Can a path of blood lead to redemption?
Is redemption enough to amend a wayward world?
Morality and reality have shifted from their natural axis. Technology and ideology derive from the remnants of a world long dead and segregated by the monsters that now rule the seas.
Crow, a young ranch hand, is swept into an odyssey of redemption and revenge as he strives to hold back the ravages of fate and the urges born of a curse shared with his new mentor.
Callus, an exile struggling to find redemption whilst keeping his vampiric curse from tainting his new ward, pursues his prey across the sea.
The new world they discover reveals a tyrannical society fixated on their council’s ascension to godhood.
Callus and Crow is a Weird Western novel, which starts the Wayward World Chronicles series, written by D.B. Rook. An unapologetic debut, which presents us a bleak and dark world (I would call this book grimdark at moments), with touches of Lovecraftian horror, where our characters will live a gripping and fast-paced adventure; all spiced with an experimental narrative style, jumping between different POVs, documents from the world and even an anonymous narrator.
A story which mostly narrates the journey that will irremediably change the life of our two characters, from the first moment the wandering tribesmen Callus arrives at the ranch where Crow Holborn lives in the company of his father; the point that marks the start of a journey of vengeance and discovery. A strong bond is forged between these two, sharing many things, and mimicking a bit the relationship Crow would have expected to have with his own parent; the curse that afflicts Callus slowly becomes part of Crow. Callus life is one tightly woven to violence and persecution, and that means this story won't be exempt from scares and difficult situations.
This brings us to the world, a post-apocalyptic one which shares many aspects with the classic Western genre; however, once we are immersed into the story, and with a style that includes notes, documents and different narrators, the fantasy and horror elements become present, in a blend that takes from here and there, creating a unique pastiche that includes Lovecraftian horror, good old spirits, and vampires. A world that feels immense and desolated at the same time, a place where any mistake can cost your life and your soul.
Its unique narrative style also brings a bit of problems with the pacing and continuity, as sometimes you might feel confused with the amount of information you are getting thrown; all the pieces make sense at the end, and the author makes an excellent job creating middle points where all converged.
Said that, Callus and Crow is a great debut, which shines by itself, and that if you are looking for Weird Western with grimdark and horror touches, is a perfect choice for you. I'm curious to see how DB Rook will continue this series, because there's so much potential in it.
DB Rook lives in the North of England with his wife and two beautiful children. He is a drummer, a gamer, and a dreamer who loves to spend time in other worlds, as well as this one. He has spent recent years working in the charity sector whilst occasionally visiting the Wayward World to stretch his legs and feed his soul.
Callus & Crow is his debut novel, the first volume from The Wayward World Chronicles. A post-apocalyptic vision of a new world built on the warped axis of a world you probably know very well.