Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Here's my review of Ron Fortier's THE WIND UP KID.
The Wind Up Kid introduces us to the citizens of Sandy Creek, a small town in northern Texas, and is set during the Old West. We meet Manuel Ramirez, who is the local blacksmith, and his son Cesar. As the story opens, Professor Phineas Proctor and his Traveling Show of Wonders has just arrived in town, and are looking to put on a performance to amaze. The entire town is excited, especially little Cesar. While having a fire eater, a strong woman, and acrobats, the piece de resistance is... the Wind Up Kid, of course, in all his shining, metallic glory. A clockwork automaton, Kid is a deadly accurate pistolero, which he handily demonstrates to the delight of the crowd. While the Professor's players are wowing the townsfolk, a much more sinister gang is using the show as a distraction. A band of outlaws has also arrived in town, and think it's a perfectly good time to rob the local bank. When the town sheriff attempts to intervene, the skunks gun him down. Unfortunately for them, the Kid steps in and shows that he can do more than just hit targets with his Colt .45 Peacemakers. The town celebrates, but the celebration is rather short lived. When Sheriff Hancock comes to, he quickly identifies the lone survivor of the raiding party as Billy Faro; brother to Butch Faro, the most bloodthirsty varmint in the territory. Come hell or high water, the sheriff knows that Butch is going to ride into town and demand a reckoning. Who will save the town? Well, there is that gleaming golden gunfighter, waiting in the wings...
I'll start by saying that once the story gets a head of steam, it doesn't let up. A rollicking adventure, once you start reading, you don't want to quit. Ron conjures up the spirit of old westerns perfectly, where the hero wears a white hat, and rides off into the sunset at the end of the film, triumphant. The principal characters and premise are interesting, with it's mix of Western and Steampunk genres. Fans of the series The Wild, Wild West will definitely find themselves enjoying this. While this is a short stand-alone story, I would be a liar if I didn't confess that I'd really be wowed by a collection of Kid stories, sometime in the future. This is downright (and I know I use this word a lot in my reviews, but it's really the highest compliment I can think to give) FUN, and an absolute pleasure to read. I'm a big fan of Ron's New Pulp adventures, and have been on board with his comic book tales from way back. The Wind Up Kid is an excellent addition to his list of tales, and if you love well written adventures, you would be doing yourself a disservice by not taking a look. It's available for 99 cents, so why don't you give it a try? Here's the Amazon page if you're interested in taking a look. Here's the publisher's page, Airship 27 Productions, if you would like to peruse their list of works (they've got some high quality authors involved, so stop by). Well, that's about all I have to say, other than I hope you'll take a look at the story. As usual, happy reading, all!