cover image Red Waters Rising: The Devil’s West, Book 3

Red Waters Rising: The Devil’s West, Book 3

Laura Anne Gilman. Saga, $16.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-4814-2975-7

In the fascinating third Devil’s West novel (after 2016’s The Cold Eye), 16-year-old Isobel née Lacayo Távora, the Devil’s Left Hand, concludes her initial ride through an alternate 19th-century North America where the territory west of the Mississippi River is alive, full of magic, and governed by the devil himself. When Isobel and her mentor, Gabriel, travel to the city of Red Stick, they discover a whole host of problems, from land disputes to mob brutality, and a rising sense of unease. As the devil’s traveling enforcer and arbitrator, it’s up to Isobel to discover the source of the region’s disquiet and prevent disaster. However, first she has to understand her own changing nature and growing powers. As with the other volumes in the series, Gilman successfully renders a magic-riddled, mysterious, even ambiguous weird West where spirits drop in and out of conversation and danger lurks around every bend in the road. Part coming-of-age story, part adventure, Isobel and Gabriel’s journeys don’t always offer neat explanations or solutions, but they satisfy nonetheless. This volume doesn’t wrap up every thread, but it brings the current story line to an appropriate conclusion while setting up potential future installments. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (July)