Part Steampunk, part Western, part Sci-Fi, part Fantasy — and wholly original — Coyote: The Outlander by Chantal Noordeloos (@C_Noordeloos) is a fun read that I finished in a couple sittings this past weekend. As the first of a series, this book serves to introduce the world and characters, doing so without bogging down in exposition.
The setting isn’t exactly the Old West you’ve seen before (and honestly, having been born in Illinois, I don’t consider Indiana as being “west” of anything). True, there are Native American tribes, saloons, brothels, and horses … but there are also bicycles and “horseless carriages” powered by steam.
And one more thing: there are “rips” in space which allow travel between Earth and other planets, and for some reason a lot of these rips are in Indiana. Aliens who come to Earth are called Outlanders, and as you may expect they are mostly feared by humans.
Coyote (no one calls her by her given name, Charlotte) is a woman in a job traditionally held by men: bounty hunter. Along with her companion Caesar, she specializes in finding dangerous Outlanders, often working for the Pinkerton Agency. On her latest job for Pinkerton, Coyote will learn some unexpected things about herself and her world.
An interesting added feature for Coyote: The Outlander is a “second screen” experience, with a website that provides additional information and some backstories unlockable by codes provided in the book. This website was temporarily offline when I tried using it, but the author assured me it would be available again soon. I can’t wait to delve deeper into this interesting sandbox.
To learn more about the author and her writing, visit her website.