Ride Tall, Hang High

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Ride Tall Or Hang High (The Outlaws Series)

Last Free Dates: 22nd Oct 18 to 24th Oct 18
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...A fast paced detailed western that fans of the genre should certainly enjoy...

Escaping from the town jail with an assortment of criminal, Willy Boy finds himself trying to evade a posse with his new gang. Then, having escaped them killing several men in the process, the group decide to stick together and follow Willy Boy, while starting to hunt the man who killed Willy Boy’s father. However, before they can think too long on it, they find themselves being pursued by other bounty hunters, all eager to claim the now sizeable reward placed on each of the group’s heads. As they run once again, they have to decide what they will do next, with each of them having their own purpose to fulfil.

Ride Tall, Hang High is the first western in the Outlaws Series and sets the scene for the upcoming stories about the Willy Boy gang. The story is action driven and moves quickly from scene to scene as the gang try to make headway against the law set against them. The book is well detailed in both the armament they carry and the lifestyle they have chosen and the gunfights have a visceral impact to them. The plot does a good job of setting up the characters, fleshing out their pasts and reasons and giving good reason for their actions. It also neatly sets up future stories as each of their purposes can easily fill a novel in their own right. Formatting wise, the book is fine, although there are several times when the scene changes from viewpoint to viewpoint with no obvious break.

However, there are some problems with the story. The characters, well defined though they are, are a group of stereotypes and little has been done to try and subvert it. The leader, the big silent one, the clever one, the card sharp, the American Indian and the Mexican, all with back stories that play to the standard western tropes. The other point is that it is very hard to empathise with a group of murderous thieves and killers, given that their back stories make them more sinners, than sinned against. Also given the odds, it is surprising how the good guys, or at least those following the law, are killed with alacrity, whereas as our outlaws seem to suffer only minor wounds, or at least survivable ones, throughout this story. For me, these flaws did not help my personal enjoyment of the book, but I can understand why fans of the genre and style would certainly enjoy it.

Overall it’s a fast paced detailed western that fans of the genre should certainly enjoy, though I spent my time hoping for some of them to get their comeuppance.

Rating: 2
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  • Ride Tall, Hang High
    Older readers might find this cliché, younger ones might prefer trope-tastic, but for Western readers it hits every note right.
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    For mystery readers it will keep you guessing, but for Western fans, particularly those who enjoy tightly plotted works, this is definitely one to read.

Discussion

Jackie (18 February 2018)
I've never read anything from the western genre before but this sounds like something I could possibly be interested in reading. I'm always a little wary of action-driven books because I feel like they can skim over character development a bit too much for my tastes. It doesn't sound like that's an issue in this book, despite the heavy use of stereotypes. I'm also very intrigued that the reviewer said the author provides good reasons for the actions of the characters but that their pasts make it difficult to empathize with them. I think that's an interesting juxtaposition. I'll have to try something new and give this book a read. Thanks for the review!

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