Review: Red Hail by Jamie Killen

Red Hail

Author: Jamie Killen

Published: January 21, 2020

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

Format: eBook

Source: Author Request

Professor Colin Ayres has spent years researching the strange story of Galina, Arizona, a sleepy border town ripped apart by violence and paranoia after the outbreak of a mysterious illness in 1960. Colin is certain the Galina Incident was simply a case of mass hysteria. But when his partner, Alonzo, starts exhibiting strange symptoms, Colin is shocked to realize they are the same as those that emerged in Galina decades ago.

As Alonzo’s condition worsens, Colin scrambles to piece together what really happened during that terrible summer in the past. He uncovers a story of murder, corruption, and fanaticism. The deeper he digs, the more he becomes convinced that what happened in Galina wasn’t mass hysteria after all.

When others start to develop the same eerie symptoms, Colin must confront the possibility that someone—or something—is driving the plague. Guided by rumors of a person who found a way to stop the plague in the sixties, Colin races to find answers before the disease destroys Alonzo and everyone else it touches.

Red Hail is a dual-timeline mystery, science fiction novel that is part historical fiction and part first contact. While this description sounds confusing, the book is decidedly not confusing! I found the book very easy to follow, even with the timeline hopping. Events that transpired in 1960 are now happening in 2020 and professor Colin Ayers must figure out what is going on in order to save his partner Alonzo.

The first few chapters are dedicated to world building, which is done with a very light hand. Author Jamie Killen is able to give the readers actual conflict with enough context to pick up on the nuances of the dual story. Colin will stop at nothing to save Alonso, which makes him such a noble character! I love the idea that in the 1960s there was alleged mas hysteria, there have been several evets like this in the world. It’s a great premise for a science fiction book!

The pacing was great and I felt like I was drawn in by page 1! I couldn’t put this book down and it is quickly becoming a new favorite in science fiction/historical/first contact novel! It’s super relatable and I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys science fiction, particularly set in the old west.

Thank you to the author, Jamie Killen, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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