Ransom TX is a non-stop fantasy horror adventure that is riveting from the prologue to the last page. With a story of constant action it is difficult to achieve deep characterisation yet we need to develop some empathy and connection with the main characters. I felt this novel achieved the balance correctly in a Young Adult Horror Fantasy style, similar to ‘From Dusk to Dawn’ and ‘Supernatural’.
James ‘Cowboy’ Stone has 3 close college football friends and a girlfriend, Lexi. After an ancient burial ground is excavated and skeletons are removed from their resting place, the impact is massive, as it releases demons from hell who possess those close to Cowboy. Cowboy is also a unique unsuspecting character that is experiencing a new mind-reading ability and changes of strength and speed beyond anything normal. An old Indian, Joseph, explains the ancestral background to these particular demons that have previously battled on Earth and how they have been restrained for many years. Joseph reveals Cowboy’s destiny and the powers that he’s receiving will seal his fate as a supernatural warrior against evil.
The Texas location is well characterised and I found the history and environment of Native American reservations a very special aspect of the story. Only the Federal law has any legal jurisdiction on Native American reservations and this lends itself naturally as an advantage for the hero to hide and recover from injuries, with protection from his own. The atmosphere created in the environment is wonderfully achieved and the protection they feel towards their community is powerful.
The story is thoroughly entertaining and captures the eternal fight of good versus evil, using teenagers as the focal point where the engagement will be fought. The main characters are all pretty, athletic and smart which conforms to the Young Adult Fantasy expectation but personally, I’d like to see some flaws and deeper characterisation. Dialogue is used sparingly in this book but its impact when it is used is quite effective. I feel the author knows the book genre well and hits the mark perfectly.
There is a clever surprise at the end which introduces an intriguing series thread that can be developed in various ways. To be thinking about this so early is a testament to how cleverly this is woven into the story. I’m looking forward to continuing with the series and also learning more about Cowboy and the evil battles he has ahead.
By the way, I love the cover and I would like to thank E.L. Dubois and T.J. Dubois for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review.