From Goodreads: Fistful of Reefer delivers a surge equivalent to a cocktail of 1 part serotonin, 2 parts adrenaline, with a dash of grenadine served over ice. This double-fisted, dieselpunk weird-Western resides between No Country for Old Men and The Three Amigos.
In 1918, when Chancho Villarreal and his friends inadvertently create the legend of El Chupacabra, they draw the attention of Texas Ranger J.T. McCutchen to their goat ranch and marijuana farm north of Del Rio, Texas. What follows is an action-packed ride across the wilds of a Texas haunted by rumors of Chupacabras behind every bush.
This is definitely an action intense novel; there are few moments of downtime before the characters are tearing off on their next adventure, and thus, it’s a fairly riveting read, especially for those looking for a fast-paced story to pass the time. The characters are all interesting, sort of strange in some aspects, but they definitely keep the reader’s attention as the plot unfolds, what with the legend of Chupacabra as a means to protect their marijuana farm… but that’s just the beginning. The novel follows our three heroes as they travel across Texas in this unorthodox yet alluring western, running from the law. With gun fights, flood waters, and horse chases abounding, it’s definitely a non-stop action adventure, and I especially enjoyed the role reversal Brown employs in his novel.
J.T. McCutchen, the Ranger and antagonist of this novel, is definitely one to dislike, and Brown does a great job making him “hateable.” It’s a strange plot twist, actually, in that the good guy is actually bad, and the bad guys are actually good—one doesn’t usually go into a story about growing marijuana and expect the growers to come out as the good guys, but Brown twists his story in such a way that this is exactly what happens. And, I was very interested to note that this really isn’t a novel about smoking illegal marijuana, but instead focuses more so on the planting and harvesting of such a crop. While this novel is not one that I personally would say is true-to-life, especially with its aspects of dieselpunk—a genre I was unfamiliar with prior to reading this novel—it was a fun ride, though there was so much going on I sometimes found myself lost within it all. But that’s okay, because overall, this was a very interesting and fun read. Three and a half stars.
I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.