A Christmas gift straight off my Amazon Wish List, Leather Denim and Silver: Legends of the Monster Hunter is a compilation of modern writers tackling the subject of those who fight back against the darkness. The Van Helsings of the world who stand up against creatures that we hope do not exist.
The compilation is divided by the type of monster being hunted: Werewolves, Vampires, Spirits, and Monsters. The book is a monster in itself by today’s standards. At 9.7 x 7.4 inches, the 271-page book packs 29 stories.
Overall, the compilation was well-written and bloody fun. The first story, Reasons to Kill by Shelley Ontis, sets the tone for the book nicely by presenting a werewolf hunter from the American Old West. Whiskey and whores! Revolvers and revenge! Gritty, dark and dirty! And that’s just the hero…
Alderwood and Old Lace by Jaleta Clegg is a great story about an old widow named Rose wearing fuzzy, pink slippers and wielding a feather-duster. But don’t be fooled. When a powerful vampire and his followers come to finish business started years ago, they discover that this retired vampire hunter still has some fight left in her.
Other favorites include Capitol Vices by Lina Branter, Tentacles and Petticoats by T.W. Garland, and the impossibly-epic story Finally, the Source by Christopher Nadeau, (H.P. Lovecraft would be proud) but this compilation contained many other great stories and interesting heroes.
Unfortunately, there was one poorly-written story, and the editing was dodgy throughout. I’m not an editor by any stretch of the style manual, but all the proof you need that editors cannot be replaced by a computer are here. Actual editors reading this book might burst into flames, but none of the issues kept me from enjoying fighters, slayers, and hunters squaring off against real monsters.
Issues aside, Leather, Denim and Silver: Legends of the Monster Hunter delivers on its promise, with stories of heroes who load up and head out into the night to look evil in the eye and fight it to the death. If you’re tired of Monster-Soap-Operas, then you need this book.