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Reviewed by Gobi Jane for Readers' Favorite
Death is a Grizzly by J.C. Graves is an engaging story, featuring interesting characters, including a Kodiak grizzly bear. The bear is wounded by a Cheyenne who shoots an arrow that penetrates the skull of the animal, but not enough to kill it. The animal is not just wounded, it is filled with rage and, in response to the attack it has lived through, starts by killing some of the stray cattle and eating them. It also kills and eats the vaqueros who come in to rope it. Now, the cowboys are in a rage, and selling the herd, they set out to have their revenge. The bear becomes the hunter, who goes after the cowboys, and when the thunderstorm hits, the carnage takes on a whole new level. Can the cowboys kill the bear or will they all succumb to its rage?
J.C. Graves has written a western that is original in its plot and will have a strong appeal to fans of thrillers, adventure, and horror. It is fast-paced and filled with action. J.C. Graves creates a powerful character in the bear and invests it with feelings and intelligence that make it easy for readers to relate to the animal. The writing is stellar, sprinkled with vivid descriptions, from the opening of the story with the description of the weather and the snowflakes, the battles, and the characters. I loved the way the characters are named: Little Turtle, Shouts to the Wind, White Crow, Black Spotted Horse, Red Wolf, and others. There is a hunting tradition that is beautifully written into the story, and I loved how the accents of the characters are portrayed in the writing. From the beginning, the adventures of Little Turtle with his bow and arrows and his ingenious invention caught my attention. There is so much to enjoy in this novel and the author has something for an audience with diverse tastes. It is tightly plotted and written in prose that is lyrical.