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~DOWNLOAD BOOK ☩ She Returns From War ♺ Four years after the horrific events in Leadville, a young woman from England, Victoria Dawes, sets into motion a series of events that will lead Cora and herself out into the New Mexico desert in pursuit of Anaba, a Navajo witch bent on taking revenge for the atrocities committed against her people When Victoria Dawes, a proper young Englishwoman, sees her parents killed by savage beasts, she embarks upon a journey of revenge Her journey will take her to Albuquerque NM, in order to enlist the aid of seasoned monster hunter Cora Oglesby Before Victoria s parents can be avenged, first they must face the menace of a Navaho skinwalker Collins first novel, Dead of Winter, was one of my surprise finds of 2012 It was a solid weird West tale featuring a unique voice and great plot twists Nee When Victoria Dawes, a proper young Englishwoman, sees her parents killed by savage beasts, she embarks upon a journey of revenge Her journey will take her to Albuquerque NM, in order to enlist the aid of seasoned monster hunter Cora Oglesby Before Victoria s parents can be avenged, first they must face the menace of a Navaho skinwalker Collins first novel, Dead of Winter, was one of my surprise finds of 2012 It was a solid weird West tale featuring a unique voice and great plot twists Needless to say, I was excited to read the follow up Unfortunately, She Returns from War isthan a bit of a letdown.It s not that this is a bad novel Plot, pacing, characterization, etc are all good But none of it really stands out against the competition.Told from Cora s POV, her voice was a distinctive feature of the first novel She Returns from War is told exclusively from the POV of Victoria Dawes After immersion in the roughhewn mind of Cora Oglesby, Victoria Dawes is a rather milquetoast choice Additionally, a large part of impact of Dead of Winter hangs upon a very significant plot twist While my expectation is not that Collins should try to replicate this each novel, the plotting in She Returns from War is rather straightforward in comparison I really liked the first book in thisseries Sadly I can t say that here Also sadly I bought this one There will be spoilers for the first book in this review I ll try to put them under spoiler tags along with the spoilers for this book but forgive me if one slips by I will be assuming that if you plan to read this one you have read the first.Here our main characterisn t the main character we got to know in the first book Cora is not only not the main character she s almost a foil to I really liked the first book in thisseries Sadly I can t say that here Also sadly I bought this one There will be spoilers for the first book in this review I ll try to put them under spoiler tags along with the spoilers for this book but forgive me if one slips by I will be assuming that if you plan to read this one you have read the first.Here our main characterisn t the main character we got to know in the first book Cora is not only not the main character she s almost a foil to introduce Mr Collins new main character Cora is also not the same person she was in the first book Where she was a view spoiler troubled woman who d learned to survive in a harsh world, one who s had a sort of breakdown break with reality she s now farcourse Cora is not as likeable as she was She s gone from a woman who occasionally had a drinking problem liked to drink and got bombed a bit too often here she s surrendered her life to the drink Instead of opening Ben s print shop she has a bar named Ben s Print Shop saloon where she drinks away her life as an old, drunken gambler hide spoiler I assume the idea here is that s it s been a lot longer than it seems to have been and Cora has gotten old and very bitter She s harder to like and I must say that as I had the audio version the reader does a very poor job with her character.Now as to the new main character The original book set up a fantasy series set in the American West I liked it It s not been done often and the first book plowed that ground well telling a good story I can only assume that the writer must have read Philippa Pip Ballantine s Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels or possibly The Parasol Protectorate Series and decided to give us his own Victorian Lady protagonist Maybe I m being pickybut those series mentioned and others already have Victorian female protagonists and this series was introed to us with different protagonists in a totally different setting If I want to read Victorian heroines their out there So, I ll mention a couple of things under a spoiler tag below but on the whole a dissatisfying book that s made a hard left onto roads that have already been well trod by others Why 2 instead of 1 There are parts of the story that are readable and just because a story is a been there done that it isn t always a bad story I m sure some people will like this one better than I and if you re looking for another Victorian Lady in a paranormal situation here you go view spoiler I m not sure why but Collins opens the book with Victoria our new protagonist in her problematic situation and then leads her tp Cora As I said Cora isn t the Cora we got to know, she refuses to help till she must, trains Victoria and then gets killed