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“Everything about the story is startlingly original. The characters have an authenticity and depth that makes them believable and far from stereotypical: Carlson has skillfully presented the mythos of Old West values and honour though a 21st century lens, so that age, gender, ethnic or racial group does not constrain any character. Maria del Fuego, a 14 year old Hispanic girl is as much of a hero as Zeke, the book’s central character, from whom we experience most of the narrative.
And the story that those characters travel through just keeps growing and growing – the extraterrestrial environment is seamlessly linked to the Old West as though perfectly natural, and more of a ‘jungle adventure’ than anything outlandish. As much of a tale of cowboy adventure and exciting dinosaur encounters, the canvas of the narrative is huge – in one scene, the two central protagonists discuss the future of the Old West, and D’Allesandro’s speech about the changing world is reminiscent of Tolkien writing about the inevitable onslaught of the future on an idyllic way of living in Lord of the Rings.”
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