“This is what the wild west was all about amigo; making money, fuckin' honey and killin' dummy. Yes siree!”
This pithy phrase completely encompasses the themes of this book, mostly focusing on the last two. Wild West Vampire Wars is a book of almost four hundred pages that nevertheless manages to say next-to-nothing for that entire span. There’s copious description, but in Billy Cruz's hurry to delve into the dirty-nasty-explicit-hardcoreness that is meant to come off as hilariously intense (and occasionally does), it completely loses the plot, as well as any hope of good editing.
I started this book expecting a western, or a paranormal, or some blend of the two. It’s both, but it’s also neither. Honestly, I should have started with the warnings on the book’s Amazon page. They read as such:
Contains vampires, ghouls, ghosts, Geronimo, General Pancho Villa, very special appearance by guest Jack The Ripper, and plenty of ABSURDLY WILD-WILD-WEST SEX. Open the double-doors and see for yourself, if your up-to-it that is. Did I mention the Vampire Whores?
ENTER AT OWN RISK!
WARNING! CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT AND BELLY ACHING LAUGHS.
WOMEN WHO ARE PREGNANT OR NURSING, PLEASE ADVISE A SNACK OR TWO WHILE READING.
DANGER! FREEDOM OF SPEECH. MAY BE OFFENSIVE IF UNDER MIND CONTROL. SHORT CIRCUITING MAY OCCUR.
All the ACTION PACKED ADVENTURE you can handle plus SEX SEX and MORE SEX.
Well, there certainly is a lot of sex. There is sex of every flavor and every type that one man can have with lots of women, including virgin sex, pregnancy sex, rape and incest, just to name a few. While the sex scenes are described with a certain tongue-in-cheek flair that’s meant to remind you that this is all deliberately absurd *nudge nudge-wink wink* that reminder isn’t enough to make them genuinely interesting most of the time. There are so many people having sex that it becomes boring after a while, the male protagonists either beset by ravening nymphomaniac whores (yes, note the reference to those lauded Vampire Whores above) or are seducing/capturing/coercing sex out of virginal little nymphs who, after their first taste of cock, transform into ravening nymphomaniac whores. Ostensibly we’re following Sky Claw, Eagle Clan Warrior on his vision quest, but mostly we’re watching a paper-thin archetype of masculinity fuck his way from drama to drama.
That’s not to say that this is entirely a throwaway book. The author offers up a unique type of absurdity, and there are some interesting bits of world-building and plenty of historical figures tossed into the mix for good measure. His powers of description are sometimes moving and always evocative, enough so that you can really hear his efforts with character’s voices and circumstances. Those moments of enjoyment weren’t enough for me to really engage with the novel, though, more than offset by the Dr. Suess-style synonyms for body parts, the casual ethnic slurs, and the unrelenting slutification of every single woman in the book.
If you want a read that whole-heartedly embraces the absurd with every crude gag and violent spectacle, then this might be the book for you. If you want romance, realistic dialogue, sex that doesn’t make you cringe or a coherent plot, then I suggest you stay away. Wild West Vampire Wars didn’t leave me better off for having read it, but it did stick in my mind.
[Reviewed by Cari]