One of the pleasures of exploring the genre of Urban Fantasy is discovering just how many other genres incorporate UF within. Not to mention the great surprise when encountering a western novel that includes UF in it.
Recently I posted about UF in the realm of Peter Pan by way of John Leonard Peilmeier’s, Hook’s Tale. Set in the same century but located on another continent is Jim Christina’s, The Return. This great western novel incorporates urban fantasy at its heart.
In the interest of full-disclosure, Jim and I collaborated on a western novel (sorry, no UF in this one), The Last Lonely Trail. We’re also co-hosts of a radio show, The Writer’s Block, on LA Talk Radio. But, the Return was the first of Jim’s many westerns that I read. I was immediately captured by the supernatural element included in the story.
Murderous Dark Angel In Western Thriller
Using characters Christina introduced in earlier works namely, The Hunter and Jeff Stryker, a pair of trackers in the Arizona/New Mexico area, Christina sets the pair on the trail to hunt down the Deacon.
The Deacon has killed a man in Alabama and has come to the west. But within the Deacon is a darkness, the Dark Angel (the title for the first half of the book), who is growing stronger and stronger. The hunters believe they have put an end to the Deacon, cashing him out in lead. In the second half of the book (entitled: The Return), where most of the urban fantasy elements are apparent, they head off to aid an old friend in Louisiana.
But they discover the Dark Angel has returned, even stronger and much more evil than before, in the guise of the Preacher.
Two men battling a supernatural force across the southern half of the United States with cowboys and gunplay? Now, that is some right fine urban fantasy if you ask me. So give Christina’s, The Return a read and see if you agree with me.