Midway

The Landon Saga, Book 10

Fiction - Western
181 Pages
Reviewed on 08/31/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite

No fluff! Pure cowboy! Midway is the tenth book in Tell Cotten’s The Landon Saga. The Landon brothers, Cooper and Yancy, are just your average Texas Rangers. Well, maybe not average! Returning to Midway, after a rescue mission in New Mexico, Yancy is eager to see Jessica. He is going to propose right away, but Cooper convinces him to bathe first. Yancy awkwardly pops the question, and Jessica accepts. Much to everyone’s surprise, Yancy and Jessica agree to get married the following day. Why wait? While Yancy prepares for his wedding, Cooper is left handling all the town’s law issues. In one day’s time, Cooper must settle a domestic violence dispute, handle an alcoholic cowpuncher who destroyed the saloon, deal with Wyatt, his coming of age adopted son, and confront four Mexican bandits who want to kill Yancy. Proving once again, the Landon brothers rarely experience normal, peaceful days. Don’t mess with Texas!

Midway by Tell Cotten is an amusing gun-slinging western. Not having read any of the previous books in The Landon Saga, I was grateful for the list of the main characters and their current status given at the beginning of the book. Tell Cotten quickly catches the reader up on what is happening with the Landon brothers, and then jumps right into their continuing saga. The short chapters propel the plot action, creating a steady pace from one chapter to the next. Far from boring, there is no hitch in the giddy-up of this story at all! Being born and raised in the Texas panhandle, I felt right at home with the story’s West Texas setting. The narrative is written in first person, told from Cooper’s point of view; however, Yancy’s personality speaks loud and clear! The brotherly banter throughout the story was warm and comically entertaining. I believe the continual changing of shirts was my favorite part. Most would simply iron a shirt, not use them as element of irony! It wouldn’t be a western if the lawmen did not strut down the street to a gunfight! With this in mind, Tell Cotten totally delivers. Midway concludes with a happily ever after ending, well at least for the Landon brothers. Midway’s town sheriff might think otherwise.

Sarah Scheele

This short western novel is the 10th in The Landon Saga by author Tell Cotten, and it drew me in from the first page. Picking up on adventures from the preceding book, Midway sees Texas Ranger Cooper Landon returning from fighting Apaches. He seeks only peace and quiet, but it’s not to be. His adopted son is growing up, his brother Yancy is getting married, his friend’s new cowpuncher is a dangerous alcoholic, the sheriff is an incompetent child barely out of his teens--and that’s just for starters. When a rough-edged Mexican with a vendetta against Yancy and a local rancher with a bad marriage show up in town, Cooper just keeps getting into situations. Sometimes it is really hard to get a decent day's rest.

Midway was a stellar book and I enjoyed every minute of it. Tell Cotten is a minimalist and each word counts, making for a crisp, action-packed story that is easy to follow and easy to read. The humorous writing, the dry wit, and the memorable, sharply visualized characters had me deeply involved. Cooper and Yancy’s banter alone is priceless, but the cast around them is also good, keeping the story brisk and punctuated with surprises around every corner. Midway creates a thoroughly real western town populated by drunks, cranks, rough ranchers, romantic love-birds, and domestic violence—all while keeping it clean and entertaining, with a light satirical undertone that makes it stick out a notch from the crowd. Laced with unobtrusive flashbacks, it does fine as a stand-alone, meaning people can easily dive into this series. Highly recommended.

Dave Eisenstark

Cooper Landon narrates the tenth book in this saga. In this one—Midway by Tell Cotten—Cooper and his brother, Yancy, both Texas Rangers now, return home to Midway, Texas, after helping to rescue their cousin's wife from Apaches. To Cooper's surprise, Yancy plans to marry Jessica, and intends to pop the question that very day! Fortunately, Jessica says yes. The night before the wedding, Yancy and Cooper are forced to subdue a huge, strong drunk—Tex, a friend of Wyatt, Cooper's teenage son. In a jail cell the next day, Tex regrets his actions. Cooper warns Tex to stay away from his son. Wyatt is irate with his father. Other conflicts arise: four Mexicans ride into town looking for Yancy to avenge their brother's death (from the previous book). There's also a new couple in town, the wife a victim of spousal abuse. It takes a bit of gun play to sort it all out, but Yancy manages to stop bleeding in time for his own wedding, and Cooper reconciles with his son.

