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DanSchwent

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Gehenna

Gehenna (West of Hell #1) - Jason Brant

When the two men fighting in the street turn out to be undead cannibals, the tiny town of Gehenna is thrown into flesh-eating chaos. The only people who seem to keep a cool head are Karen, the prostitute with a heart of bitter gold, and Mad Dog McCall, an outlaw trapped in the city jail...

Weird westerns have always been an easy sell for me. Know what's even better than a weird western? A FREE weird western!

Gehenna is told in two parallel threads for most of the book. One thread follows Karen and the people at the saloon. The other focuses on Mad Dog McCall, an outlaw gunfighter who is locked up waiting for the Federal Marshals to decide his fate.

The gore level is extremely high, I'd say four and a half out of five exploding zombie heads. Head explosions, flesh being torn from bones, and all sorts of moaner-killing goodness, which leads me to my favorite quote from the book:
"You keep calling them 'moaners'." 
"Well, they moan. A lot." 
"But the best you could come up with was 'moaners'? What about 'the living dead', or 'the eternal hungry.'" 
"I'm shooting them in face, not writing a book."

The ending was really similar to the ending of Those Poor, Poor Bastards but there are only so many ways you can escape a tiny western town crawling with moaners.

The writing was a cut above what I expected, especially from a self-published book. Brant did a good job making me care about characters I knew were doomed to be devoured before the story's conclusion.

No complaints, especially since I have the second installment primed and ready to go. 4.5 out of 5 stars.