Don't let the prologue of this book fool you; this is a Western novel.
The Reckoning is the first in the series of Jess Williams Western novels written by Robert J. Thomas. Jess Williams is an ordinary young boy with a loving family, growing up in Black Creek, Kansas. That all changes when he comes home and finds his entire family brutally murdered.
Forced to become a man overnight, he vows to avenge his family's savage deaths. He begins to practice with his Pa's Colt .45, and then a stroke of destiny arrives when he discovers a new pistol and holster that mysteriously appears. Jess practices with it relentlessly until he becomes so quick that he is unbeatable on the draw.
He leaves home transformed from a boy to a highly skilled shootist with no reason to live except to hunt down and kill each of the three men responsible for the murders of his family. As he begins his journey, he does so with a pistol and holster that no one has ever seen before - and won't again for almost one hundred years.
©2003 Robert J. Thomas (P)2015 Robert J. Thomas
One of the best Westerns I've listened to so far. I don't normally read books, but I listen to them quite often on my way to work and back. Wouldn't have come across this great author had it not been for this audiobook - very impressed with this story.
This voice artist is quite versatile. Every character had a distinct personality. The entire story was narrated with a style that immediately took you in as a reader and made you feel like you went back in time to those days when Western-style gun fights were common place.
I'd want to hang out with Jess, of course! He was so loyal to his family that he made it his mission to seek justice for them when they no longer had a voice.
I would categorize this Western as a revenge fantasy / traditional Western with a modern twist. It's unique in many ways and uses some elements of mystery/fantasy within the story. Great writing, versatile narrating and an all around quality audiobook. Looking forward to the sequel!
I loved the main character the most. It was easy to relate to him and root for him the entire audiobook. Jess Williams is quite a likable person, but to those that cross him - he is to be feared! The main character comes to life quite easily thanks to the narrator, who creates a voice for him that resonates with the average person - while also maintaining a stand-offish vibe perfect for a loner cowboy. It adds to the mystery of Jess Williams and makes you wonder - what is going on in that guy's head??
This is my first time hearing this narrator, and I am thoroughly impressed. Will be looking for more audiobooks by him.
The story is powerful and is an emotional roller coaster. It starts off in the modern-day world, but it quickly becomes a story about the Western days. There is an unexpected twist that ties the past to the present - that's all I'll say!
I am an avid eclectic reader.
This is my first book by Robert J Thomas. I have only recently read some of the new western authors and have found them exciting. They have found different ways of approaching and modifying the old western stories to make them fresh and packed with action.
The plot of this book is a very familiar one for a western. Jess Williams a 14 year old boy is sent to town, Black Creek, Kansas for supplies by his father. On his arrival home he finds his entire family brutally murdered. The author creates an exciting new twist to the old western plot and provides a hook with the sudden appearance of a futuristic handgun and holster that would not be seen again in a hundred years. In the story the reader can feel and sense the character change in the beginning of the book. My only complaint is with the repetition of “Jess will go after the killers” I found it annoying after a bit.
The book is well written, fast paced and action packed a great get away book. The author tried to stay close to the historical facts of the time, except for the gun and holster. Jay Emmitt Caudill does a good job narrating the book.
When Jess Williams was a boy and cruel outlaws savagely killed his parents and little sister Jess swore to bring the attackers to justice ...his brand of justice. Practicing daily on his fast-draw and accuracy with a mysteriously appearing gun and holster he prepared himself to set out to find his family's killers.
There are similar westerns with slight variations, but "The Reckoning" is certainly credit worthy.
His ability to bring the character's personalities to life.
The sadness of the brutality of the murders of Jess' family and the loss of his innocence.
Although I wish there was not so much detailed violence, it shows just how wild and untamed the west was, and how hard it was to enforce the law. How vulnerable small towns and outlying farms and dwellings were at the hands of ruthless men.
I enjoyed the character of Jess Williams, who although showed no remorse for killing the bad guys, had a kindness about him. He performed kind deeds toward those in need, but doled out justice to those who took advantage of those who could not defend themselves.
Robert J Thomas is a great author. I have read the entire series of Jess Williams. Thomas has done a good job with this character. He is a killer out for revenge but also a very kind person wanting to give to others
I enjoy counter-terrorism, westerns, historical fiction, detective mysteries, and old school comedy like "A Christmas Story".
I have to agree with another listener that I also realized about halfway through this listen that this book was just a repeat of the previous bar fights in the first half of the book, over and over again. It was predictable and not enjoyable during the last half.
a true western and enjoyable characters. very vivid and well written as well. my husband and I listened together and we have listened to almost every book written by Lois L'amore and found this one just about as great. We will find the ones in the Jess Williams series and read or listen to them as well.
When I started this book I thought it would be something to put me to sleep. BUT, I was extremely pleased with the entire book. I'm tired of the hero getting beat-up, shot, stabbed, thrown off of a cliff, and nearly killed 6 times in 25 chapters. Then in the final chapter he single-handed whips eleven bad guys, out draws four gunmen and kills the evil bad guy and saves the girl in the last 9 pages of the last chapter. With Jess Williams!!! No Brag Just Facts. You draw - I'm gonna Kill You.
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