With Gehenna in flames, Mad Dog McCall and Karen jump aboard the train heading west, toward the Tartarus River. Too bad there's also two criminals and a moaner on board...
The second installment of West of Hell picks up seconds after the first left off. McCall and Karen are on the train but so are a lot of passengers who think they are full of shit, a moaner that's already attacking people, and two criminals named Jones and Evans.
I'm happy to say Tartarus doesn't suffer from middle book in the trilogy syndrome. It's a satisfying installment on its own and is on par with the original. Zombies on a train, bitches!
The relationship between McCall and Karen is further developed, including McCall's past, and I'm happy to say they've neither fallen implausibly in love nor done the hokey-pokey, as it was called in those days.
As with Gehenna, the gore factor is high, maybe even a little higher than the original. Evans and Jones took some of the sheen off of McCall's armor and the hardened outlaw shoes that has a tender side. Karen continues to be a tough woman in a tough world.
Jason Brant's writing is quite polished. From now on, I'll cite him as an example of self-publishing done right. Not a typo nor grammatical error to be found. Not only that, he's a good storyteller and a good writer. I have no complaints.
Jason Brant has a great thing going with West of Hell. I'll be sad to see it end in the final volume, Sheol. Four out of five stars.