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Dead Reckoning by Mercedes Lackey
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Dead Reckoning (edition 2012)

by Mercedes Lackey, Rosemary Edghill

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11716103,116 (3.38)4
Member:SunnySD
Title:Dead Reckoning
Authors:Mercedes Lackey
Other authors:Rosemary Edghill
Info:Bloomsbury USA Childrens (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, YA, young adult, zombies, old west, steampunk, inventors, gunslingers, scouts, massacres

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Dead Reckoning by Mercedes Lackey

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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Not bad, but not a favorite. It takes a lot of cliches and plays with them in very interesting ways. I'm not interested in zombies, so that's a minus for me; and there's one really annoying scene where the woman-dressed-as-a-man, who's just escaped a zombie attack, goes gushy over the only male, and notices with surprise and delight that the other woman (who is stated to be beautiful) isn't interested. I'm pleased that that didn't become a sub-theme through any of the rest of the book - but I could have done without that scene at all, at least partly because it doesn't get referenced again through the rest of the book. What was the point? Just to establish that she is in fact a woman? Ugh - but that's the only reason for the scene I can think of. Aside from that one bit, Jett is nicely portrayed as a woman acting as a man, without falling into too many cliches. White Fox is something of a cipher - we get some of his backstory (more, I think, than his partners get), but he doesn't show much emotion and his internal life stays internal, even from the readers. Gibbons is fun, as a female steampunk scientist (one step back from mad, though she's still pretty obsessive about finding things out). Again, I think we get more of her backstory than her partners do (the same is true of Jett as well), but her actions and emotions do more to flesh out her story and personality than White Fox's. Jett is at least as obsessed as Gibbons, in her case with the Confederacy and the Union - I wanted to shake her a few times as she stubbornly refused to see any good in the Union or any bad in the Confederacy. But she is the survivor of a serious trauma, so maybe she has some excuse. Not enough, to my mind, but some. As I said, I don't like zombies, and despite Gibbons' acceptance of the "science" behind creating them I find it pretty wobbly. So the main adventure leaves me rather cold. The theories about why and what exactly is going on get pretty wild - as in, built on very flimsy premises - and turn out to be pretty much accurate, which smells of author fiat. I don't know. I found it interesting, and I would definitely read a sequel (which is left open as a possibility at the end), but I'm not sure I'd reread this. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Jul 8, 2016 |
I rounded this book up to 4 stars because it successfully incorporates zombies, the wild west, and some steampunk. It is an ok book with a premise I enjoyed reading. I liked the mystery and suspense of the who-dunnit, and why. Jett was an interesting character, I didn’t get much personality off White Fox, and I liked Gibbons’ scientific prowess and contraptions. I wanted a little more wild west with my zombies, by which I mean gunslinging; they didn’t shoot any zombies. There are some questions left unanswered, but I expect a sequel is intended. The story may not be for everyone, but if the subject interests you, go for it. ( )
  clockwork_serenity | Jan 23, 2016 |
I rounded this book up to 4 stars because it successfully incorporates zombies, the wild west, and some steampunk. It is an ok book with a premise I enjoyed reading. I liked the mystery and suspense of the who-dunnit, and why. Jett was an interesting character, I didn’t get much personality off White Fox, and I liked Gibbons’ scientific prowess and contraptions. I wanted a little more wild west with my zombies, by which I mean gunslinging; they didn’t shoot any zombies. There are some questions left unanswered, but I expect a sequel is intended. The story may not be for everyone, but if the subject interests you, go for it. ( )
  clockwork_serenity | Jan 23, 2016 |
I read about two thirds of this book, until the little group figured out everything that was going on in about five pages of exposition.

I really miss when Mercedes Lackey wrote for adults. I think this book wouldn't be too far out of the range of something an eight year old friend of mine who's steadily working her way through the Boxcar Children could read, aside from the subject matter of zombies.

VERY young adult. Your mileage may vary. ( )
  lyrrael | Oct 17, 2015 |
See the full review on Short & Sweet Reviews!

Dead Reckoning is a novel that manages to combine several interesting genres into one story: zombies, westerns, and steampunk, all set against the backdrop of the post-Civil War US. Amazingly, no one aspect of this totally overwhelms the others. It truly is a steampunk zombie western, rather than just a zombie story with a few hints of the wild west.

The story is easy to get into and is mostly well-paced, although there were a few spots where things seemed to drag. The three main characters -- Jett, White Fox, and Gibbons -- are relatively well defined, even if they do seem like contemporary YA stereotypes. Jett is a girl posing as a boy, with plenty of attitude and smarts. White Fox has a mysterious past and is the strong, silent type. Gibbons is a scientist who doesn't behave like your traditional young woman in the 1860s. There are the tiniest hints of romantic possibilities, but this story is in no way a love triangle, or even an unrequited-crush triangle. Despite the fact that you can find similar characters in any number of YA books, the three of them still make a quirky trio whose exploits are easy to get invested in. Each of the three have their own secrets, and bits of backstory are sprinkled throughout the story. ( )
  goorgoahead | Dec 4, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mercedes Lackeyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Edghill, RosemaryAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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In 1867 Texas, Jett, a girl passing as a boy while seeking her long-lost twin brother, joins forces with Honoraria Gibbons, an inventor, and White Fox, a young Army scout, to investigate a zombie army that is terrorizing the West.

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