Book Review: The Devil’s Standoff by V.S. McGrath


Publisher: Brain Mill Press

Publishing Date: April 2018


Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3.3/5

Publishers Description: Welcome to the birthplace of the Devil’s Revolver, where magic is draining from the land and untold danger lurks for our truly unforgettable gunslinger heroine, Hettie Alabama. The second book in the Devil’s Revolver series follows Hettie and her crew south of the Wall into Mexico, where they must unmake the Devil’s Revolver while confronting a magic- and land-hungry army and a monster from hell drawn to the infernal powers of Hettie’s mage gun.

Review: That cover art diverges quite a bit from the Hettie visualized in the novel.

One reviewer stated that this is “The feminist western you’ve been waiting for…”. Really? I thought it took a left turn from the first novel, headlong into romance. I think blushing and hearts going pitter-pat over silky baritones and ripply muscles is a fair shift away from feminism. But, wtf do I know about feminist ideology? Perhaps there is room for a tough nut female protagonist with a fragile inner core that begs for a manly man to sweep them over the threshold with their musky scents and hard abs.

Well, as Hettie flirts around the edges of jealousy and getting banged it was nice to see the author apply some restraint with regard to her romance writing background. Still, the restraint lacks authenticity and reads like a dime store romance novel. Hettie is cool, complex, opinionated and obstinate. Her stubbornness often lands her in stupid land but that is her allure.  So why muck up a great character with romance? I just don’t fuking get it. Now I could get all indignant and rail for hours on the good writers out there that make bad choices, but I will show some restraint and allow for the complexities of artistic license to blah blah blah blah.

At the end of the day, I like Hettie without horny dudes and her sister which speaks volumes about this installment. The next novel sets up pretty good in answering my prayers so here’s to forgetting #2 and picking back up where the genius of #1 left off.

One thought on “Book Review: The Devil’s Standoff by V.S. McGrath

  1. Interestingly, any book that has the ‘feminist’ label on that I have read has managed to enrage me! Ha… I love the cover art for the book, though!

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