Here's what Publisher's Weekly had to say about this book:
Allen ... plots a supernatural wild west adventure in his sophomore outing that should hold appeal for younger readers. Chinese-American teenager Tzu-lu finds his life upended when his grandparents send him on an expedition west with famous gunslinger Jack Straw and his rag-tag crew of mercenaries. Exploring anew the tropes of the cowboy western—Indians, polygamous cultists, Ghost Riders and the perils of the open desert—Allen follows the gang to Silver City, the very edge of settled America, to reclaim a treasure stolen by a mysterious man known as the Yankee, and perhaps illuminate the fate of Tzu-lu's dead father. With a few playful nods to Washington Irving, Allen mixes western and fantasy into a high adventure coming-of-age, keeping his world's more outré elements grounded with a surfeit of dead-on historical details.Even though I never read Westerns, I really liked this book. It wasn't perfect, but it was fun. I was pleasantly surprised when I read Year of the Horse that a book so far out of my comfort zone could be so enjoyable.
Since then, I've reviewed Year of the Horse and had a really, really long interview with author Justin Allen. I've lent this book out to friends and family, all of whom have enjoyed it. Sadly, though, this hasn't seemed to have made much of an impact out in the larger world. But this is one of those book I'm not just going to put up on a shelf and forget about. I want some of you to read it and find out for yourselves how much fun it is. So, thanks to Justin's generosity, I'm giving away two autographed copies of The Year of the Horse!
The contest is open worldwide. To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite book you'd never thought you'd like. You can earn an additional entry by blogging or tweeting this contest. Please let me know you have done so, by leaving a link, in a separate comment. The contest will close