Review: Westside Saints (Westside #2) by W.M. Akers

Rating: 4/10


Return to a twisted version of Jazz Age New York in this follow up to the critically acclaimed fantasy Westside, as relentless sleuth Gilda Carr’s pursuit of tiny mysteries drags her into a case that will rewrite everything she knows about her past.

Six months ago, the ruined Westside of Manhattan erupted into civil war, and private detective Gilda Carr nearly died to save her city. In 1922, winter has hit hard, and the desolate Lower West is frozen solid. Like the other lost souls who wander these overgrown streets, Gilda is weary, cold, and desperate for hope. She finds a mystery instead.

Hired by a family of eccentric street preachers to recover a lost saint’s finger, Gilda is tempted by their promise of “electric resurrection,” when the Westside’s countless dead will return to life. To a detective this cynical, faith is a weakness, and she is fighting the urge to believe in miracles when her long dead mother, Mary Fall, walks through the parlor door.

Stricken with amnesia, Mary remembers nothing of her daughter or her death, but that doesn’t stop her from being as infuriatingly pushy as Gilda herself. As her mother threatens to drive her insane, Gilda keeps their relationship a secret so that they can work together to investigate what brought Mary back to life. The search will force Gilda to reckon with the nature of death, family, and the uncomfortable fact that her mother was not just a saint, but a human being.


Westside Saints follows Detective Gilda Carr, solver of tiny mysteries that often turn into big ones, as she investigates a case that involves her own past. It really dark and atmospheric, and oftentimes felt really chaotic.

I am sorry to say I struggled with this book for several reasons. First, it was so dark to the extent that there was no light at the end of the tunnel. I do not mind a dark, broody book just so long as there is a strand of hope written in the story somewhere. I did not really feel that when reading Westside Saints: everything felt extremely hopeless for everyone involved. Even at the end of the book when the mysteries are solved and everything falls into place, it just did not feel satisfactory. I think that is because along the way I never learned to care about the characters. For me, this usually comes when a character is in a tough situation, and they have something strong to fight for. I never experienced that situation in this book. The characters, their stories, trials, and tribulations never really connected with me; thus, when the end came it just kind of fell flat.

The story also felt really chaotic and random at times. It also seemed like certain plot points, events, and even characters seemed almost like they were pulled out of a hat. By that, I mean there was too much chaos and randomness without meaning, in my opinion. I love chaos and randomness in a book, so long as it is done with some sort of underlying thread. I never felt that way reading Westside Saints, and that really took away from the story.

Sorry, book friends, you are not going to get a recommendation from me this time. Just because I did not enjoy it, though, does not mean you will not. If the synopsis sounds intriguing to you, check it out. You might find you connect to the story more than I did.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Tammy says:

    Oh bummer. I was hoping this would be good. I will be reading it, but at least I have a heads up about the dark elements.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I look forward to your thoughts. I hope you like it! Did you rad the first book in the series? I did not.


  2. David W says:

    I have books 1 & 2 in this series. Your low rating actually makes me want to check them out more, if that makes sense haha.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good! Would love to hear what you think. Honestly, I always hope people come and tell me I was wrong when I rate a book low.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry you didn’t like it. If you’re saying it was too dark for you then I know I definitely won’t like it. I like dark but I need to be able to turn on the light every once in a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like dark books, but I guess I just don’t like it when it just feels hopeless. Gives me nothing to look forward to.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh man… I read the first book and really enjoyed it. This sounds… sad… 😦 Great honest review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I actually did not read the first one, and I did not realize this was a book 2 until halfway through. I do think it affected my experience with this one, though. It did not fell like a sequel. I hope you read this and love it, though. I will keep an eye out for your review.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Bookstooge says:

    A blog related question for you. Is there anyway to ONLY get your posts in my wordpress feed instead of every post from the whole site? I stopped following you here because I was getting every post from everyone and it was way too much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually do not think so, but I am not 100% sure, as the intricacies of blogging are pretty lost one me. I just read and post. That would be a good question for someone who knows more about how blogs work. Let me know if you an answer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bookstooge says:

        I was afraid of that. Thanks…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bookstooge says:

        So I’ve tried various things and checked out one or two sources of info and asked at the wordpress forums. It would appear that it is not an option. So best of luck in your blogging endeavors. If you ever get your own blog, hit me up…


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