Narrator: Matt Godfrey
Published by Self Published / Indie on 20 March 2018
Length: 3 hrs and 54 mins
Genres: Horror, Western
Source: Narrator, Submitted
Dean Koontz meets Louis L'amour in this weird Western by Robert Swartwood and David B. Silva
Things are bad for Clay Miller and George Hitchens. For starters, they're on the run from a posse out for blood. Then, as they ride through the Utah desert, the two come across the crumpled body of a young boy on the brink of death. The boy can't speak, but it's clear he's frightened of something nearby. When asked what's got him so scared, the terrified boy writes three letters in the dirt...DED.
By nightfall, Clay and George are tied up in jail. They can't move. They can't speak. They can do nothing but listen to the boy, outside, screaming for his life. Yes, things are bad for Clay and George. And they're only going to get worse.
©2013 Robert Swartwood (P)2018 Robert Swartwood
ABR received this audiobook for free from the Narrator, Submitted in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the audiobook or the content of our review.Buy from Audible Buy from Amazon.comAdd to Goodreads
In its opening moments, George and Clay, a pair of men on the run from the law and fleeing through the desert, come across a small boy lying near-death beneath the hot sun. The boy is the sole survivor of a massacre that wiped out a nearby town and when they take it upon themselves to care for the boy and investigate, George and Clay find themselves captured by bandits and tied up in jail. The men are to be sacrifices for the inhuman evils roaming the desert, the nightmarish creatures that wiped out the town and demand blood, creatures that only come out at night.
Co-written by Robert Swartwood and David B. Silva, Walk the Sky is a very well-done work of western horror. It’s also Silva’s final piece of work, having passed away in 2013 mere weeks after the publication of this title as a limited edition hardcover by Thunderstorm Books. As such, Walk the Sky is dedicated to Silva, who, as an editor, author, and Bram Stoker Award winner, has a long, and very rich, legacy within the horror genre. Silva was not just a friend and mentor to Swartwood, but a co-author on one other title they penned together, At the Meade Bed & Breakfast. Listening to Walk the Sky in audio format, it’s hard for me to tell where Swartwood’s style separates from Silva’s, and their prose blends together seamlessly. The end result is a perfectly engaging story filled with terrific characters, some of them quite smarmy, and a rich supernatural spine binding them all together.
On narrating duties is Matt Godfrey, whose soft, natural reading style is one I’m quickly becoming a fan of after listening previously to his smooth delivery of The Happy Man from Valancourt Books. His subdued Southern twang lends a certain richness and authenticity to this particular work, and his use of a rougher, gravelly voice for Clay lends to that character an air of American Western classicism that I quite enjoyed. All in all, this a polished and professional production.
Walk the Sky takes a number of Western genre tropes – outlaws on the run, gun-toting bandits, a town ruled by an iron fist – and twists them in a number of satisfying ways, with particular motives being wrenched in response to an ancient, mysterious force. Of the handful of supernatural historical horrors I’ve read thus far in 2018, Walk the Sky is easily my favorite, sitting tall in the saddle as the best of the bunch.