Thursday, January 18, 2018

[Review] Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely

Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely

Rating: 3.5 stars 

Released: January 2nd 2018
Format: ARC Paperback

Goodreads Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Serendipity "Pity" Jones inherited two things from her mother: a pair of six shooters and perfect aim. She's been offered a life of fame and fortune in Cessation, a glittering city where lawlessness is a way of life. But the price she pays for her freedom may be too great....
In this extraordinary debut from Lyndsay Ely, the West is once again wild after a Second Civil War fractures the U.S. into a broken, dangerous land. Pity's struggle against the dark and twisted underbelly of a corrupt city will haunt you long after the final bullet is shot.
There's a lot of good Westerns in YA, and adding another sharpshooter to the mix just seemed right up my alley.

Although after reading this, this is less of a Western and more of a Moulin Rouge-esque theater drama (with shootouts included). It takes place in an alternate universe US, called the CONA - Confederacy of North America. Serendipity 'Pity' Jones is escaping her father's wishes of marriage, and instead lands herself in the lawless town of Cessation. In order to thrive and survive Cessation, the ruler of the town, Miss Selene, sets her up as the newest act of Halcyon's theater, as the sharpest shot in the West. 

It was an interesting read and was a departure from the Westerns I've read previously. There's a lot of political intrigue going on in the Casimir, where most of the action takes place. Pity is told to win the favor of presidential candidate Patrick Sheridan, all the while juggling her feelings for Max, the theater's makeup artist with a mysterious past. There are tropes such as these, but I really liked Pity's sense of moral conviction and determination. She pursued what she believed in, even though she knew there were consequences. 

There are a million side characters and every time it was mentioned that someone died or was injured, I had to scratch my head to remember who they were. Had to flip a few hundred pages back to when they were first mentioned. We don't really get much on them and they're mostly one dimensional characters, with the exception of Siena, Miss Selene, and Sheridan. 

One can feel a sense of buildup towards the end, when most of the shootouts and action took place. I, for one, enjoyed how Ely did not shy away from gore and violence and sex (even the faintest mentions of it), even though this is YA. 

Though Gunslinger Girl ended on a finite note, i.e. I don't think there's a sequel, but were any to pop up I'd definitely be interested in seeing where Pity's story leads her next. 


  1. Great review. I get confused when too many minor characters pop into stories, especially if they aren't memorable. I've never read a western before and this one sounds unique with the alternate setting. On my TBR to check it out for myself.

  2. I just finished Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman and loved it as much as her first western. I haven't read any other YA in the genre so I would love some recommendations if you have them. Gunslinger Girl sounds interesting but I definitely prefer more horseback-gold-and-guns sort of westerns.