The Book ends with Victoria headed back to England to use what she s learned to go after the creatures there that sent her on her quest Don t know if I ll get the next book or notI ll certainly go slower, as I snapped this one right up hide spoiler In She Returns From War Lee Collins takes the reader back to the world he created in The Dead of Winter We return to that book s heroine Cora Ogelsby four years after the events recounted in it This time however, the point of view character isn t Cora, it is a young British lady called Victoria Dawes After losing her parents to what appear to be large, black hounds of a supernatural nature, which attack them on the road one night, she swears vengeance and turns to Cora for help Cora has In She Returns From War Lee Collins takes the reader back to the world he created in The Dead of Winter We return to that book s heroine Cora Ogelsby four years after the events recounted in it This time however, the point of view character isn t Cora, it is a young British lady called Victoria Dawes After losing her parents to what appear to be large, black hounds of a supernatural nature, which attack them on the road one night, she swears vengeance and turns to Cora for help Cora has gotten out of the business since the last book and has set up as a saloon keeper in Albuquerque Needless to say, she isn t too keen on helping Victoria out Before Victoria can leave with her request unfulfilled, she s drawn into a reckoning with not just the witch mentioned in the cover copy, but also with an adversary from Cora s past an adversary who gives Cora no choice but to get involved.While surprising at first, I found Collins choice to switch principal narrators for She Returns From War an interesting one Victoria is a completely different character than Cora and her narration is far less unreliable than Cora s was in the previous book It also allowed Collins to make choices narratively he wouldn t have been able to make if he d stuck with Cora s point of view as the principal one Despite the fact that Victoria encounters several characters of the previous book and one of the villains of that book makes a return performance, you can read this book without having read the previous one and understand everything Surprisingly enough, Collins even succeeds in not spoiling the twist for The Dead of Winter, which means even those who jump into the series with this book, will be able to enjoy the previous one fresh.Victoria is everything Cora is not she s young, she s proper, she s naive, and inexperienced Like Cora, however, she s brave, resourceful, and smart The combination of the two is an entertaining one and it s fun to see Cora put Vicky as she insists on calling her, much to Victoria s chagrin through her paces and school her in the monster hunting business Victoria s youthful tenacity is fabulous and while this tenacity doesn t fade, it s tempered by experience and learned caution, something which I appreciated Victoria also lands herself in several problematic situations through stubbornness, despite being warned she s putting herself in danger, and doesn t always manage to get herself out At the end of the novel, Victoria has not only matured tremendously, she s also learned to be at peace with the death of her parents and has discovered the fact that she has some supernatural powers of her own At the beginning of the book, Cora is similarly at peace with the events of the previous book and has settled down to run her saloon For her Victoria s arrival means an upheaval of her hard won equilibrium, but by the end she s recaptured it and is at peace with her life Collins strikes a fine balance between Cora s intractability, her desire to remain retired, and her reluctant and hard won sympathy for Victoria You get the sense that she likes Victoria almost in spite of herself.She Returns From War is a story about dealing with the consequences of actions, either your own or other people s Anaba, the Navajo witch who is the main adversary in this book, is filled with vengeance due to the way her people have been treated by the US soldiers While her anger is understandable, even justified, her reaction is not Similarly, Cora has had to come to terms with her past and her own actions, but they come back to haunt her and she needs to put them to rest to protect the innocents well, sort of innocents around her Victoria is drawn into this conflict set between people she doesn t known instigated by people she doesn t know all due to a vow of revenge So beyond having to take responsibility for one s actions, it s also important to realise the path of vengeance is never a wise path to travel.While the plot was less intricate this time around and beyond the exploration of Navajo supernatural traditions there wasn t a huge amount of expanded world building, She Returns From War packs apowerful emotional punch than The Dead of Winter did Collins has avoided the sopho slump and has completed this duology with a well delivered finale If you enjoyed The Dead of Winter, reading its sequel is a must, but even if unfamiliar with Collins debut novel, She Returns From War is a strong and gripping story I look forward to discovering where Collins will go next, whether he returns to this universe or introduces us to a new one it s bound to be interesting.This book was provided