Hotblood! vol. 1 & 2 by Toril Orlesky

Hotblood! vol. 1 & 2 by Toril OrleskyHotblood!: A Centaur in the Old West by Toril Orlesky
Published: Self-Published (2014), eBook, 185pg
Genres: Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, GLBTQ, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Source: Freebie


Summary:

"Hotblood!" follows the adventures of James Evander Leicester Rook (a total washout Civil War vet who happens to be a centaur), Asa Langley (America’s most irreverent steel industry icon and Rook’s employer), and a great deal of money. The year is 1871.

Buy on Amazon | Goodreads

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I think I found this series through Tumblr? Maybe? It’s a historical fantasy crime Western with centaurs, and it’s available free online. All things I enjoy! I ended up accidentally reading the equivalent of two volumes (plus a bit more) over the course of one evening.

The art is so lovely. The limited color palette makes it kinda dreamy-looking, in a stark kind of way It’s a nice mix, and the pages are very pretty to look at.

The plot’s pretty slow to develop, which didn’t help with feeling like I’d actually consumed something. Not a lot happens except a bunch of snarking and one train robbery (which goes awry). Also feelings, manly feelings involving same-sex interspecies relationships. It’s a good mix of funny and depressing; Asa and Rook definitely have issues, but they hide them behind jokes. It makes me want to laugh and also hide under my covers crying.

A downside is that I’m still not entirely sure what’s going on with Asa’s company and its ownership problems– it’s the central conflict for the entire book, so not understanding it is a problem. I think I read it too quickly. I zoomed through the whole thing and missed a lot of the nuances (maybe).

But what I DID catch I enjoyed, like Asa and Rook’s relationship and the alt history/fantasy aspect of having centaurs in the wild west. In fact, I liked it so much that I’ve subscribed to the website now so I can keep up with it weekly. I’m also planning on going back and reading it again, only slower this time. Woohoo!

If you’d like to read Hotblooded! for yourself, be sure to check out the website.

Read: March 17, 2015

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