I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review
Earthbound by Mari Collier is the first of the Maca books. Set in America’s Old West, it is certainly not my typical fare, and I’ll admit to being more than a little sceptical at first. Even though I read fantasy, adore Star Trek, and write in an arcanepunk realm where the inhabitants would technically be aliens to us, I have a default setting that equates the word ‘aliens’ with big eyed grey or green skinned beings who like to probe people and helped hapless ancient peoples with major engineering feats, because heaven help that they couldn’t construct things like the pyramids on their own ingenuity. Okay….rant over, but I’m usually not a fan of anything that explicitly mentions ‘aliens’. I should know better, I know! I rather enjoyed Earthbound.
Zebediah McDonald is trapped on earth during the days of America’s Old West. Well, earlier than that. He lived in Ireland for a time, where he was known as Llewellyn. From there, he ended up in Texas. Stranded on earth, as he is, Zedediah takes up with Herman Rolf. Together, the pair try their hands at many jobs, such as running traplines, working freight, and tending cattle, among other things. Zeb, (it amused me to call him that) rescues a lady named Anne who, along with her children, had been kidnapped by Comanches. Anne is far more than a simple settler woman though, and she harbours secrets that could affect Zeb.
Be forewarned, Earthbound is written in charming dialect. I prefer such, and usually find it easy to integrate in my mind. There are books with stronger dialect bents out there, for sure! Anything by the inestimable Brian Jacques for one. The biggest qualm, and suggestion, for me at least, was the sparsity of inner thoughts. I like to know what’s going on behind the scenes of the main character(s).