Review Fistful of Reefer by David Mark Brown

Fistful of Reefer (Reeferpunk #1)The year is 1918. Chancho Villarreal and his Native American friends, Muddy and Nena, live a quiet life on their goat ranch and marijuana farm north of Del Rio, Texas. But when ghosts from Chancho's revolutionary past combine with local panic over stories of the demon El Chupacabra, the three friends inadvertently draw the attention of Texas Ranger, T.J. McCutchen. 

McCutchen has made it his personal crusade to prevent the little known intoxicant, marijuana, from corrupting his borderlands, despite the dark secret that he depends on its medicinal properties to control his seizures. When he discovers the remains of the marijuana field his worst fears are confirmed — the drug is being grown in Texas soil. 

To stay ahead of McCutchen's brutal brand of justice Chancho, Muddy and Nena, are forced to pack up all their worldly possessions, including their marijuana harvest and herd of goats. What follows is an action-packed ride across the wilds of a weird-west, dieselpunk Texas haunted by rumors of El Chupacabras behind every bush.

I entered Fistful of Reefer with a lot of trepidation, mainly because of the fact that I am a shy reader - I like to stay in familiar genres, namely young adult. I liked the synopsis for this book and also it was one of my first review requests from authors and so I was excited about that, also in his pitch, David mentioned that the book has been receiving praise from YA readers so I thought, hey, what the heck.

This book was totally unique to anything that I have ever read before and it was a total breath of fresh air. In my opinion, what really drive Fistful of Reefer are the amazing action scenes. Brown has a talent in writing, but he shines in his action scenes and even I, a reader that hasn't really read many action packed books have to commend him for the way he made these scenes exciting, in fact, most of the book was exciting, the only time I really had issues with the pacing was at the beginning, where I felt there was too much farming and goats... something that from browsing Goodreads reviews somebody else picked up on. My advice would be to push through it - it get's a lot better very quickly!

The characters were pretty awesome too, Brown brings a witty personality to Chancho and his friends and the right bit of dastardly wickedness to the ranger/sheriff guy (whos name I can't seem to remember at the current moment). I loved all of the unique characters who help the trio on their run from the law, they really brought in the theme of friendship that shines through in this book (n'awww!).

Even though this book wasn't in my preferred genre, I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected and would definitely recommend it to reads 14+. There are mentions of marijuana (quite a bit actually) but mainly this is referring to the agricultural side - farming the stuff.

Overall, Fistful of Reefer was a book that I expected to like and actually loved. With a great group of characters, some action packed scenes and narration filled with character I would definitely recommend this for my followers!

Overall rating: A-

Stand alone/series: First in a series?
Book obtained via: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review (THANKS SO MUCH!)

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