Book Title: Calamity: Being an Account of Calamity Jane and Her Gunslinging Green Man
Author: J.D. Jordan
Genres: Science Fiction, Western, Humor, Action
Date Read: 08/16/16
Pub Date: 09/01/16
I’m sure you’ve heard of Calamity Jane, but this is not a novel about Calamity Jane. At least not the Jane you may have read about. Calamity Jane is part of the legends of the Wild West, but long before she scouted with Custer or “Wild Bill” Hickok, she was a fifteen-year-old girl with a fiery temper.
Violence and tragedy turn young Jane’s world upside down and soon she finds herself riding with an alien gunslinger—the Green Man—through a landscape of revenge and betrayal.
Along the way, she learns how to shoot a six-gun and how to stand on her own, even when surrounded by Lakota warriors, and be respected. From space ships to guns that can shoot the wings off a butterfly a mile away, young Jane realizes that the universe is far bigger than the Wild West and that she can trust no one in it to save her but herself.
When the villainous Grays meddling in the wars between the Indians and the government stand in the way of the Green Man making his way home, Jane finds her desire for revenge may be less than her loyalty for the longrider. And in that realization, she becomes the hero the Wild West has long remembered.
So, forget what you know of how the West was won. Forget the Indian Wars and Custer’s Last Stand. Instead, learn the truth of what happened when a young girl met a longrider she called the Green Man . . .
I would have NEVER picked this book up on my own, but I’m so glad I did! This is not my typical genre (or mix of genres), but there was something so fresh and sharp about this one; at times I was in stitches from laughing so hard and at others I was captured by the action. Highly recommended for those looking for something new and unique, especially if you are looking to broaden your genre selection and expose yourself to something that might not cross your radar otherwise. I believe the above does a fantastic job summarizing the plot and causing the curiosity bug to bite, so I’ll let that be and move on to my thoughts.
I loved the style in which this was written; if you visit the author’s social media (particularly Instagram) you can find some great little explanations of some of the “western terms” used through out the book that also add a little extra impression of how dedicated the author was to such a difficult feat to write.
“EX. no. 11:BERDACHE
noun. An Indian male who dressed and lived entirely as a woman, fulfilling a cultural role within the tribe. A two-spirit. Sometimes called in Indian languages a “would be woman” and sometimes thought of as a third sex. Common among the tribes of the Americas, these men-women had social and religious powers.
For a time, I watched them warriors do their terrible dance, moving in and out of shadow like nightmares, naked but for paint like blood on their skin, rifles and Green guns flashing in the firelight. And in the middle of their dance, that berdache—that would-be woman—raising his arms to the heavens, evoking their savage gods.”
The characters were also quite stellar. Here we have a young Calamity Jane; think way before all the stories you have heard and throw a little Sci-Fi into the mix with her sidekick, who is indeed an alien. You have a few different storylines mixing together which makes this a satisfying read without being challenging and pretentious for no reason. I thoroughly enjoyed rooting for Jane; she was a strong, tough, female character who could be equally as sensitive when the time called for it. If you are looking for likable characters that you can easily cheer on, this is the book for you. Don’t let the assigned genres scare you off; this is very mainstream and easy for any reader to follow and enjoy.
The cover is neat and the paperback copy was as easy read at 300 pages. JD Jordan will be writing a guest post for the blog in the upcoming couple of weeks, which I’m really looking forward to sharing on the blog! I’m really glad that author Emily Carpenter put this one on my radar and look forward to following author JD Jordan on his future endeavors!
*I borrowed an advanced copy from Emily Carpenter in exchange for a fair and honest review. Many thanks dear for your generosity and hoping this review will bring some light to a diamond in the rough!