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for good time, Western-style…

By capriox, member

Feb 22, 2010: I enjoy this new story by MeiLin just as much as I enjoy her other work, "The Intimate History". All the best elements carry over: the fully realized emotions, motivations, and personalities of the characters; the practiced writing/editing skills; the world-building; the engaging plots & drama; the whiff romance; and of course the hint of sex (actually no explicit sex in this tale, but it’s certainly acknowledged).

This time MeiLin takes her storytelling skills to a wild West mining town, only instead of gold, they’re mining the magical mineral called hermetauxite. The protagonist is the investigator-disguised-as-a-schoolmarm Annabelle Duniway, but there’s a whole cast of other characters that we get omniscient sneak peaks at about along the way.

Instead of the political intrigue background of the History, the Gulch has a deliberate "soap opera" framing to it. No histronics or overacting yet, but lots of little personal subplots going on, so that every chapter so far has a minor cliffhanger or revelation for somebody. It’s a quick, light read.

My one caution is that there is a narrator from the "modern day" for the first few chapters. Sometimes he works, sometimes he doesn’t, although I believe MeiLin has altered the text so that you can read the story without reading his part.

This story took a couple chapters to grow from "okay" to "great fun" for me, but now that I’ve followed the characters for a bit, I’ve gotten hooked.

Go check it out, folks. Yeehaw!

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