Reviews for Dead Reckoning


Booklist Reviews 2012 August #1
Texas, 1867: a place and time rife with hotheaded gunslingers, rowdy saloon brawls, and, if you're especially unlucky, slavering zombie hordes. So goes the fortune of 17-year-old Jett Gallatin, who dresses as a man so that she may hunt out her missing brother without drawing attention. On the trail she crash-lands into Gibbons, a freethinking, legend-debunking female scientist traveling in a steampunk carriage armed with motorized Gatling guns, and White Fox, a half Indian scout for the buffalo soldiers. Together they struggle to uncover what is behind the zombie masses wiping out entire villages. Lackey and Edghill have a durned blast roping in cowboy slang, woman's suffrage, and enough historical context to turn what could be an empty, high-concept affair into a work of surprising sophistication. The bad guy--a macabre minister named Brother Shepherd--allows the authors to work in issues of faith and the afterlife, too. Zombie fans may be disappointed by the rather pale description and stage managing of the monsters, but you'd have to be a danged fool not to find this rootin'-tootin' fun. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
In 1867 Jett Gallatin disguises herself as a boy while searching for her twin brother. She joins forces with a handsome Buffalo scout and a female inventor to fight zombies threatening to take over the Wild West. The genre mashup is exciting and the world-building well done, but the characters are flat and the alternating points of view sometimes feel disjointed.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 April #1
A post–Civil War tale follows an unlikely trio of teens that unites to fight zombies. Jett is searching for her brother, whom she hopes has survived the war. She travels the South, dressing as a man and repelling danger with her gunslinging prowess. Gibbons is the daughter of a gullible inventor; she investigates lurid claims her father would otherwise believe, putting her own scientific methods to work. White Fox is a white man adopted by the "Red Earth People" whose purpose other than protecting the two girls is not altogether clear. The three meet after a legion of zombies has destroyed a nearby town and determine to prevent further carnage. Lackey and Edghill elect Jett as the main character, but Gibbons and White Fox get nearly as much playtime. Most of the book is comprised of the trio discussing theories of the genesis of the zombies and strategies to quell future uprisings. Experienced paranormal fans will likely miss a romantic subplot, an oversight that might have jelled the characters together better and engaged readers. The best aspects of the book are its distinctive characterizations and the incongruity of zombies in a historic milieu, but the world is more interesting than the story. A novel take on historical fiction that nevertheless disappoints. (Paranormal historical fiction. 10 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 July

Gr 10 Up--Three characters with vastly different backgrounds converge on the Texas frontier in 1867 while investigating a string of strange disappearances. Philippa Sheridan is a cross-dressing "cowboy" looking for her twin brother; Honoria Gibbons is a privileged young woman trying to stop charlatans from wiling money away from her gullible father; and White Fox, who was raised by Native Americans after being found in the wreckage of a wagon train, has been dispatched to find out why communication from a "Freedman Settlement" abruptly ceased. The three quickly discover that zombies are the source of the vanishings, and they work together to find out who is creating them and why. The characters' differing beliefs in science and mysticism are a source of much discussion. Ultimately, a cultlike leader is deposed and his creations dispatched with a hose full of salt water. The blend of a zombie thriller with a Wild West shoot-'em-up and some steampunk flair is certainly an intriguing premise. However, despite the thrilling nature of the plot, long portions of dry dialogue make this book drag between action scenes. Outdated language and difficult vocabulary add to the period feel, but make this book accessible only to advanced readers.--Sunnie Sette, New Haven Public Library, CT

[Page 82]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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VOYA Reviews 2012 April
It is 1867 when three strangers meet in West Texas near a campfire. Griffin, a scientist and inventor, and an Army scout named White Fox are getting acquainted when a terrified woman dressed like a man hurries toward them on horseback. Jett is fleeing from Alsop, Texas, from which she barely escaped when the town was attacked by zombies. Connected around a common effort, Griffin, White Fox, and Jett search to find out more about what Jett thinks she saw in Alsop. The trio's unlikely friendship is entertaining, but the strength of the novel is in the slow, but interesting, unfolding of the mystery behind the zombies. Where are they coming from? Are they even real? Is a cult controlling them? The dialog is a bit stilted and the shifting points of view are often mildly repetitive, but the book could be a springboard for conversations about gender, science, and cults. It is also refreshing to see the independent, bold, smart female characters in this part-steampunk, part-zombie-western mashup. Science fiction fans will be pleased.--KaaVonia Hinton 3Q 4P M J Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.

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