), and other creatures struggle to co-exist. To describe it as just another paranormal romance would be selling it short: rather than acting as a plot device, the fantastical elements are woven into the core of the story, creating a highly escapist tale that I devoured in a couple hours.
The world-building was fascinating, and gripped me right from the start. The werewolves-meets-Western angle works really well: Chase has the travelling and tracking experience of a cowboy, and the pack of a werewolf. And Amethyst comes with a ‘pack’ of her own, creating a group dynamic that was entertaining to read.
But the story really shines after Amethyst, Chase, and their friends hit the road in search of Amethyst’s missing sister. Not only is there a human-werewolf distrust to overcome, but there’s competition in the form of Amethyst’s unreasonable and annoying suitor Brian. His blatant disapproval makes the budding romance gain a tinge of the illicit, which added a little spice to the plot despite there being no smut. I do wish, however, that Brian’s interference had lasted a little longer—but then again I’m the type to enjoy unhappy stories.
My only nitpick would be with the final quarter of the novella, during which Amethyst and Chase are separated from each other. At this point, it is more their pig-headedness keeping them apart rather than an external threat, and I found myself missing the subtle tension and interplay of earlier chapters. Given that this is a romance, and thus the HEA is pretty much a given, the last part felt a little too drawn out.
Nonetheless, I read the whole novella in one sitting, and immediately opened up a blog post to write a review. If that eagerness doesn’t convince you to check it out, then nothing will!
And for the curious, for this week only you can get 40% off of Deadlands Hunts!
This book is one of my 100+ Reading Challenge!