Book Review: The Shotgun Arcana (Golgotha Book 2) by R. S. Belcher

The townspeople of Golgotha are used to weird things happening in their Old West town, and this time it's a band of murderers, led by an angel who's lost his way, spurred on by a skull poisoning their minds with even more evil. The people of Golgotha will have to work together and find the good inside themselves if they want to save their town.

Book Review: The Shotgun Arcana (Golgotha Book 2) by R. S. Belcher | reading, books, historical fantasy, western, weird west, paranormal/urban fantasy
Title: The Shotgun Arcana
Book Number: Book 2
Pages: 399
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon, Publisher


These books are slow and meandering. They take a long time to get to the point of the plot. They spend a lot of time just exploring random things going on in the town or out and about in the world.

But gosh, these characters are so great! I feel so attached to them. They’re imperfect and good-hearted and lovable. Their relationships and friendships are so sweet and genuine. I may not be all that interested in some of them, but even those characters are still lovable and I don’t want bad things to happen.

I really enjoyed the parts about 16-year-old Jim trying to catch a serial killer and also having his first romance, Jim and Mutt’s friendship, Mutt and Maude wooing each other and fighting for their relationship despite the hate against them, Harry trying to balance duty and love, Harry and Mutt’s mutual dislike but respect for each other, Jon just trying to get by and survive and keep the town safe but also maybe finally finding some happiness for himself, Malachi also trying to keep the town safe in his own way while having a crisis of faith and getting to know his daughter. I didn’t care that much for Augustus and Gillian’s relationship, Clay’s science experiments, or Maude’s supernatural hunting trip, but, again, they’re still good characters.

The third person omniscient/head-hopping was still there, but it didn’t so much bother me this time because I knew to expect it, and I think it just wasn’t as confusing and chaotic.

The main story was also good, once it got going. And the battle at the end of the book was wild. Townsfolk, psychopaths, assassins, pirates, scientists, supernatural shapeshifters, angels. It was great.

Of course I loved the Old West setting too. These books are quintessential weird west books, what with all the weird sci-fi/fantasy stuff that goes on.

Overall, I loved seeing more of these lovably imperfect characters and their relationships, and I’m glad I continued this series.


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    1. Kristen Burns

      It is a very slice-of-life feel in these books, I’m glad that works so well for you! And that you like this series too! I’ve never really cared for Maude though, so idk if I’m going to bother with the third book :-/

  1. Greg

    I think the Weird West/ Lovecraftian elements of the first one were my favorite parts of that- glad to hear it’s just as zany this time around! that last battle sounds epic! It’s funny too because I feel like I used to read a lot more omniscient POV type books and since blogging I’ve gotten away from that- some?- so now it feels weird to read a book like that. 🙂 I’m so much more used to firt person narratives now and whatnot.

    Anyway glad this was good. 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      The battle was SO epic! You should continue with this one, I think you’d like it. Idk how I used to feel about omniscient. I think I always read mostly 1st person and 3rd person limited POVs, so I get easily frustrated with anything else.

  2. Olivia-Savannah Roach

    I can actually almost forgive everything as long as the book has good characters and it is engaging enough with their development. BUT I have been reading more and more slow books with good characters and realising that pacing is really important to me so I don’t think I could enjoy this series as much as you. But I am happy you love the characters so much!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah I can forgive a lot for good characters too, but I can definitely understand having issues with pacing. It does get frustrating when pacing is off.