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Bodacious Creed

The Adventures of Bodacious Creed, Book 1
Narrated by: D Golden
Length: 14 hrs and 14 mins
Categories: Romance, Science Fiction
4 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

US Marshal James Creed has known loss, starting from the untimely death of his wife and daughter in a sudden fire. His work, chasing down and arresting outlaws across the Wild West, is all he has left to live for. Then one day, in 1876, the infamous killer Corwin Blake catches Creed by surprise and guns him down.

Creed awakes after a mysterious young woman resurrects him in a basement laboratory beneath a brothel. Half alive, Creed feels torn between his need for justice and his desire to fall back into the peace of death. Creed's instincts drive him to protect the city of Santa Cruz, California, from the outlaws it harbors while searching for Blake.

He uncovers a secret criminal organization, likely protecting Blake, determined to use resurrection technology for its own ends. The former marshal, now faster, stronger, and a more deadly shot than ever before, must work with a brothel madam, a bounty hunter, and the remaining marshals to uncover the criminal syndicate before they can misuse the machines of rebirth and create more mindless zombies. Meanwhile, he must also stop Blake, before the outlaw kills the only people he cares about.

His own death can wait.

©2017 Jonathan Fesmire (P)2017 Jonathan Fesmire

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Steampunk Prometheus

Since I recently read and reviewed the eBook BODACIOUS CREED, I concentrated on the narration while listening to the Audible edition. I have often read print books and then listened to the audio version in the past; however, I have not done this before in such close proximity in time. Where the author of the words in print dictates the tone of a book, it is the narrator that is the tone of the audiobook. D. Golden's use of her voice gives each character distinct personality. Her voice for the nineteen year old sociopath, Corwin Blake, is irritatingly spot on.

I did notice that Ms. Golden pronounced one or two words throughout the book in a way that made me think she is pretty young and unfamiliar with them. Most notably, the way she said 'hearth' which, by some reckoning, might be a somewhat archaic term.

I often wonder if the popularity of audiobooks goes beyond convenience. When I listen, the days of bedtime stories always crosses my mind. This may also be due to the fact that I almost can't go to sleep without reading my own version of the bedtime story. The drawback, of course, to listening before sleep is that one can lose one's place and have to figure out just how far back to go in order to get the whole story. I read the eBook so recently that if I did miss a bit in the listening, memory filled in the blanks. I have also gotten in the habit of noting the Audible chapter number (which always seems to be the author's chapter plus one) before I turn out the light.

So much for the audiobook; on to the book review. Having read and listened just days apart, the following is my review of the book as it appears on Goodreads and Amazon.

When I was a kid, I was a big fan of TV westerns. In my old age, I have become a big fan of steampunk, a sub-genre of science fiction and fantasy, in all of its many forms. BODACIOUS CREED is a perfect marriage of the wild, wild West and steam.

As we grow older, it is sometimes difficult to remember those little joys of childhood. I am reminded of a time when I was 8 or 9 years old when I used to play TV westerns with the kid next door. We had bikes for horses and six-shooter cap guns. We became the heroes and bad guys from our favorite shows. We had no grass or dirt paths, but in a child's imagination, even concrete Bronx sidewalks can be dusty trails with tumbleweeds. Jonathan Fesmire brought all that back with his descriptions of U.S. Marshals, bounty hunters, and their horses.

What I am not is a fan of current zombie fiction… no Walking Dead for me. Such zombies are just too nihilistic. I have always had a fascination with Voodoo and its tradition of creating a zombie slaves. As horrible as that may be, at least they don't feed on others to make more of their kind.

So how do steampunk cowboys end up with zombies? Steampunk is a very broad spectrum sub-genre of science fiction. As such, there is an 'anything goes' acceptance of everything so long as it runs on steam and can be described as mechanical. Extrapolate from that the need for gears and levers and add in the ether (or aether) and you have all the ingredients for raising the dead with science rather than ritual.

Although the setting is Santa Cruz, California, there is a Dodge Cityesque saloon run by a "soiled dove." Anna Lynn Boyd is the strong, intelligent woman who happens to be the madam of The House of the Amber Doves. This is her story as much as it is U.S. Marshal James Creed's.

While reading BODACIOUS CREED, the movie "Cowboys and Aliens" kept coming to mind. That was a must see movie for me that I truly enjoyed. There is something about the flavor of this book and that movie that seem to overlap. Also, if you are a fan of the Will Smith movie "The Wild, Wild West" you might just love this book as much as I did.

So without telling the story, what we have here is a well-written tale capable of making an old soul feel young again. That feat of legerdemain is accomplished with charismatic, well developed characters and writing that pays homage to attention to detail without getting bogged down in repetitive minutia.

I would highly recommend that upon finishing this book you avail yourself of the short story offer on Jonathan Fesmire's website. "The Obstructed Engine" provides a starting point for some of the characters in the Creedverse.

Oh yes, and I love the cover art.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great Story!

This is an excellent story with great characters and narration! I highly recommend this Steam Punk Zombie Western!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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wow!

an amazing story and a great performance. the narrator will suck you into the story with all of her fun voices.p

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Steampunk zombies!