for review by the publisher Returns from War is the second novel from American author Lee Collins, and it continues the story of old west supernatural gun slinger Cora Oglesby four years after the events of her debut in The Dead of Winter.Nobody retires from a job like thisShe Returns from War opens with the tragic story of young Englishwoman Victoria Dawes, who, after a harrowing encounter with the supernatural, is directed toward now retired Cora to help her face her demons fi Returns from War is the second novel from American author Lee Collins, and it continues the story of old west supernatural gun slinger Cora Oglesby four years after the events of her debut in The Dead of Winter.Nobody retires from a job like thisShe Returns from War opens with the tragic story of young Englishwoman Victoria Dawes, who, after a harrowing encounter with the supernatural, is directed toward now retired Cora to help her face her demons figurative and literal This quest brings her to New Mexico where Cora is tending her bar and generally wanting nothing to do with any part of her old life at all Of course, as you can guess, circumstances force her back in the saddle and back into danger It was nice to not have to deal with all of the I m getting too old for this crap that tends to creep into situations like these Cora s just done with the work, not old and beaten, and she can still handle herself when she needs to.It seems to be a consistent theme someone who tries to get out always gets pulled back in for one last job, but it s something stronger and different here The impression isthat once you ve been awoken to the existence of the supernatural, it s simply not something you can put back down Cora will always be aware of what s going on She ll hear stories of someone dying in a crazy accident and just know that something else has happened It s never explicitly spelled out in She Returns from War, but I don t think I m presuming too far to read that into the story There are just some jobs you don t ever get out of on this side of life.Passing the torchNew to us in this book is the character of Victoria Dawes, an Englishwoman of taste and breeding, if a bitintellectual than most of her peers She seems to fancy herself a bit independent and tough After all, she packed up her belongings as an unchaperoned young woman and traveled to barbaric rustic America Of course, this falls apart after one day in the saddle, and she swiftly realizes the degree to which she is completely overwhelmed This is a scene we re all familiar with, and Cora even directly lampshades it with a comment about how she has forgotten how funny and useless greenhorns are.Watching Victoria develop a bit of courage and confidence was really enjoyable It felt like a definite passing along of Cora s mantle to Victoria Cora had already tried to retire, wanted nothingto do with this business, and here comes a young, strong willed woman with something to prove Without spoiling any plot details, I ll just say that Victoria is left in a place in her development that makes me really want to see a few books about her learning to be a hunter back in England I m not sure the degree to which Collins is wanting to stick with the Western motif, but a few adventures across the pond would be quite excellent.Why should you read this book It s always awkward writing this section for books that aren t the first in the series You should have already read the first book, The Dead of Winter, and if you enjoyed it, you will enjoy this as well All of the same elements that made the first book fun to read are still here The action is great, the pacing is wonderful You really get to just revel in Cora being awesome, as she drunkenly ass kicks her way through her problems, and you get to watch Victoria overcome a few prejudices about the West and about Cora, and learn that respect is something you earn, not something you re born with.I d really like to seeof this world and these characters, and so should you 3 1 2 Stars In a word Atmospheric, two feisty heroines, some poignant moments, but an ultimately unfocused plotThe sequel to last year s The Dead of Winter, a book I loved and gave five stars to, She Returns From War unfortunately fell short for me for several reasons The first book was driven by the strong and feisty character of Cora, a monster hunter who rides a horse and carries a gun Collins story and pacing were excellent, and he surprised the reader with a twist at the end that I th 3 1 2 Stars In a word Atmospheric, two feisty heroines, some poignant moments, but an ultimately unfocused plotThe sequel to last year s The Dead of Winter, a book I loved and gave five stars to, She Returns From War unfortunately fell short for me for several reasons The first book was driven by the strong and feisty character of Cora, a monster hunter who rides a horse and carries a gun Collins story and pacing were excellent, and he surprised the reader with a twist at the end that I thought was brilliant But She Returns From War lacked the cohesiveness of the first book The story was confusing and fractured, the monsters were not nearly as scary, and worst of all, Cora seemed to be a different character this time around What made me keep turning pages was the character of Victoria, a young woman from Oxford, England who finds herself completely out