In David Lee Summers seventh novel, Owl Dance, he explores the American Southwest in a crazy 1800s Wild West Steampunk adventure. This was the perfect brain candy for me and diving into the first chapter, I felt right at home. Ramon Morales, a Mexican-American sheriff, and Fatemeh Karimi, a Persian healer, are our two main heroes. Throughout their travels across NM, AZ, and CA, they come across a variety of delightfully unexpected characters – from the gun-slinging kid Billy to entrepreneurial scientist Maravilla, to the California Coast inventor-turned-pirate Cisneros, to General Sheridan.
Ramon and Fatemeh have to avoid several trips and falls of life, such as being burned at the stake, or killed by miners, or shot, or blown up, or captured by bounty hunters. But their greatest challenge doesn’t come from the Southwest. No, there is something much more ominous brewing in Mother Russia. A land dispute between resident Russian descendants in CA and a powerful rancher sparks off the drive for Russia to grab some land in the American West. But this time, they are aided by an unlikely source…..which I will leave for you to discover.
Clockwork wolves and owls, cutting edge submersibles, dirigibles, and one Persian lady who whistle-talks to owls. It’s a great ride. If you’re looking for a good read and satisfying adventure, jump into Owl Dance.
Note: I had access to a PDF eARC version of the book. An e-version of Owl Dance is int he works. For now, readers can go to David Summers’s website for a paper version of the book.