An Easy Death, by Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris knows what works for her. All of her books feature working-class protagonists, vividly imagined worlds, and a bizarre notion of romantic chemistry. Her latest effort, An Easy Death, takes those familiar elements in unexpected directions, but her basic formula is still present.

An Easy Death is set in a fractured version of the United States, where small groups of mercenary “gunnies” can be hired to escort people from one dusty outpost to another. Gunnie Lizbeth Rose is excellent at her work, but when two Russian wizards try to hire her, she finds herself in a bit of a pickle: there's a secret connection between the wizards' quest and Lizbeth Rose herself. She's tempted to turn down the job, but decides she might be better off keeping a close eye on the Russian pair...

Apart from some disturbing sexual assault scenes, most of the violence in this gunslinger story is so over-the-top it feels cartoonish (which is how I prefer my violence, actually). I was totally invested in the world-building and Lizbeth Rose's background story, although both left a lot of ground uncovered. I've totally given up on Harris's notion of romance (once again, she replaces “legit sex appeal” with “physical proximity and a lack of other options”), but that's okay—if this story becomes a series, there are plenty of other elements she can explore in greater depth.
Posted by: Julianka


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