of her comfort zone after an encounter with a supernatural creature.The story is told from Victoria s point of view, and starts with a bang as she and her parents are riding through the countryside in a carriage, discussing her impending betrothal to a man she has no interest in, when their carriage is set upon by a group of large, dog like creatures This encounter results in a terrible accident, and while Victoria survives, both her parents are killed Vowing to avenge their deaths, she sets out on a quest to find someone to help her Her circuitous path eventually leads her to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where our erstwhile heroine Cora now lives Cora has retired from monster hunting after her exciting adventures in Leadville, Colorado, and she s opened a bar called Ben s Print Shop, an inside joke and a nod to events from The Dead of Winter Victoria tries in vain to convince Cora to return to England with her and help her exact revenge on her parents.But after Victoria is abducted one night and taken to an abandoned barn in the middle of the desert, Cora changes her tune and decides to go after the creatures that captured Victoria and then let her go One of them, a supernaturally strong vampire, calls himself Fodor Glava, a vampire that Cora killed in the first book, and Cora won t rest until she finds out why he might still be alive Controlling the vampire is a mysterious Indian woman who has many powers, among them the ability to change into animal form The story picks up momentum from this point until the expected final showdown at the end.I m wondering if Collins intended for his story to end up being a humorous buddy tale, since the bulk of the book involves Cora and Victoria reluctantly working together to kill the vampire and the Indian woman Cora dislikes Victoria the moment they meet, and continues to hurl insults at her for the entire story, often having to do with her feminine ways and her inability to do anything practical When Victoria first walks into Cora s bar, all the men think she s a prostitute, and even Cora calls her a lady of the night I never got over the uncomfortable feeling I had every time Cora spoke to Victoria It was just odd to hear an older woman referencing a younger woman s pretty little rear over and over again At one point Cora decides to teach Victoria how to shoot a gun, and if I d been Victoria, I would have turned the gun on Cora and the story would have turned out much differently.Also frustrating for me was the direction the story took after Victoria s parents are killed As implausible as it seems for a young English woman to head off on her own to America to try and find a mysterious woman who may be able to help her, and then convince this woman to come all the way back to England with her, I wasdisappointed when the story shifted away from the frankly intriguing Hell Hounds and focused on vampires and the mysterious Indian woman who holds power over them Collins seems to beinterested in creating sympathy for the plight of the Indians than making his story flow like it did in The Dead of Winter There were some interesting moments near the end when Victoria realizes she has a special power of her own, but much of the rambling plot simply slowed down the momentum of the story.The character of Victoria was the best thing about She Returns From War She s an unwed, unchaperoned woman in the 1800s, all alone in a harsh and dangerous Old West America Collins does a superb job of portraying her growth from a virtuous innocent to literally fighting for her life against supernatural creatures, and trying to sidestep the lewd advances of just about every male character in the town of Albuquerque By the end of the story, I was cheering Victoria s pluck and courage, and I would love to readof her adventures I don t know for sure whether or not there will be a third book in the series, but I did get a sense at the end that Collins could easily add another book and turn this into a trilogy Victoria s parents remain unavenged, a fact that begs for another installment.And yes, there were some moments when the old Cora made an appearance, a Cora made vulnerable by past tragedies, and I could glimpse the reasons I loved her in the first book But it just wasn t enough for me this time around I do hope the author continues Victoria s story, because that is one I am anxious to readabout.Many thanks to Angry Robot for supplying a review copy.This review originally appeared on Books, Bones Buffy See this review and others like it at BadassBookReviews.com Lee Collins Cora Oglesby series has been described as True Grit meets True Blood It s a western that takes place during the Old West gold rush, but it includes paranormal creatures such as vampires, hellhounds, and wendigos Cora is a sometimes bounty hunter that focuses on the supernatural beasties The series has a dry humor and an in your face heroine in the form of Cora She doesn t take lip from anyone and lives up to the reput See this review and others like it at BadassBookReviews.com Lee Collins Cora Oglesby series has been described as True Grit meets True Blood It s a western that takes place during the Old West gold rush, but it includes paranormal creatures such as vampires, hellhounds, and wendigos Cora is a sometimes bounty hunter that focuses on the supernatural