Book Review: Red Station
Many thanks to @deaths_head_press and @night_worms for this #nightwormsbookparty 🤘🏻
SUMMARY: There is a house overlooking the vast, rolling plains. A home station where a traveler will be welcomed with a piping hot meal and a downy bed. It is a refuge for the weary. A beacon for the lost. A place where blood and bones feed the land. For four stagecoach passengers… a doctor in search of a missing father and daughter… a newlywed couple on the way to their homestead… and a lady in red with a bag filled with secrets… Their night at the Station has only just begun.
Thank goodness for Kenzie Jennings who, with a single tale of violent survival, revived my hope and excitement for the splatter western series from Deaths Head Press!
Okay, that may be a little much, but I’m riding high after finishing this one. The series had taken a serious downturn with the previous two books, and I was beginning to lose faith.
But then came the lady in the red dress, bearing blades and a deadly disposition. Then came Clyde, a woman full of intelligence, true grit, and mystery. She is THE reason to love this book. Sure there’s a creepy build up of tension and some wonderfully gory fight scenes, but none of that would matter as much without her. What’s interesting to me is that there appears to be a larger story with Clyde in the background, and Red Station was merely a stop along a grander journey. I sure hope we see more of her in the future.
The story begins by introducing our group of characters who will soon become pawns in the slaughterhouse station. Their rapport is enjoyable, if a bit long-winded at times. They reach a giant house and their hosts invite them in for the night. The family seems friendly, but there’s something a little “off” about them. Tension is building, and Clyde is increasingly on guard. Then, in the middle of dinner, and right at the midpoint of the book, things go gloriously off the rails.
No spoilers, but basically what you were dreading/anticipating finally happens. It’s not a surprise, but it’s a fantastic payoff to all the set up in the first half. Amiable drama becomes slow burn becomes survival horror thriller. The wildly violent second half plays out like a movie, both in the turn of events and the author’s descriptive style. It’s fast-paced, brutal, and a lot of fun. My few complaints are that Clyde has several moments of serious miscalculation that seem out of character, and there’s a weird Texas Chainsaw-esque twist thrown in at the very end. Otherwise this is a pretty sold story and, I want to reiterate this, I need to see more books chronicling the adventures of Clyde!
If you’re interested in seeing more from author Kenzie Jennings then check out her website at https://thisonpurpose.wordpress.com/ and follow her on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/kenziejennings2/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/kenzieblyjay).