Reminder: Enter to win an ARC of political thriller, Arlington, here!
Time for another spotlight, this time featuring the first book in a new Western sci-fi series, A Lesser Dark!
Salt in the Water by S. Cushaway and J. Ray
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Western, Adventure, Grimdark
Audience: 18+ (This is not a YA series – there are scenes of graphic violence, adult situations and strong language) – Scifi and Fantasy readers and -particularly- fans of scifi westerns/weird westerns (Westworld, the Dark Tower series, Deadwood, The Proposition, Bone Tomahawk, The Hexslinger series,Firefly,etc) may enjoy this.
There are a thousand ways to die in the desert—desperate outlaws, deadly predators, murderous elements, and betrayal. . .
Kaitar Besh, a veteran scout as legendary for his cynicism as his skills, is ordered to brave the deadly Shy’war-Anquai desert one last time. Escorting Leigh Enderi—a greenhorn Enforcer with a reputation as shady as his own—he soon realizes the ghosts of his past have come to haunt more than his nightmares.
When the mission breaks down in the wake of bitter hatred and mistrust, even Kaitar’s fabled skills may not be enough to bring them home again. Stranded in the red wasteland without contact, food, or water, they uncover a betrayal that could bring all they hold dear crumbling to the dust. . . and tear down the wall of lies surrounding them.
Here are some reviews from people who’ve read the book:
The characters are complex and relatable. They curse, they lie, they keep secrets, but they also struggle and feel real emotion. It’s fantastic to read about characters who aren’t your typical heroes. It’s in a western setting, which I usually don’t feel strongly about and tend to associate with Clint Eastwood and John Wayne, but Salt in the Water has that fantasy/scifi flair that hooks your attention and definitely gives me a new outlook on westerns. The Shy’war-Anquai desert is definitely not a place I’d ever want to find myself, but it’s some amazing worldbuilding by the author. I know I’m not the only person who actually really loves seeing the threk. They remind me of the movie Pitch Black, which I really love, except deadlier.
Definitely recommend this book. I’m almost sad it’s part of a series, because that means waiting for the next book, but I’m glad my time with these characters isn’t over. Bring on book two!” – Crystal Burton
Kaitar is a mystery that you want to solve. Hints of his prior existence are woven in throughout the book, each piece adding to the puzzle of the man and leaving you, the reader, wanting more.
The worldbuilding is just excellent. As you read, you can feel the grit in your mouth from blowing sand, or the fear engendered by the threks tracking across the desert. (Not telling what a threk is as I don’t want to spoil it).
I was lucky enough to get an ARC copy of Salt in the Water in exchange for an honest review. I begged and got an ARC copy of Ghost in the Glass, the next book, because this series is sooooo good.” – N.W. Moors
About the Authors: J. Ray and S. Cushaway reside in the snowy wastes of northern lower Michigan. When not spending time with their daughter and two grumpy old cats, or working on writing-related projects, they enjoy dabbling in music, art, and online RPG gaming.
Thanks to the authors for joining with me for this spotlight! Excited to see what you both come up with next!