beasties The series has a dry humor and an in your face heroine in the form of Cora She doesn t take lip from anyone and lives up to the reputation she has developed as a badass She can sling guns, play cards, and drink whiskey with the best of them I absolutely loved this series is there going to be another book, Mr Collins and found Cora to such an interesting main character I recommend this series to all paranormal readers, especially those that are looking for something a little different from the normal urban tropes.Lee Collins took a risk with She Returns to War and gave us an entirely new narrator We re still treated to Cora s brand of wit and snark, but we see the story through the eyes of young Victoria Dawes While it took a little while to settle into Victoria s head, I think the change was ultimately successful Having an outside perspective gave new weight to Cora s actions and decisions It allowed us to see her as the legend that she is without the self depreciation she tends to attribute to her deeds.I ended up liking Victoria or Vicky as Cora called her and enjoyed seeing her grow her a prissy, young lady into someone comfortable with the rough frontier life She didn t back down from challenges and was a fast learner She and Cora developed a nice rapport, though Cora was always the one with the upper hand Her ability to spirit walk was an interesting inclusion, but I wish it had been developedor at least explained a little better.While I did miss Cora s narration, I thought her story line here was fantastic We start the story with Cora settled as a bar owner and turning down Vicky s request to hire her She has retired from the monster hunting life and made peace with the events of the previous book When Vicky mentions a name from Cora s past, all those old memories are stirred up and Cora agrees to oneride Cora and Vicky are not only facing an enemy from The Dead of Winter, but they are also on the wrong side of a Navajo skinwalker The women end up having to depend upon one another for survival and the mentor student relationship between Vicky and Cora was nicely done It was entertaining to watch Vicky earn Cora s grudging respect While this book has a definite and heartbreaking ending, I see plenty of storylines that Mr Collins could choose to follow in the future I really enjoyed this series and would lovenovels in the setting Whether he decides to writeCora Oglesby novels or move onto a new and unique project, I know it will be good and I m very excited to see what Mr Collins comes up with next I highly recommend this series In this follow up to The Dead of Winter, Lee Collins gives us a second installment of his Cora Oglesby saga She Returns From War tells the story of Victoria Dawes, an English woman finding her grit in the American WestHere s all you need to know Lee Collins has improved his writing but not nearly enough to make this tale snap with electricity Collins does a great job in the early portion of this novel, I mean to say that the wheels don t completely fall off until midway through chapter t In this follow up to The Dead of Winter, Lee Collins gives us a second installment of his Cora Oglesby saga She Returns From War tells the story of Victoria Dawes, an English woman finding her grit in the American WestHere s all you need to know Lee Collins has improved his writing but not nearly enough to make this tale snap with electricity Collins does a great job in the early portion of this novel, I mean to say that the wheels don t completely fall off until midway through chapter three The first three chapters are quite good I hope that Collins continues improving and polishing his craft If he does, I might be able to write a positive review of his work some day But that day is not today.Collins is clumsy with the female characters in his charge Either the women are two dimensional drunks, classic western prostitutes, or prissy high society types Oh wait, he also includes a stereotypical Native American woman character who is a skin walker trying to reap revenge on the white man My issue isn t with the choice of characters that Collins employs within his storytelling My problem is that Collins fails to provide his characters with enough depth and substance that his characters deserve As a result, we encounter a story jammed with cardboard cutouts lacking all sense of meaning Alison Larkin is the Narrator She uses an English accent for the most part since the story is inferred as Victoria s story Larkin changes accents when doing American characters and I had a real issue here While the English accent works quite nicely for the character of Victoria, Larkin butchers all other accents in an over the top cartoonish rendition of cowboy drawl gone bad If you can look beyond this, Larkin isn t a half bad reader, though she would do well to back down the level of dramatic inflection There is a musical score that plays at the beginning and end of each audio CD Every time I heard this, I kept thinking it sounded like a second rate retread of the Titanic soundtrack with a not so haunting female vocalist in the background lamenting some long lost love If any of you ever find yourself in the position of choosing music to go in these spots in an audio production, please remember that less is trulyAll that is needed is a simple single instrument that