An Easy Death
4.5 stars, actually
Harris has created an alternate Wild West where the USA is divided into different parts: Holy Russian Empire on the West Coast, Britannia on the East, and mostly Mexico and Canada in between.
We meet Gunnie Rose just as she’s gearing up for a job: escorting a bunch of settlers by truck through a slightly more lawless part of the West with her gunslinger crew.
It doesn’t go well.
And once she picks herself up from that experience, a couple of Russian Grigoris (or magic users) appear at her cabin to hire her to escort them on a trip to find another Russian: Oleg Karkarov, who is mixed up with the Tsar and other things that may or may not be connected to Gunnie Rose herself.
This is a Western. Oh, there’s a bit of magic thrown in there, but guns reign supreme. Gunnie Rose herself is tough as nails in a practical, pick yourself up off the ground and keep going, kind of way. And also “has standards” when it comes to her gunnie protection services that means she’s loyal to a fault for the clients.
She also doesn’t like being touched, is happy alone, and is as cranky as an 88 year old grandma about fuss, bother, and people dithering on. As Gunnie Rose and the two grigori cross the desert, more and more bodies pile up.
I loved Gunnie Rose’s no-nonsense voice. But there are somewhat awkward parts like some pretty important secrets Harris somewhat artificially keeps from the reader and some handy coincidences that help out Gunnie from time to time. They didn’t bother me. I will definitely be following along with her on other adventures.