Coyote – The Outlander is the first book in a series detailing the adventures of the titular bounty hunter, as she treks across a fantastical re-imagining of early 20th-century America, hot on the heels of inhuman outlaws. On her way, Coyote finds herself caught up in a strange conspiracy, sees impossible technologies and has her share of well-written, spaghetti western-style shootouts.
Chantal Noordeloos’ take on the Steampunk Western genre is a unique one, re-purposing the legends and styles of the pulp heroes and retooling them to fit in the idea of otherworldy visitors as illegal immigrants entering our reality to perform imaginative, elaborate crimes against the population. Coyote is a tenacious and very resourceful protagonist, with just that little bit of questionable morality that makes for a great gunslinger. And the world depicted in the pages of the book is colorful and weird in just the right amounts. The genius insertion of back-story through bonus content on Tip My Hat’s website is also a great idea on the author’s behalf, avoiding the unnecessary stop-start motion of describing the setting that the book takes place in.
The cover by Johnathan De Vries, is beautifully drawn and eye-catching but doesn’t manage to insert the more outlandish (and in my opinion most interesting) aspects of the book, such as the Outlanders. In spite of this, I cannot recommend Coyote enough, especially to people who love stories about the Weird West.