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Red Station Kenzie Jennings Main

"Red Station" Book Review

Written by Andrew Fowlow

Published by Death's Head Press

red station kenzie jennings poster large

Written by Kenzie Jennings
2020, 146 pages, Fiction
Released on November 12th, 2020

Review:

A group of weary stagecoach travellers are making their way across the baron plains of Kansas when they happen upon a station home. What is supposed to be a place for people to rest, relax and fill their bellies quickly becomes a hellscape of brutal violence and bloodshed. This homestead is not a rest stop as much as it's the place where monsters prey on seemingly innocent and vulnerable folks. But this time is different. The lady in red won't go down without a fight and the evil that lurks within those walls is about to get more than they bargained for.

Where do I even begin with this short and shocking western novel? Horror fans, like me, will be enthralled by the storytelling in Red Station. In a recent blog post, Kenzie Jennings explains that the book is inspired by tales of The Bloody Benders in Kansas. They were a German family of serial killers that ran a station home and robbed travellers. What the author did with that inspiration is nothing short of amazing. It is reminiscent of a Quinton Tarantino film set in the Wild West and dare I say, even more gruesome. The mayhem and bloodshed that ensues within the pages of this book are wickedly entertaining, to say the least. But that’s not all. From the moment the characters enter the station home, the reader is afflicted with heart-pounding tension. Almost every scene thereafter the author assaults the reader with an unrelenting barrage of bloody fight scenes that are brutal and devastating.

Clyde Northway. Remember that name. She is the most unforgiving, resilient, and deadly female protagonist I have ever read in horror. This is a character with real grit and determination in the heat of battle. These are all things we come to expect in a western. The male lead is always this rough and tough, shoot’m up type gunslinger that overcomes insurmountable odds. Well, Kenzie Jennings delivered a strong female protagonist with more tenacity than any of the desperados that came before her. Something the author has stated is that she always loved the concept of a final girl and that is a trope she wanted for this story. Now, Clyde Northway is no final girl. Sure, the trope is true to the story, but I don’t feel that it’s the best way to describe the character. A final girl is generally portrayed as the underdog who survived something horrific. Not Clyde Northway. She is the woman in red and she is no underdog. You just know right off the get-go that she is going to stand tall at the end, surrounded by the mangled remains of her enemies.

There's so much to love about the Splatter Western series, but one of my favourite things is the western dialogue. It adds to the atmospheric tone of each novel. The author did a fantastic job of this in Red Station and readers are going to adore the western drawl that will make them feel right at home in every scene. Jennings takes it a step further as well by sprinkling in a bit of German language. The Adler's speak it when they want to communicate freely in front of their prey. It's actually used as a kind of a framing device for the brutal and unsettling carnage that ensues. Ich bin bis über beide Ohren verliebt!

I am absolutely astounded by Kenzie Jennings and her ability to craft a gut-wrenching story that is emphatically adorned in viscera. There are inconceivable horrors that lay in waiting for those who read this Splattertastic masterpiece. I declare that Red Station is the best book in the Splatter Western series. I'm not just recommending this book because it deserves much more than that. As a fan of all things dark and terrifying, you owe it to yourself to get this book in your possession as quickly as possible.

Grades:

Overall: 5 Star Rating Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
Cover
Buy from Amazon UK.

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