Review: Dead Reckoning by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill

Jett is a girl disguised as a boy, living as a gambler in the old West as she searches for her long-lost brother. Honoria Gibbons is a smart, self-sufficient young woman who also happens to be a fabulous inventor. Both young women travel the prairie alone – until they are brought together by a zombie invasion! As Jett and Honoria investigate, they soon learn that these zombies aren’t rising from the dead of their own accord … but who would want an undead army? And why? 

This gunslinging, hair-raising, zombie western mashup is perfect for fans of Cowboys vs. Aliens and Pride & Prejudice & Zombies.

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I didn’t think I was going to be able to finish this novel. It started out at an extremely slow pace and the characters were just… weird. So, I set Dead Reckoning aside. For weeks. And then I decided to give it another try… and I fell in love and couldn’t stop reading.


First off, I’m not a fan of the novel’s description. Not only does it make Dead Reckoning sound much more happy and girly than it really it, it doesn’t mention the third main character, White Fox, at all. I feel like the description is trying to promote some type of girl power vibe, which is somewhat present in the novel, but not to the extent implied. 


That said, Jett and Gibbons are definitely strong, unique women. Once I got used to Gibbons’ quirks and learns more about Jett, I kind of loved them. A lot. And, though we didn’t get to know White Fox quite as well, he grew on me as well. In fact, I’m actually very curious to see what happens to them next. When the characters finally started to grow on me and I became more invested in the story, I though to myself, I actually don’t mind this, but I don’t think I’d read a sequel… but now I take that back. 


For me, the best part of Dead Reckoning was the interactions and relationships between the three main characters. They are all ridiculously different that being together at the beginning is a mess, but, as they grew on me, they also grew on one another. At one point, White Fox notices that the two girls are bickering like sisters – and it was true! And then I realized, this odd little trio actually works together. Whoa.


Dead Reckoning combines many elements that really shouldn’t work together: westerns, zombies, steampunk, and cults, but Lackey and Edgehill make it work. I’m not sure how they came up with such a crazy idea for a novel, but it’s obvious they thought it through because I never found myself thinking “okay, that’s just too far-fetched”… as I read about zombies, westerns, cults, and steampunkery. 


I also found Dead Reckoning to be rather funny. And sometimes quite touching. And sometimes scary. And other times exciting. I was surprised by how much I felt as I read this novel, considering that I’d almost given up on it.


I’m so glad that I gave this novel a second chance, and I’m hoping that my review will convince you to give this crazy book a try. It won’t be for everyone, but there are readers out there who are going to love the hell out of it!

Bloomsbury, June 2012, Hardcover, ISBN: 9781599906843, 336 pages.

This post is part of the Dead Reckoning Blog Tour organized by Bloomsbury.
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One thought on “Review: Dead Reckoning by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill

  1. Okay, count me intrigued. I'm always amazed by people who write in teams (Lisa & Laura Roecker; Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl). I wonder if the character interactions benefit from actual multiple pov's from the writing side? Anyhow, I'm fine with books that start slowly (loved THE SHIPPING NEWS after about 150 pp) and I'm adding this one to my tbr list! Thanks!

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