Guns of Perdition: Interview and Review

A couple of years ago, I beta-read Guns of Perdition, and (woot woot) I’m delighted to see it out. I’d never read a western horror before this one, and Jessica Bakkers’ debut novel was a treat. My review is below, but before going there, I wanted to pick this author’s brain a bit. If you follow Jessica’s blog, you’ve discovered a kind, friendly, introverted Australian with a wry sense of humor. So, what twisting creative road led her to write an America western horror story? I asked Jess that question, and here’s her answer:

Jessica: I’ve always loved dark fantasy – both reading and writing it, but I was always much more of a sword and magic fancier than guns and cowboys. I actually had (and still have) a massive saga outlined about an assassin in Roman times that I was all set to write, when Grace (the main character from Guns of Perdition) popped into my head and demanded to be written. Actually, it was her strange love affair with a reverse werewolf that demanded to be written. Something about the story of tortured lovers who can only appreciate each other once a month by the light of the full moon needed to be told.

So, I wrote the first chapter of GoP without any clear idea where the story was heading, only knowing that I had two star-crossed lovers to play with and there would be supernatural themes and horror aplenty. I may be inspired by romance at times, but I am a dark writer at heart! The story – as stories do – evolved from there. Grace turned into a no-nonsense hardcase, so I needed a soft foil to counterbalance her loutish ways. Jessie was born. Then, somewhere around the middle of the first Part, the whole story – for all three novels – came to me. I was finally able to outline and write to some kind of plan…well, a loose plan! Call me a Planster!

After researching a different time period, different country, and completely different way of ‘jawing’ (talking), the characters and setting came alive for me, and telling their story went smoothly. Plot holes, editing, writer’s block, and crippling self-doubt… not so smooth. But, with the support and help of my friends in this writing community, I pulled it out, and am immensely proud to finally have my debut novel finished and published.

If you take a chance on Guns of Perdition, I hope you enjoy reading it – after all, that’s why we writers write, isn’t it?

Diana’s Review: Guns of Perdition

This is the first western-horror to cross my Kindle, and the blend of genres was a treat. Jessie is a young man sweeping up a saloon when Grace, one tough and dusty drifter, saunters in. Her face is hidden by a broad Stetson, and her holsters boast a pair of pearl-handled Smith & Wessons. It doesn’t take long for Grace’s guns to start blazing. But she isn’t shooting criminals. She’s hunting demons and out to get revenge against the Darksome Gunman. With no idea of what he’s signing up for, Jessie decides to tag along. Oh, Jessie, don’t do it!

The action in this dark and bloody story starts on the first page and doesn’t let up until the last. As Grace and Jessie ride through the wild west, each destination brings evil creatures, villains, and dangers, and the gunfights are frequent. They also pick up a few unsavory horsemen who join them on the hunt for vengeance.

As a horror novel, there’s plenty of gore, death, and horrifying scenes. I actually shouted, “Oh my God” near the end. Bakkers doesn’t hold back the punches, and I appreciated her unabashed commitment to the genre and plot. The over-arching basis of the story becomes increasingly clear throughout the read, and it gave me goosebumps.

The story is told from several POVs, and the pace moves along at a gallop. The characters are well-drawn and terribly flawed. I really liked Grace’s character, and I really hated Grace’s character. She’s sympathetic and ruthless. Jessie grows up and grows wiser, and he pays a price for falling for the drifter. The language uses western vernacular and has a western twang that I needed to get used to, but ended up enjoying.

This is the first book in a series. It doesn’t wrap up in a nice neat bow in the end, but I found it satisfying and will be reading on when book 2 comes out. Definitely a gruesome, creative, entertaining tale. Recommended for readers of horror and paranormal stories, who enjoy the Old West, flawed characters, and some intense writing.

Guns of Perdition – Amazon Global Link

Jessica’s Blog

Happy Reading!

