In one word: Surprising
Cannonball Read Bingo: Rec’d
At the last Cannonball Read Zoom, we did the ol’ “what are you reading” merry-go-round, and our fearless organizer, MsWas mentioned this book. I read and enjoyed the Sookie Stackhouse series and as recommenders go, she’s got high marks so I immediately put this one on the reserve list at the library. Firstly, look at this cover? Young lady gunslinger? YES PLEASE. I was excited from page one and this book held my attention and enthusiasm almost all the way through.
Lizbeth, aka, Gunnie Rose, is a hired gun in this alternate reality of America, which fractioned into separate countries after the assassination of FDR. There’s a Dixie (I mean, obviously), New America, something west governed by Russia that I don’t feel like looking up, and Texoma. She makes her home in Texoma and finds herself hired by a pair of Russian wizards. They are looking for a man and need protection to traverse the rough western terrain. She isn’t quite sure what’s she’s getting into, and knows they are keeping secrets about the purpose of their business, but that’s just fine as she has secrets of her own. At just 19 years old, she’s lived a lot of life and is a fun heroine to route for. She’s a woman of few words but dedicated to her craft and protective of what’s hers: a true cowgirl mercenary.
This book was a breath of fresh air to me. It was engaging and hard to put down. I’ll be frank, I wasn’t expecting much from Harris as I recall the Sookie series becoming a bit wearing as time went on, with the writing being a bit hohum. Harris has been at this for a while and if you’d handed this book to me without telling me the author, I never would have guessed it was one of hers. With the magical elements and murder-for-hire protagonist, I get a bit of a Six of Crows vibe from this book (if one of the main characters had gone on their own sidequest) which I really enjoyed. It’s just a 4 for me because there were some plot choices in the back quarter of the book that I didn’t love, but I’m still excited to pick up the next in the series.
Also, sidenote, I would absolutely LOVE to see this as a film. I am too old to know any actual 19-year-old actresses but if they fast-tracked the film, at 24 Chloë Grace Moretz would be really fun to see with a pair of pistols at her sides.