My Favorite Book of 2019: An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris (Book Review)

In stores since 2018!!!

Book Blurb

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. (Amazon)

Book Review | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Favorite character: Lizbeth Rose

I picked Gunnie Rose because she is fierce, loyal, and follows a strict gunnie code. She loves with her whole heart and fights with an unabashed determination. Life is simple in her eyes. She’s a good shot, and she knows it, so she uses that skill to earn money to live. It’s that simple.

Honorable mention: Eli.

Eli has a quiet strength and is loyal to a fault. He listens intently and loves completely. He doesn’t need apologies, as he understands what drives people and readily accepts that.

What I Loved about An Easy Death

Charlaine Harris is a master of world-building, and this new series is no exception. No detail is too small from the characters’ interaction with their world to a brief history lesson on where and how history changed. I had no problem understanding this alternate reality, and once I let go of facts as I know them, I was able to immerse myself completely in it. The setting is the 1930ish, and the wild, wild west mentality is still going strong as the environment dictates a need for that kind of on the spot law enforcement. And, in walks Gunnie Rose. She transports and protects travelers who hire her gang to do so.

The story is an intriguing mix of fantasy (magic does exist in this world, and it came over with the Russians who now control California and surrounding areas), history (albeit an alternate account), and mystery thriller. No aspect is skimped on in favor of another, so Harris truly manages to marry three prominent literary genres. I think this blend will allow for more mass appeal, and her extraordinary writing deserves to be noticed and read by many.

Another of Harris’ strengths is strong, relatable characters that evoke strong emotions in the reader, and I, for one, experienced that. It was hard to pick a favorite character because they all were my favorite characters, no matter how minor of a part they played. They each had strength and moxy, loyalty, and skills, and were people you would want beside you in a harsh environment without a doubt.

As a thriller, I found the story to read very fast and delightfully so. I was never slowed up by world-building, even though there is plenty. The pages flew as I hopped from one adventure to the next with Gunnie Rose. This world is bold, and Harris does not shy away from bold topics. Instead, she handles them with grace and quiet strength that stays true to the characters. This new America is a harsh world, and bad things happen in harsh worlds, so they have to be tackled head-on.

To Read or Not to Read
I didn’t know what to expect when I started this novel. I was granted book two by NetGalley and jumped at the chance to read the first book in the series when I was alerted to a sale. The truth is, I probably would have gotten it anyway but who doesn’t love a book sale. I wondered if it would be kind of like Firefly, which was a Nathan Fillion show that mixed space travel with a wild west theme. Though Firefly was great, the Gunnie Rose series is vastly different. It’s a new world – a magical world – where gunslingers and wizards work side by side, each comfortable in their wheelhouse.

I am out of town this week, so I have turned comments off but I look forward to chatting once I return next week!

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