171 thoughts on “Guns of Perdition: Interview and Review

  1. mydangblog says:

    That cover alone is enough to hook anyone!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this with us! I haven’t seen this genre mix before either. Going to GoodReads right away. I must investigate!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, excellent review of what seems like a fascinating read. Congratulations ms. Bakker. I could help but think of Revenant in relation to this genre! ❤️
    Take care Diana.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. markbierman says:

    A Western-Horror combo, interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed your review of Jessica’s genre-fushion, as well as her discussion of its inspiration. It sounds like a heart-pounding and compelling read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the visit, Liz. It was wild, that’s for sure. It’s been fun supporting her with this first book. Such an exciting time as you well know. Be well, my friend, and take care during our own strange times. 🙂

      Like

  6. I like Western and I don’t usually read horror, but this one is so intriguing. I appreciated the interview and review, Diana. Wow, Jessica, when you had a story demanded to be written, it got to be good. Diana, your review – you liked Grace’s character and you hated Grace’s character. It sounds like a million dollar character.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Jina Bazzar says:

    I left my horror reading days in the past – for some reason, the older I grew, the more faint-hearted I became. I can take a scene or two of horror (I’m a fantasy reader, after all) as well as gore and death, but outright horror is something I can no longer do. Still, the review sounds enticing enough – I don’t mind demons on a story either, btw. Goosebumps are welcome too, and I love flawed characters the reader can’t decide is likable or not. Well, aren’t I a paradox?
    Great review, Diana, and congrats on the release, Jessica.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lol. You are such a paradox, Jina. I actually don’t read “present day, psycho horror.” To me, that’s too real, too possible, and I get freaked out. But set in the past with paranormal creatures… that sits just fine. It’s dark, dark fantasy in a cool setting. Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you’re writing some. Be well, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Jina! If you do decide to try GoP, you’ll certainly find demons and flawed characters, and yes, scenes of horror, but by no means Stephen King horror!! His stuff scares even me!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Baydreamer says:

    Hi Diana, your review entices me to dive into Jessica’s book, but honestly, I’m not a horror fan. My hubby is, though, and her book also being a western adds even more spice and intrigue. So, I’ll surprise my hubby with this and I’m sure he’ll love it as much as you did. Thanks for introducing Jessica to us. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m not a horror fan, Diana and Jessica, but I love when my jaw drops when reading, and I can say OMG for whatever reason. But…this one is a western, so…that kind of changes everything. Loved the interview and review.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s the total opposite of the westerns you write, Mary. It’s pretty gruesome. I’m glad you enjoyed the interview and review. And if you give it a try, you will definitely be saying OMG. Lol. Have a great day and be well, my friend.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, as Diana says, my western setting isn’t your traditional western (especially the hero riding off into the sunset HEA ending 🙂 ) – I’d love to hear what a REAL western writer thinks though! Thanks for the lovely comments, Mary.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Teri Polen says:

    I’m a horror fan, but like you, I’ve never read western horror. I really admire Jessica’s patience with all the research this required. I was excited to read this book before, but after reading your review, I need to get to it even sooner. Thanks, Diana – and congrats to Jessica!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Erica/Erika says:

    Diana, A western horror genre. I am now intrigued. Your review is great! Your sentence “I really liked Grace’s character and I really hated Grace’s character” speaks volumes about the author’s ability to develop the characters. Thank you for sharing Jessica and “Guns of Perdition” with us.🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Jan Sikes says:

    Wow! I’ve never read a Western horror and this one certainly grabs my attention. I LOVE the cover! Thanks for sharing, Diana!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I’ve been hoping to see a review of this one. It’s on my long list, but I’ll get there eventually. The post is getting a lot of action, so I suspect there is a lot of interest.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Annika Perry says:

    Wow! Diana, thank you for your superb review of an intense and most unusual genre book! I like the notion of the mix up of the horror with western plus an additional paranormal on top! It was fascinating to learn from Jessica how the book came together and just had to be written! That’s an amazing feeling, I’m sure!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. acflory says:

    Drat, Diana! Guns of Perdition sounds so different it’s really piqued by curiosity. Plus I’d love to support another Aussie writer but I can’t read horror. Not won’t, can’t. I OD’d on Stephen King many decades ago and now I simply…can’t. Please wish Jessica the very best from me.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Lovely to read of a new genre Diana. Western+ Horror makes for an exciting mix. Unfortunately, I am a bit too sensitive for horror, but it sounds like Jessica has penned a great book.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. D.L. Finn, Author says:

