Cover Image: Gunmetal Mountain

Gunmetal Mountain

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Member Reviews

I received an advance reading copy from Kensington Publishing, through Netgalley to read and review and I also purchased a copy to support the author.

'Gunmetal Mountain', is an entertaining story, a little long in the tooth at spots telling the story, has several likable characters and the second book in the A Cleve Trewe Western series. It's not a standalone, you'll have to read, 'Axle Bust Creek' first, as it continues the story of Cleve and Berry. 

The two main characters, Cleve Trewe a Civil War Veteran, former lawman, gunfighter, protector and tough as nails. Then you have Berenice Conroy Tucker a widow, also a free spirit that likes exploring, learning about science, and two are in some sort of relationship. 

I don't want too give anything away. Since if your a Western reader, you'll want to read this one, set in the Sierra Nevada mountains, you have the two main characters exploring. 

Then mix a intertwining storyline, that involves a religious community lead by twisted mind of Marcus Long, mix in outlaws, innocent followers who unaware the truth of Gunmetal Mountain, loggers stuck working for Lamb, apostles that really are outlaws and shady characters controlling worshipers, mix in twist and turns, illegal whiskey, suspense, mix in a long in the tooth tale and of course the good verse evil theme. 

In all the author John Shirley, wrote a entertaining tail, puts the reader in the pages and definite in the running for my favorite read of 2023. A note for readers, read this one, just as I did with the first in the series, read it as if I was the fictional character Cleve Trewe and it made reading it, that must better. Highly recommend the author John Shirley writing, he writes in multiple genres and can't go wrong with his Westerns.
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A different kind of story line from the westerns I typically read.  As Cleveland Trewe and his partner, Bernice, make their way West, they are just trying to stay out of trouble.  But trouble finds them.  Ambushed by a small band of Indians, Cleve and Berry follow one of the survivors into a small town that promotes itself as paradise on Earth, Lambsville, Gunmetal Mountain.  But this paradise has it's share of snakes, too.  As Cleve investigates the town, he finds he and Berry have stepped into the middle of a cult-like community where the leaders have decided they need more land and they want to use Cleve's gun skills to help them get it.

While not your typical western plot, they story was good, with lots of action and of course, gunplay.  This is the 2nd book in this series, it reads fine as a stand alone, but it is interesting to see the development of the characters from book 1.  I'm a diehard western genre fan.  I can live with taking a few liberties with the facts as we know them and still enjoyed John Shirley's Cleveland Trewe character.  I read the first one, now this one and I'll be sure to read the next one, too.
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Cleveland True is on the move again but this time it is to build a home and a life in the west with  Baronies his beloved. After a weary ride from Axel bus they decide they’re going to stop in Paradise but right before getting there they’re way laid by some owl hoots. When Chase Breen decided to “befriend“ Cleave in Barrie on their way into Paradise he may as well have been wearing a sign that said we’re going to try and way lay you! Because Cleve seen it from a mile away but giving every man the benefit of the doubt he almost got the drop on our boy cleve but needless to say Cleve took out two of the three because Breen got away. After staying in Paradise for a couple of days the couple set off with another couple gill and freeja they were heading west to try and reach a friend of the girls who’s going to give him a job so they decided to travel together only to be once again caught on the trail but this time it was by Indians but this time instead of Cleve saving the day it is going to be Barry and the shaman needless to say however Cleve still had to make an oath to bring back the chiefs son who went missing while going to trade on gun Meadow Mountain. He said he would do hisbest. up they went to Gun Metal mountain but Cleve’s heart is heavy because he and Barrie are having misunderstandings she knew he was a gun fighter when the time called for it but the violence was something she could not make peace with,. After they reach the mountain she will be thankful that not only is Cleave a great gun fighter but that he is on her side. There is more than one outlaw taking cover in the religious village and I am not even talking about their leader lamb. Will cleave be able to save the Chiefs son Ajupa? Will Cleave in Barrie go their separate ways and has cleave seen the last of brain? This isn’t the best of summaries but John Shirley has done it again and written a great western this is the second book in the Cleveland crew westerns and it’s a book I highly recommend. He is respectful of everyone even outlaws unless they force him to do his worst. I think Barry is a great woman for Clise but your Health to read the book to see if she thinks so as well. I love these books and have yet to get one less than five stars and gun metal mountain deserves five if not more. I want to thank Kensington books Ann galley for my free art copy please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review.
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In John Shirley's Gunmetal Mountain, Book 2 of the Cleve Trewe Western series (Pinnacle 2023), Civil War Veteran Cleve Trewe is trying to leave gun fighting in his past, traveling to California to start a new life with his friend (maybe girlfriend), Berry. Despite prodigious efforts to do just that, everywhere he goes, he ends up forced to defend someone's life and liberty with guns. Before I got very far in the book, he'd already killed five or six (I lost count). He and Berry are persuaded to travel with a family to what at first appears to be a beautiful restful mountain location called Gunmetal Mountain, only to find it isn't what it appears and once again, the only way out of the predicaments they face seems to be with his gun.

This is a bit dark because Cleve is dark, but it's fast moving with the typical Western focus on justice.
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John Shirley does another great western novel in this book. It worked with what I was expecting from the previous books. The characters felt like they belonged in the Old West and I was glad it had the same charm as other books by John Shirley.
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A different kind of western story.  Instead of the all knowing good guy cowboy, this story has a formidable woman taking the lead in many affairs.  She is totally competent and unlike the general view of men of the time Cleve is totally accepting of this fine person named Berry as an intellectual and spiritual equal.

The partners, and they really are, decide to head to California from Ohio.  Each of them comes from educated and fairly wealthy families but lust for adventures.  And wow, do they get them.

The have several adventures but the one most memorable is one with what could best be described as a cultish minister named Lamb.  Lamb is a displaced English earl who has delusions of grandeur--fancying himself the real king of England.  He sets up his flock and runs it with an iron hand with the benefit of a gang of cutthroats in a high enclave on Gunmetal Mountain,.

This does not sit well with neither Cleve nor Berry.  How they, along with others, come to deal with Lamb and his followers as well as outlaw gangs and the occasional Native American tribe, deal with the issues makes for a great read.

I enjoyed this different western where a smart, resourceful, and independent woman plays a major part in the storyline. I believe most readers will also like it, a lot.
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