A great take on the zombies genre! It's amazing no one else has thought of this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Wild Ride!

The title grabbed my attention right away because Bodacious Creed does have a great ring to it. I wondered how the author was going blend genres and make his weird west novel, but he does it quite well.

The plot is that Marshal James Creed (Bodacious Creed of legend) comes to Santa Cruz, California in the summer of 1876 in search of murderer and all around hell raiser Corwin Blake. He’s murdered by Blake early in the novel, but with the help of not so mad scientist and brothel owner Anna Lynn Boyd, he becomes the patron zombie of vengeance.

There are many things I liked about this novel, and very little I didn’t. Zombies are mentioned right away in the novel, but the kind employed here are different than other zombies. For Creed, his undead form is more cyborg than a brains-eating zombie. There are frequent tips of the hat to Frankenstein, which I appreciate as something that also exists in the universe of the novel. The novel is long, but the pace moves quickly. It was interesting enough that it didn’t feel like a tough slog to get through 14+ hours of listening.

One of the things that stuck out to me was the frequent descriptions of food. I don’t think the author was trying to write a food novel, exactly, but there were always such delicious sounding meals. Made me want some!

I enjoyed this listen, and I recommend it to those who like a steampunk story, a story with women inventors, and something that might be called “weird west.” Yes, the genres seem odd at first, but Fesmire blends it so well that you’ll just enjoy the ride.

Disclaimer: I voluntarily received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an unbiased review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A master of his craft.

Jonathan Fesmire has crafted a steampunk novel unlike any other I've read. His character development is engrossing. The narrative of his settings are so detailed as to take you directly into the modern/historical version of Santa Cruz. An, of course, the action is very suspenseful. I enjoyed every page of the novel and loved hearing the audio version of it. I truly cannot wait for book 2 and look forward to Fesmire's continued writings in the world of the steampunk genre. Well done, Jonathan!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Really need to make this story into a movie.

Loved the steampunk and western mix. Both two genres I never normally go towards. The science and the steampunk was extremely well thought out, you could tell the Author had thought a great deal about this side of the story. It was great to see a female of that time be one of the main characters and a badass. Both physically and mentally.

Really need to make this story into a movie.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Loved it

As always with Steampunk type stories it took me a few chapters to really get into their world. But once I was there. Wow. I came to accept the zombies - which I was so glad they weren’t all mindless, stupid and slow. I couldn’t wait to find out next what happened with Anna and if she would ever get the chance to tell her secret. Would love to read more from this author!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great characters and story overall

Overall the story and characters are pretty great. The story had a slow start but began to peak my interest a few chapters in. I hadn't read the synopsis so Creeds untimely demise early in came as a shock which really pulled me in. From there on I really enjoyed the twists and turns the story took.

Now when I read the "Steampunk Zombie Western" tagline I had expected a story of spectacle. I imagined hordes of zombies and steampunk automatons battling it out in the old west. I wasn't prepared for a story full of character and substance, which once I had embraced, I enjoyed all the more. The book follows a small cast of characters in a semi science fictional story with hints of a noir detective piece sprinkled in. The themes of love, loss, family, and regret were handled well and felt believable.

The main character of Creed reminded me of old John Wayne westerns where he's a rough, grizzled lawman with a heart of gold. That said I found myself drawn more to the characters of Anna and Jimmy. I especially liked Jimmy's arc as it felt very personal and I liked his moments of triumph. Honestly I'd enjoy a book dedicated to his life leading up to this point as it sounds quite intriguing.

The story had a good number of twists and turns and each felt organic and not forced. The story really feels grounded even with some of the fantastical elements such as automatons and a few zombies. The story never goes full fantasy scifi and keeps everything believable by blending the genre elements together in a coherent manner. There were a few places where events follow one character to a conclusion, then jump to another character to show their POV up until that same point which felt a little jarring. I think this had more to do with the audiobook format and is likely less of an issue with the visual of a space in the text of a physical book. That said I quickly realized what was happening thanks to some slight retreading of events to clue me in.

The only drawback for me is the performance of the narrator. Throughout the story she sounded bored and disinterested, keeping a monotone pitch with few exceptions. When attempting a characters voice it was rare for her to accurately portray a believable tone and accents felt cartoonish. I actually felt relief at the death of one of the characters because it meant I wouldn't have to hear her portrayal of the accent again. This was the biggest drawback to my enjoyment of the story. That said, if you can look past the poor performance the story and characters are worth your attention and if a second book releases, even if she is the narrator again, I'll still pick it up.

If you're looking for a solid, grounded story in a western setting with scifi elements and a believable, character focused narrative, this is a book you should definitely pick up.

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a surprising story.

This story remineses of Fallout: New Vegas. the level of steampunk was very minimal from what I was expecting. There wasn't much in the way of actual steam or gear technology.

the story is hard to follow certain details starting off. it is a little too drawn out and I did not particularly like the person that read the story.

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  • Jon Lee
  • 07-09-19

Splendid!

a fantastic blending of steampunk, western and zombie genres. Ideal for cog-wearers, cowboys and undead hunters