This is the third book in the Deadlands trilogy, which is a book trilogy based on the Deadlands role-playing game. I am not familiar with the RPG and have not read the previous two books in the series. However I do love Seanan McGuire as an author so I thought I would give it a read. This ended up being an interesting and well done story; I didn't feel like I was missing anything jumping in at the end of the series...the story stood alone on its own fine.
The characters are well done. I enjoyed reading about Annie Pearl, her mute daughter, and unraveling her mysterious past. The side characters are just as engaging as the main ones. I always enjoy books that are set in a circus setting; especially a traveling circus setting (it is kind of odd though because McGuire's last InCryptid book was also set in a circus).
The circus travels to Oregon to stop in The Clearing for one last performance. Of course the circus members know nothing of the dark history of The Clearing and the creatures that lurk in the dark woods surrounding it. What happens in the The Clearing will not only change everyone's life, but lead to a confrontation Annie has been dreading.
The story is full of adventure, action, mystery, and some horror. There are quite a few steampunk elements as well and the tone is very Wild West. While I didn't enjoy this quite as much as McGuire's other books, I did still like it a lot. Deadlands is a very interesting world and this book has me intrigued enough that I might look into the RPG.
Overall a well done book. There is a good balance of interesting world-building, action, horror, mystery, romance, and engaging characters. I would recommend to those who enjoy the whole steampunk western theme and don't mind a horror undertone to their stories.