A Big Sky Christmas

A Big Sky Christmas

eBook - 2013
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In the fall of 1873, a wagon train of immigrants sets off from Kansas City, Missouri, bound for the Montana Territory. Leading the group is newly elected wagonmaster Jamie Ian MacCallister, a giant of a man and frontier legend who swears he can get them there by Christmas -- come hell or high snow drifts. Plagued by brutally harsh storms and rugged terrain, outlaws and hostile Indians, the journey will be the greatest challenge these pioneers will ever face. But when things look nearly hopeless, help arrives in the form of two unlikely saviors: an old mountain man known as Preacher and legendary frontiersman Smoke Jensen.
Publisher: New York : Kensington Publishing Corp., 2013
ISBN: 9780786032686
Branch Call Number: eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Johnstone, J. A.
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bibliosara Apr 10, 2019

William Johnstone was a prolific and talented author of Westerns, competitive to such well-known names as Louis L'Amour, Larry McMurtry, and Zane Gray. After his passing in 2004, the Johnstone family employed an author to complete Johnstone's unfinished ideas and stories. The Christmas series is one of the series that is written only partially by Johnstone. However, the style remains characteristic of Johnstone, and is quite well done. A traditional Western, with gunslingin' heroes facing off with sneering bad guys, there are unique elements incorporated into any Johnstone novel. One aspect that is rather unique is the frequent use of strong female characters. There is also a touch of faith about each one of the Christmas stories, which many Westerns avoid. Still, the violence and revenge of a Western tale are ever-present… and to me, exhausting. Although the novel was well-written, I found the side characters a little too flat, and I tired of the main character's focus on vengeance and 'eye for an eye' attitude. Honestly, if everyone killed the person who killed someone they know, then everyone would be dead. It got a bit ridiculous, although the violence was mitigated some by the token romance between two supportive characters. It also didn’t feel at all "Christmas-y", mentioning very little about the holiday except something thrown in at the very end. It wasn't a bad book - in fact, Johnstone is my favorite Western author! - but it wasn't a great one either. For me, I'm okay with setting aside my interest in Westerns for now.


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