“The Agreement, Gallows Gold Book 1” by James Scott Thomson

“The Agreement” is an Australian future western in the tradition of Mad Max, but with a more organized post-apocalyptic society. It’s a simple plotline. Archie is a bounty hunter. He takes Fiona on as an apprentice, and they go off having adventures together.

The story breaks into three parts. Their first two assignments could almost be from a normal Western, but the third is much more Sci-Fi in setting, conflict and hi-tech stuff. The worldbuilding is detailed and appropriate to the conflict.

These jobs involve a lot of action, with fights of various sorts described with excellent detail and great suspense. It’s a grueling world, and there is plenty of pain and blood splattered around.

Meanwhile, we are getting to know two very sympathetic main characters and a cast of secondary characters who are individuals in themselves. The bad guys are a bit more stereotyped but described in gruesome detail that is entertainment in any case.

The element of the writing that keeps us from getting maximum enjoyment from the story is the author’s loose grasp of point of view. For example, in the battle scene near the middle of the book, the good guys break into five groups, so we view the battle from five different characters, two of them people we have never met before. This requires a brief introduction and a period of getting-to-know-you at a time where we really want solid action. There are also many sentence-structure and punctuation errors, as well as switches from past to present tense in the middle of paragraphs.

These characters are a joy to spend time with, and with a bit of polishing, this would be a superior novel. A recommended read in any case.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

This review was originally published on Readsy Discovery

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