I truly enjoyed Midway, and look forward to going back and reading the previous nine books. Not to say this one doesn't stand on its own—the book is entirely self-contained; prior reading isn't necessary. In Midway, Tell Cotten creates a charming group of individuals who we root for from beginning to end (except the villains, of course, who receive their share of justice). People aren't without their flaws, however, and this book touches on universal, timeless issues such as alcoholism and domestic abuse. In that aspect, it reminded me a little of the '50s-'60s saddlebag morality tales told every week on Gunsmoke, Rawhide, Have Gun Will Travel, and Wagon Train. The book is fast, easy reading, mostly told through dialogue, and Tell Cotten has a real ear for sharp conversation, with a huge dollop of humor thrown in nicely. And plenty of action, too. Very enjoyable read. Highly recommended.

Rosie Malezer

Yancy and Cooper Landon are friends, brothers and Texas Rangers who answer to Judge Parker. Finally home from a near-death encounter with some outlaw natives, Yancy cannot wait to propose to his sweetheart, Jessica, who has been anxiously waiting for his return. With the wedding set for the day after the proposal, there is no time to waste in preparations, but that does not stop trouble from cropping up at every turn. From bar room brawls, domestic violence and death threats, these peace-keeping brothers are pushed to the absolute limit when they not only have to plan a last-minute wedding, but also need to find a way to ensure that Yancy is still alive to say his wedding vows.

Although Midway is not the first book in The Landon Saga series, its readability as a stand-alone book is ideal, as the characters are extremely well-written and easy to relate to. Tell Cotten seems to have the knack of relaying a tale which is wonderfully visual in all respects, whether it be a backstory of where a character’s journey has begun, or intimate thoughts and details in action sequences as they take place. Trying to decipher what is going on in the back of each character’s mind (such as Tex, Emily, Bart, the Mexicans and the brothers themselves) is quite an exciting adventure in itself, and I now find myself wanting to seek out the rest of the books in The Landon Saga so I can see the tale form within a timeline, as readers tend to do in any incredible book series. I was thrilled to read the highs and lows of the Landon brothers’ adventures, and highly recommend Midway to all fans of drama, action, comedy and romance in this brilliantly-told western adventure.

Michelle Stanley

Midway: The Landon Saga, Book 10 is a Western yarn by Tell Cotten. Texas Rangers, Cooper and Yancy Landon, return to the town of Midway where Yancy proposes to Jessica Tussle, although her uncle doesn’t seem pleased. The wedding date is set, but problems always follow the Texas Rangers. Yancy receives bruises when he attempts to arrest Tex, an angry drunk with issues that concern Cooper. Cooper gives Big Ben a taste of his own medicine when the aggressive rancher beats his wife, but the rancher doesn’t take defeat well. When four mean-looking Mexicans ride into town, looking for Yancy hours before the wedding, it only means more trouble. Yancy wonders if he will walk into the church for his wedding, or be carried in for his funeral.

Whenever I hear about the old West, things that come to mind are outlaws, gunfights, coffee and beans on the fire, and smelly cowboys out on the range. Midway is a wonderful story that has the above-mentioned. Tell Cotten really has a knack for writing Western stories. His characters are interesting in a good setting. Cooper and Yancy’s methods of solving problems are clever and sometimes not entirely within the law. They retain a good sense of humour, even when fighting. Their wry comments to each other made me laugh. Midway, Book 10 in The Landon Saga is a very short, exciting story, which does not contain any violence or graphic scenes. I wholeheartedly recommend Tell Cotten’s novel, Midway. You won’t be disappointed.