A Book of Tongues by Gemma Files
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Please note: I read this book in November, 2011 from an e-galley I received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I will be posting a blog tour review of the omnibus December 18, 2013, but first will be posting the individual reviews of the books. Enjoy!
Book Info: Genre: Weird Western/Supernatural Horror/Steampunk
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of Weird West, horror, those interested in Meso-American religious practices
Trigger Warnings for Book 1: Murder, violence, fairly graphic M/M sex, drug abuse, suicide, rape (m/m; f/m with woman as instigator), human sacrifice
My Synopsis: “Reverend” Ash Rook and Chess Pargeter run one of the most notorious gangs in the weird west, using Rev’s hexes in order to rob and murder their way across the country. They are also lovers, as in love as two apparently soulless outlaws can be. However, hexes don’t mix, and that is a serious disadvantage to the Rev’s future plans – so he sets out to make it possible for hexes to work together. In doing so, he will raise a pantheon of lost gods back from their own hell and set them loose upon the world. Agent Ed Morrow of the Pinkerton Agency has infiltrated their gang in order to try to establish parameters that it is hoped will help the US find hexes before they come into their power and nurture them, in order to have them work for the government. However, Ed is found out by Rook and ends up a part of Rook’s plans, all unwitting. Will Rook end up sacrificing everything he ever loved in his quest for power? Will Ed survive the whole experience? And will the world survive the cataclysms that may arise along with the ancient Meso-american gods?
My Thoughts and Recommendations: This was a … very strange book. I liked it – a lot! It was unique and I definitely enjoyed all the Aztec/Mayan legends and lore that were worked into the story. Rook and Chess’ love affair was so beautifully dysfunctional, and the supporting cast of characters were all developed in such a way to give them depth and interest. I particularly liked Hosteen. If you enjoy steampunk, “weird West,” and adventure, and are not bothered by m/m interactions, you should find something to enjoy in this delightfully strange and different story.
Synopsis: Two years after the Civil War, Pinkerton agent Ed Morrow has gone undercover with one of the weird West's most dangerous outlaw gangs—the troop led by "Reverend" Asher Rook, ex-Confederate chaplain turned "hexslinger," and his notorious lieutenant (and lover) Chess Pargeter. Morrow's task: get close enough to map the extent of Rook's power, then bring that knowledge back to help Professor Joachim Asbury unlock the secrets of magic itself.
Magicians, cursed by their gift to a solitary and painful existence, have never been more than a footnote in history. But Rook, driven by desperation, has a plan to shatter the natural law that prevents hexes from cooperation, and change the face of the world—a plan sealed by an unholy marriage-oath with the goddess Ixchel, mother of all hanged men. To accomplish this, he must raise her bloodthirsty pantheon from its collective grave through sacrifice, destruction, and apotheosis.
Caught between a passel of dead gods and monsters, hexes galore, Rook's witchery, and the ruthless calculations of his own masters, Morrow's only real hope of survival lies with the man without whom Rook cannot succeed: Chess Pargeter himself. But Morrow and Chess will have to literally ride through Hell before the truth of Chess's fate comes clear—the doom written for him, and the entire world.
View all my reviews