Book Review: Cold as Hell

COLD AS HELL | Rhett C. Bruno & Jaime Castle
(Black Badge #1)
05.24.2022 | Blackstone Publishing
Rating: 3/5 stars


In the West, there are worse things to fear than bandits and outlaws. Demons. Monsters. Witches. James Crowley’s sacred duty as a Black Badge is to hunt them down and send them packing, banishing them from the mortal realm for good. He didn’t choose this life. No. He didn’t choose life at all. Shot dead in a gunfight many years ago, now he’s stuck in purgatory, serving the whims of the White Throne to avoid falling to hell. Not quite undead, though not alive either, the best he can hope for is to work off his penance and fade away. This time, the White Throne has sent him to investigate a strange bank robbery in Lonely Hill. An outlaw with the ability to conjure ice has frozen and shattered open the bank vault and is now on a spree, robbing the region for all it’s worth.

To say I don’t read a lot of Western fiction would be an understatement. It’s not something that usually comes my way, but when I read the synopsis for COLD AS HELL I simply couldn’t say no to a fantasy/horror/Western mashup. 

COLD AS HELL reads like a script for either a television show, movie, or video game. There is something undeniably entertaining about following James Crowley on his investigation. I love the wit and brashness that our authors have given to Crowley that shines through in his critique of his situation and those he meets on his journey. Speaking of those he meets, this book is full of fantastic creatures, from shapeshifters to yetis to Crowly’s own not quite undead self. I do think this story suffers from getting bogged down with too much detail at times, but I respect that the authors are trying to put as much detail as possible within these pages to kick off their series. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for the second installment!

🎧: Highly recommend checking out the audio for this one since it’s done by the voice behind Red Dead Redemption 2!

A huge thank you to Blackstone Publishing for my gifted copy!

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