An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris
This new series by Charlaine Harris imagines an alternative history for the United States that evokes a dystopian Wild West feel.
Title: An Easy Death
Author: Charlaine Harris
Series: Gunnie Rose, Book 01
Publish Date: October 2, 2018, by Saga Press
Genre: Urban fantasy, western fantasy
Narrator: Eva Kaminsky
Publisher’s Description: Set in a fractured United States, in the southwestern country now known as Texoma. A world where magic is acknowledged but mistrusted, especially by a young gunslinger named Lizbeth Rose. Battered by a run across the border to Mexico Lizbeth Rose takes a job offer from a pair of Russian wizards to be their local guide and gunnie. For the wizards, Gunnie Rose has already acquired a fearsome reputation and they’re at a desperate crossroad, even if they won’t admit it. They’re searching through the small border towns near Mexico, trying to locate a low-level magic practitioner, Oleg Karkarov. The wizards believe Oleg is a direct descendant of Grigori Rasputin, and that Oleg’s blood can save the young tsar’s life.
As the trio journey through an altered America, shattered into several countries by the assassination of Franklin Roosevelt and the Great Depression, they’re set on by enemies. It’s clear that a powerful force does not want them to succeed in their mission. Lizbeth Rose is a gunnie who has never failed a client, but her oath will test all of her skills and resolve to get them all out alive.
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Invested Ivana says…
I’m never quite sure how I will react to the first book in a new series. Sometimes I adore it, sometimes I feel more cautious. It all depends on how invested I feel in the new world and characters.
With An Easy Death, I feel reserved, though I enjoyed it quite a lot. I was quite invested at the start of the book, where Harris shows us Lisbeth’s day-to-day life. Then that life is taken away from her, introducing the conflict in the story. Maybe that made me a bit gun-shy.
Eli and Pauline, the other two primary characters, aren’t ones I feel easy with. I’m not supposed to, as the reader, as Lisbeth isn’t herself. She’s never sure of their trustworthiness and intentions. But she has to work with them anyway to fulfill her contract and protect herself.
Since the book is told from Lisbeth’s perspective, perhaps I feel reserved because we know very little about Eli’s world, even though it has the potential to affect Lisbeth greatly. It will be interesting to see if future books let Lisbeth explore the world of the Russian wizards, or if she’ll have more adventures in the former southern US.
Though I feel reserved about the start of this series, I am looking forward to seeing where it goes. 4 Stars.
The Shadow series by Lila Bowen, The Devil’s West series by Laura Anne Gilman, or the Dark Alchemy/Wildlands series by Laura Bickle.