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When I started Dead Reckoning, I was at once captivated by the premise: a formerly proper young woman, disguised as a nomadic male drifter. Jett - once Phillipa - is searching for her missing twin brother when she enters a small, Western town. She expects a fight with the local trouble makers; instead, they're set upon by zombies in a spine-tingling beginning that catapults the reader into a rather eccentric novel of the Wild West and the walking dead.
Mercedes Lackey and contributor Rosemary Edghill present readers with several intriguing characters, starting with Jett, and continuing into the supporting cast. There's Honoria Gibbons (or Gibbons, as she prefers to be called), an inventor's daughter, sent out West by her father to explore the more outlandish claims he receives, in order to prove them fact or faked. Joining them is White Fox, a scout and tracker who in investigating the numerous disappearances in towns - and in this case, OF towns. This motley band of comrades was unexpected, yet rather enjoyable. They each added their own spark to Dead Reckoning and I loved their interactions.
However, that's where Lackey's novel went awry for me. Despite the creepily fascinating premise and the great cast of characters, something just felt off. There were several big revelations, but the pacing crept along like, well, a zombie. To me, far too much time drifted by before the characters came to any decisions or really DID anything. They just sort of drug their feet. There was very little character development to go along with the lack of action - if Lackey and Edghill had pumped some life into Dead Reckoning in any way, this would have been a far more rewarding story. Instead, the characters sort of meandered toward the end and somehow it all felt rather...flat to me. I think I wanted MORE, period.
Overall, Dead Reckoning was not a satisfying read. That's not to say it didn't have moments of hilarity or interest. I think there was a lot of potential that - for me - felt like the authors just didn't follow through on it. I finished it feeling rather nonplussed, largely because of one key plot point that was never resolved. There's room for a sequel, though I don't think I would read it. Though as always...please read and decide for yourself!