I have only recently read and reviewed Volume One of these adventures. I was excited to read more, but at the same time I had the usual trepidation I find on starting the second part of a series. They are rarely as good. I’m glad to say that this was one of the exceptions. If you have read volume one then you like me are probably itching to find out what forged Cash into the hard-bitten Marshal that he is. You are? Good. Read on because nearly half of this tome is dedicated to revealing his origins.
What I wasn’t expecting from this collection of short stories was to shed a tear. There is a really emotive scene concerning Cash’s mum (the one that raised him as her own) which had personal significance to me and I couldn’t help but well up as I read a situation that took me right back to the single most emotional day of my entire life. I don’t like spoilers and my not so subtle hint that Cash was raised by somebody other than his birth parents is about as close as I get.
As with the first volume most of the world building comes from my memories of watching cowboy films with my dad (we all did that, right?), and the stories are very much driven by the vivid and believable characters. As simple as the plots may seem, the strength and feeling of the rough justice mentality carries you along. There has to be something really subtle and sneaky about this book because nothing that seems this simple should be so enjoyable, right? Maybe this is just my mind rebelling against the complicated protagonists whose morality is various shade of grey, but there is something really uplifting about the way justice is dispensed by the heroes in these stories.
I think the biggest complaint the author is going to get about both of these volumes is that there should be more stories focussed on Gideon Miles. The only other fault I can level is that these volumes are too short. I could easily have read at least two or three more stories in each volume.