HUNGER ON THE CHISHOLM TRAIL
(Splatter Western, Book Two)
By M. Ennenbach
*3.5 out of 5*
Though this title isn’t as strong as The Magpie Coffin, Hunger on the Chisholm Trail (book two in the Splatter Western series) is a fast and furious read that I thoroughly enjoyed.
A cattle drive from Texas to Kansas is about to have a bad time. Along the Chisholm Trail, a powerful creature lies in wait, hungry for the feast on display. There’s also a town along the way – called Duncan – that is also ripe for slaughter, save for Karl Beck (a monster hunter) and his Sheriff friend set to leave town soon with his wife.
There are numerous characters in this short novel, very few of which left any real impression with me. As a result, I sometimes forgot who was who for a page or two. There was also a problem with Beck – the supposed hero – who you’d expect to have a stronger personality (or actual skills worth displaying), but instead blends in with the crowd.
Some scenes also felt a little rushed and lacking in detail. You don’t want that when the action and horror kick in, but it happens nevertheless here. Luckily, the finale in Duncan makes up for those softer moments, providing us a healthy body count.
Despite my complaints, I found this book to be a lot of damn fun. At the very least, it has continued to the Splatter Western series in the right direction, providing us another enjoyable ride through blood and guts (which there was more of here than in book one of the series). Ennenbach also benefited his story with great set pieces and descriptions; unlike The Magpie Coffin, I really felt the Wild West foundation in this one – I appreciated that quite a bit, as you can imagine.
I will be heading straight into book three next: Dust!