    Nice to meet you, Jessica:) I’m adding this to my TBR list after Diana’s review.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I’m not one for horror, but do enjoy a great western every now and then… Wonderful review! Sharing…

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Reblogged this on Jessica Bakkers and commented:
    An absolutely wonderful review of Guns of Perdition from D Wallach Peach – Thanks so much D 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Oh my goodness, what a review!! SO many thanks, lovely one! It’s been…interesting…writing a debut novel. Can’t say it’s been wonderful…more like giving birth I imagine – time consuming, painful, at times gross, but ultimately, the most satisfying thing I’ve ever done.
    Now I just need to do it again 🙂
    Thanks again, Diana. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I am reading Guns of Perdition right now. So far it’s great! (And I’m glad there were no spoilers in your revew!)

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Nicely written review, Diana. I like prose written in dialect so I would probably like this book. Conflicting emotions is high praise. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Silent Hour says:

    I have a love for horror and loved westerns as a kid, but never had them in the same book. This sounds very daring!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. dgkaye says:

    Glowing review Diana. Isn’t that great when our characters stand up and let us now who they are. 🙂 xx

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Steven Baird says:

    This sounds like an interesting read. Western + Horror, absolutely. I hope you and your family are all doing well, Diana.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Ooh, this sounds interesting! I love the cover concept, too. Thanks for the recommendation, Diana, will definitely check this out.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. balroop2013 says:

    Thanks for introducing Jessica to us, I’ll check this book out. Your review is impelling me to read it. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  28. I am so glad you asked Jessica this question, Diana. It was the first thing that popped into my head when I read the blurb – why would an Aussie chose to write a Western. Good answer. I have this book on my kindle and will get to it soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. I grew up watching every western tv series I could, there were plenty back then! I’ve always avoided horror though, not my cup of tea at all – and then I read your interview/review and you’ve done it yet again – should I read this, could I read this, maybe, I don’t know, perhaps I will – hope all as well as can be, Diana from indecisive me!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha ha ha. Horror isn’t my go-to either, Eric, but I’m pretty flexible. This was certainly unique and memorable. Jessica doesn’t hold back and honestly I liked that. If I’m going to read horror, I don’t want the usual tropes; I want to be shocked! :-). Well, I hope that if you give it a try, you are horrified! Lol. And my dad was a huge western fan, so I grew up with it too. So fun. Have a wonderful Sunday.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Doesn’t Diana have the best way of reviewing? I’ve picked up many a book based on her recommendations! Like D said, if you do give it a try, I hope the horror isn’t too horrific – though I don’t hold back 🙂
      Thanks for the comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Sounds interesting and seeing old western movies have always been good. Great review, Diana.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Who would have thought western and horror could be part of the same genre, but why not?! Sounds interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. I think a lot of westerns are if not ‘horror’ at least ‘horrifying’ in the amount of vigilante justice. That definitely didn’t bother me but I do like the HEA sort of ending. Hmm…

    Liked by 2 people

    • No Happily Ever After here, Jacqui. This is true horror, and Jessica doesn’t hold back. It definitely got a rise out of me, and in a way, the OMG moment is what felt the most original to me. It was a memorable read. If you pick it up, I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts. Happy Reading, my friend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jacqui, very good point about a lot of the themes in westerns being horrifying. They were certainly brutal times. But, as Diana said, no HEA here! More of a Determined Ever After 🙂
      If you give it a try, I hope the lack of HEA doesn’t disturb you too much!

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Great review, Diana! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Tessa Pulyer says:

    I don’t usually read dark fantasy but Jessica’s explanation of how the story came about coupled with your wonderful review makes me willing to try it. Definitely one for the TBR 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Almost Iowa says:

    Sounds like fun. Westerns are a great genre – and hey, tossing in a few demons might spice them up. Thanks for the review.

    Liked by 2 people

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