Disclaimer: I received a free ebook from the author via Netgalley.
This fast-paced sequel to Dawn in Damnation picks up mere moments after the first book ends. Like the first installment, it’s an easy read that flows well; every chapter brings a new character, a new incident, or a new puzzle.
The narrator Tom continues to be one of my favorite characters of the town, but for much of the tale, the very omniscient storytelling jumps around between points of view, giving us only tantalizing glimpses of Tom’s character arc at times. I was pleased, however, so see that one of my complaints about the first book had been addressed, with the significant increase in named, talking characters who are neither white nor male.
The story portrays an interesting commentary regarding American treatment of it’s indigenous peoples, but it did rather make me want to root for the “Indians” over the humans (and vampires) of Damnation. The new mayor of the town is a particularly Trumpian jerk. However, an intriguing mystery surrounds him that I quite enjoyed.
The language used regarding the Indians, and other aspects of the world, continues to be era appropriate, if occasionally offensive to modern tastes. Even considering that the perspective of the Indians comes from a bigoted source, at times the people and camp outside of Damnation feel like living cliches, leaving me wondering whether the author did sufficient research in that regard.
Once again, the story ends with another gleefully gory, violent battle. This one includes slightly less of a cliffhanger, but it’s obvious that more to the story is forthcoming. I’m still interested in continuing this tale to learn more about the town. Especially considering an intriguing world-building quirk: time is passing in the living world (a laugh-out-loud moment includes the explanation of trains to a Revolutionary War-era character). However, doesn’t this mean less supplies trickling into the town as animal transport falls out of use? I’m definitely curious to see how Casey handles this conflict in future installments.