reflects the tone of the story where it is broken by the physical limits of the CD Aside from Skin Walkers and vampires, there s not much new in the way of dark things that need to be killed We do encounter mysterious wolf like things at the very beginning but these are only with us for a short while If you are contemplating giving Lee Collins a go, start here and see how you like his style I think Collins is at his best in the first three chapters If you like this story, then maybe take a gander at his first try The Dead of Winter Though if in it was up tuh me, I d stop dead in my tracks here It s all downhill beyond this point A fun and entertaining ride through the really wild west The Founding FieldsSo, the second novel in the Cora Oglesby series is certainly interesting Whilst it may not be as good as The Dead of Winter, which was a superb debut, it didn t quite match the high quality set by The Dead of Winter which is a bit of a let down However, there are still strong elements about this novel and you should not pass it up Four years after the horrific events in Leadville, a young woman from England, Victo A fun and entertaining ride through the really wild west The Founding FieldsSo, the second novel in the Cora Oglesby series is certainly interesting Whilst it may not be as good as The Dead of Winter, which was a superb debut, it didn t quite match the high quality set by The Dead of Winter which is a bit of a let down However, there are still strong elements about this novel and you should not pass it up Four years after the horrific events in Leadville, a young woman from England, Victoria Dawes, sets into motion a series of events that will lead Cora and herself out into the New Mexico desert in pursuit of Anaba, a Navajo witch bent on taking revenge for the atrocities committed against her people As the blurb states, it s set four years after the Leadville incident detailed in The Dead of Winter and if anyone hasn t read that book first and is reading this review, I highly recommend you read that book before reading any further Cora s character is really fleshed out in The Dead of Winter, but here she s not as enjoyable, maybe because the POV is dominated by Victoria Dawes, who makes a very interesting counterpart to the eccentric Cora Oglesby.One of the main reasons why this book wasn t as good as the first is the reason mentioned above, Cora isn t anywhere near as likable as she is when she s the main character of book one There are some places in the book where I couldn t stand her, and I was somewhat glad that Victoria Dawes was a strong lead But, she doesn t really have the same memorability that Cora had in The Dead of Winter, and as a result of that, the novel itself isn t as strong as it should be.Read the Rest of the Review Genre Western meets Paranormal Rating 3.5 Review I am remorseful that this series is only two books long I am remorseful that I did NOT read the first book The Dead of Winter before reading this one and will do my best to remedy that situation asap I am saddened that the book wasn t told through the eyes of Cora Oglesby but rather Victoria Dawes It was through Victoria s eyes that we arrived at our meeting with Cora and it was through Victoria s eyes that the series comes to an abrupt en Genre Western meets Paranormal Rating 3.5 Review I am remorseful that this series is only two books long I am remorseful that I did NOT read the first book The Dead of Winter before reading this one and will do my best to remedy that situation asap I am saddened that the book wasn t told through the eyes of Cora Oglesby but rather Victoria Dawes It was through Victoria s eyes that we arrived at our meeting with Cora and it was through Victoria s eyes that the series comes to an abrupt ending, again, after two books.I loved that Collins wrote his book set not only in England, but Albuquerque, New Mexico where vampires and skin walkers make their home I liked the fact that Collins seemed to be genuinely respectful of the Navajo Indians that made New Mexico their home I liked the western meets paranormal aspect of this book and I really didn t have any overt problems with Victoria as a main character even though at times I wanted to scream at her for being so naive and clumsy She goes from a sheltered young woman from a well to do family who refuses to be married off and then watches her family get killed off by something similar to a werewolf which we will never find out since the story ends here , to a hunter in her own right thanks to Cora and the things that go bump in the night.Still, this book takes place 4 years after the first book, and therefore I missed out on what happened to Cora s husband Ben I need to put all the pieces together before I can fully appreciate the entire series I need to know what made Cora give up the hunt for vampires, werewolves, and hellhounds and nearly turn her back on Victoria when she s threatened with being raped and brutalized I need to know what made Cora turn into a drunk bar owner who resembles an old west sheriff who has saw too much and now doesn t care about anyone else s problems Lastly, I need to know why Collins decided on the ending he did It s actually a brave move on his part, but then again, it s only TWO BOOKS LONG Recvd from Netgalley 12 17 2012 Expected publication January 29th 2013 by Angry Robot