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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Refuge is a work of fiction in the action and adventure western sub-genre and was penned by author Mike Shellenbergar. In this unique take on the old West, we find ourselves following a female protagonist, Morgan ‘Cinch’ McCall, who doesn’t conform to anything a woman of the time is told to be. Captured by Comancheros when she was young, Cinch will do anything to take vengeance on them. So when she gets her chance, this sharp-witted heroine takes on the toughest and most enduring quest she’ll ever face. What results is a gritty and action-packed adventure tale with realistic roots planted in history.
Author Mike Shellenbergar celebrates the traditional storytelling of the western genre but has also crafted a modern masterpiece that can be appreciated for any reader seeking a strong female lead. Cinch is a heroine who fully understands the historical position of her gender, and the author cleverly subverts and disguises her so that she can go on her way as an assassin and bounty hunter. The plot points are well-paced to give us plenty of sweeping vistas and gritty atmospheres of the old West in between the action scenes, and when those do come, they’re filled with dynamic prose that snaps us from one thrilling moment to the next. The dialogue was most impressive too, really capturing the expressions and parlance of the period and heightening character details through that. Overall, Refuge is a recommended read for fans of westerns who are also looking for something unique and fresh to enjoy.