I finished reading Michael Scott’s “Billy the Kid and the Vampyres of Vegas…” today, started and finished during lunch. It’s a short story from Scott’s Flamel book series. The last book in the series will be dropping early this year and I’m wanting to finally read the accompanying short fiction, so this is my attempt. For a short, non-spoiler look at the series, see the beginning of my last post by clicking here.
Description from Amazon.com:
Years before Sophie and Josh Newman met Nicholas Flamel, two legendary warriors fought together for the first time. Billy the Kid and Scathach the Shadow.
Now that lost story can be told . . .Billy the Kid is immortal. And being immortal means following unpredictable paths. With this exclusive eBook, Michael Scott offers readers a never-before-seen short story from the world of the bestselling series the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel: the tale of how Billy the Kid and Scathach meet for the first time and join forces against the unseen, deadly and eternally hungry vampyres who control the city of Las Vegas—where Scathach must face her greatest fear.
Scott treats us to another side-story from his Flamel series of books. This time the short story concerns Bill the Kid, an immortal in the Flamel series, or it should concern Billy. I would say “… the Vampyres of Vegas” is a backstory on Billy but it isn’t. His character acts the same as we’re used him being in the series. He’s an anti-hero, he works for the Dark Elders but readers get the sense that he has a moral compass and values that steer him his actions. At some point I expect him to flip sides, but that’s not the point. In this short story Billy is sent on an errand for his Dark Elder master and get thrown into a Scathach adventure. The package Billy is delivering is sinister in nature and his Dark Elder master has some evil motives for giving it up to Scatty, however, the package is not the center of the conflict, only a means to get Billy hooked up with Scatty. And because Billy is not a villain, just a misbegotten dis-placed outlaw, he tags along on Scatty’s adventure to lend a hand albeit he knows its dangerous. Effectively, his anti-hero image is solidified here.
I won’t spoil the plot but suffice it to say vampyres–the blood drinkers spell their name with a y and not an i, unlike the vegetarian variety–are involved as is a person from Scatty’s past. Vampyres are only an obstacle to overcome, though. And because this is Scatty’s adventure and it’s her past coming to haunt, it’s really her story. Billy is a sidekick. Which is the problem I have. The story needed to be about Billy, it needed to flesh out his character. This does not happen. We learn more about Scatty than anything.
For the fact that Scatty does what she does best, and that is she kicks butt, and we learn more about her and some of the motives that drive her isolation and attitude, I find the story a good one. This story is also meant as simply a short treat for fans. However short or not, it fails in its title’s promise… we don’t get much depth from Billy. For that reason, the story is OK and not great. Still a fun read, lots of action and Scatty fun, Billy is a cool character too if a one dimensional one.
You can also find this review on Goodreads by clicking here.