An upcoming release from J. Danielle Dorn, DEVIL’S CALL (releasing July 18th, 2017) is categorized as “Western Horror”. Set in the old West, just before the Civil War, but this ain’t no classic Western tale. Throw in elements of the occult and horror, and here you have the story of Li Lian Callahan and her journey to seek revenge for her husband’s murder.
My Thoughts: 4/5 stars!
When I was sent a copy of DEVIL’S CALL by J. Danielle Dorn, all I knew was that it was considered a ‘Western Horror’ – color me intrigued. Taking place in rural America just before the Civil War, we are brought on Li Lian’s journey to avenge her husband. Told to us in the pages of her diary for her unborn child we follow her from Nebraska to New Orleans to St Louis to find the man that murdered her husband.
Li Lian, or Lily, is from a long line of powerful women. She is gifted in a way that scares most around her, she is a part of the MacPherson clan of witches. Growing up she needed to learn quickly that she needed to have control over herself and her urges to will things with her mind. One day, Lily meets a young soldier, Matthew Callahan, and a romance blossoms while he’s away at war. She moves to Illinois with him so he can attend medical school, which then brings him out to Nebraska to be De Soto’s doctor (small town).
One night, Lily receives a warning from her mother of three highwaymen coming for her, she did not take heed to her warnings. Two men show up one night to their front door and one is badly injured. When Lily goes to get the local butcher Roger Hawking (to help her husband amputate a leg), she returns with Hawking to see her husband’s murder. From that night on, she and Hawking go on a journey to track down the three highwaymen to seek vengeance.
The story is told through the pages of Li Lian’s diary to her unborn child. The accounts of what happened and why she will grow up not knowing her father. I really enjoyed the story being told this way. It was like sitting down to hear a story from your parents or grandparents. Dorn was very true to the time period – the language used, descriptions, and everything else were spot on for the pre-Civil War era.
If you want a good period horror story with the occult, then I’d highly recommend this one. At just under 300 pages, this was a very quick read! If you aren’t a fan of Westerns or that time period, then you may not enjoy this one as much.
A big thanks to Inkshares for sending me an advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion!