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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Misfortune Annie and the Locomotive Reaper is an action and adventure novel set in the wild West for preteens and young adults, written by Janet "The Kid" Fogg and "Gusto" Dave Jackson. Annie had her work cut out for her when she agreed to guide the Reverend Curtis and his deacons through the Indian burial ground. Booby traps were set throughout the deserted structure, and each one promised swift and lethal attention to the unwary. The reverend and his deacons seemed overly concerned about the time, however, providing the already suspicious Annie with just one more clue that these religious men were not exactly who they claimed to be. And indeed, they weren't. Rather they were outlaws planning to rob the 3:10 train to Denver. As the Reverend prepared to dispatch her, their attention was drawn to a strangely loud hissing noise and the sudden appearance of a flying man. Annie couldn't believe her eyes. His figure was strangely warped, his back similar in shape to a buffalo’s. But she didn't have the time right then to consider this weird apparition. First, she had to stop the outlaws from attacking the train. She could do that.
Janet "The Kid" Fogg and "Gusto" Dave Jackson's imaginative blend of Western and Steampunk fantasy, Misfortune Annie and the Locomotive Reaper, pits Annie, her best friend, Wontoa, and US Agent Slokam against an evil inventor nicknamed the Locomotive Reaper. Annabelle Fortune is brilliant, resourceful and just about as good at anything you could ask for as any man around. She's also a lot of fun to follow as she finds herself in all sorts of crazy situations and blithely takes care of them all. Sometimes she thinks about getting into the girly stuff other young women her age are into, but, no, there's just too much out there for her to do, and it's too much fun. While I'm not ordinarily a big fan of Westerns, I had a grand time reading Misfortune Annie and the Locomotive Reaper. I loved the Indiana Jones-style touches in the beginning of the story and found that the Steampunk elements and the influences of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne put a very nice spin on the classic western. The plot is inspired, the characters are well defined and believable, and the action is fast-paced. Misfortune Annie and the Locomotive Reaper is most highly recommended.