Each week as part of SunLit — The Sun’s literature section — we feature staff recommendations from book stores across Colorado. This week, staff from Out West Books in Grand Junction recommends, in honor of Halloween, “Cold as Hell,” “Trail of Lightning” and “Boneshaker.”

Cold as Hell

By Rhett C. Bruno & Jaime Castle
May 2022


From the publisher: 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, banish them from the mortal realm for good. He didn’t choose this life. No. He didn’t choose life at all.

From Didi Herald, bookseller: The Western tropes mixed with supernatural beings of good and evil along with monsters and action-packed bank robberies keep the entertainment quotient high in this series opener. Crowley’s sometimes chivalrous behavior makes redemption look like a possibility for him somewhere down the line, giving heart to this shoot-’em-up.

Trail of Lightning

By Rebecca Roanhorse
Gallery/Saga Press
June 2018


From the publisher: Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine.

From Didi Herald, bookseller: Having the Navajo Big Rez surrounded by a magic fueled wall surviving a rising water apocalypse is a unique setting, particularly when it is filled with witchcraft and monsters. Maggie’s and Kai’s unique talents when put together to find a missing child make triumphing over monsters seem possible. Maggie is an awesome kick-ass protagonist with much the same tenacity as Rita Todachee in “Shutter” by Ramona Emerson.


By Cherie Priest
Tor Books
September 2009


From the publisher: In the early days of the Civil War, rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest. Anxious to compete, Russian prospectors commissioned inventor Leviticus Blue to create a great machine that could mine through Alaska’s ice. Thus was Dr. Blue’s Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine born. But on its first test run the Boneshaker went terribly awry, destroying several blocks of downtown Seattle and unearthing a subterranean vein of blight gas that turned anyone who breathed it into the living dead.

From Didi Herald, Bookseller: The wild West is alive in 1880s blight poisoned, walled-in Seattle.  Zombies add another facet to a fascinating setting involving 19th century technology. Briar’s quest to find her missing son  in labyrinthine tunnels is darkly atmospheric with amazing mechanical devices and grotesque horrors she must traverse to discover her own strengths, which makes her a very appealing heroine.


Out West Books

533 Main St., Grand Junction


As part of The Colorado Sun’s literature section — SunLit — we’re featuring staff picks from book stores across the state. Read more.

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