Friday, June 23, 2017

Outlaws of Time #1: The Legend of Sam Miracle by N. D. Wilson

The Legend of Sam Miracle (Outlaws of Time #1)My name is Sam, and I have died more times than I can remember. Actually, I don't remember much at all. I thought I was just some messed up boy, with messed up arms, living in a messed up desert boys' home until I met Glory and Father Tiempo. Father Tiempo takes me back in time, and all I need to do is figure out a way to not get shot, stabbed, or blown up and to keep my sister alive. So far, I've failed miserably over and over again. A book tells the story of me as a character named Poncho shooting The Vulture in a gunfight, but the outlaw is also able to travel through time and keeps killing me before it happens. Father Tiempo says this journey back will be my last, but this time I have Glory to help me remember. My arms are still destroyed, but they've been replaced with two snakes. I still have my hands, but my arms have minds of their own. The snake on the right shoots my pistol to defend me, but the snake on the left only wants to kill. And I can't control her!

I thought I'd read enough to not be surprised anymore. The concept of a character continually traveling back in time in order to save his own life is novel. Having damaged arms and memory problems help complicate the issue, but the snake arms are truly unique. They are parts of Sam's character that he's not able to control, and the left arm creates its own problems and tension. It even tries to kill Sam himself! I'll tell you, for me, the biggest tension was created during Sam's interactions with his own arms. The snakes were unpredictable, so the expectations were unpredictable. The antagonist has set himself up in a future life of riches, power, and violence, but he needs Sam's heart to keep it from falling apart. One version of The Legend of Poncho has him being killed by Sam, so Sam must die forever to keep that version from happening. Confusing? It's really not that bad. There were some jumps through history, but that mostly ended when Father Tiempo sacrificed his life (or did he?). This book is the first in a series, so I'm curious about what the sequels will reveal. 

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