The Lonesome Gods, Louis L'Amour
****(4 Stars) Reviewed by Jack
Western. The Lonesome Gods is an amazing book about a boy named Johannes, who's fathers last wish before he dies is to get him across the desert to his only surviving family, his grandfather. The problem is, his grandfather really has it out for his father because he married his daughter, which to him is a "dishonor" as his father Zachery Verne was just a common sailor, while his grandfather was a rich ranch owner. Zachery Verne just hopes that his grandfather will not take his vengeance out on Johannes, who's mother recently died.
Before they can worry about their vengeful grandfather, they have to cross the Californian Desert, and quickly, too, as Johannes' father only has weeks to live before he dies of an incurable disease. Shortly after they make it safely across the desert, Zachery Verne is killed by some of his grandfather's hit men, and Johannes is left out in the desert to die. He is eventually rescued by outlaws, then he decides to live with the the Indians, learning all of their tricks and traditions. This goes on for five years, until Johannes is ten, then one of his friends in Los Angeles asks him to come and live with her in town,(LA only had 2000 people back then) claiming that his grandfather won't ever know that he's there.
After awhile the gig is up, and Johannes has to flee into the desert, followed by a dozen of his grandfather's men. During all of those years living with the Indians Johannes learned all that he could about the desert, and now he had the advantage. Johannes knew all of the water holes, all of the best ways to stay alive, and his pursuers had hardly ever been in the desert before, and they didn't last long. Bad comes to worse when Johannes realizes that his grandfather's men are waiting for him on the other side of the desert, and he is almost killed. Worse goes to much worse when his friend Meghan tries to come save him, and she gets captured by some outlaws. Then it gets better again when Meghan is reunited with Johannes and they head back to LA. Then things get bad again when there intercepted again by some of Johannes' old enemies, and he has to save Meghan again, which he does.
There is some swearing (seems everyone swore back then) and some violence, but that's all the negative things I can think of. This is a great western novel and I would recommend it to teenagers 13+.