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Gunslinger Girl

Review

Gunslinger Girl

Serendipity “Pity” Jones is a good shot. She can pull her six-shooters and hit a perfect shot with barely any effort. So when her father attempts to trade her away like a slab of meat, Pity decides that enough is enough. Taking only her mother’s guns and the knowledge of how to use them, Pity leaves her life in search for something more in the new West.

While traveling, she is offered a job in Cessation, a land of lawlessness, which could bring her a life of luxury and fame. But Cessation is different from anything she has ever known, and escaping her father could cost her a price. In a world broken by bioengineered weapons and a Second American Civil War, Pity must use only her wits and her guns if she is going to come out of Cessation with anything of her old self left.

"Taking the classic time period of the Wild West and throwing it in the future seems like a simple enough task, but Ely explores this world in unique way."

Ely goes above and beyond in her debut, GUNSLINGER GIRL. Taking the classic time period of the Wild West and throwing it in the future seems like a simple enough task, but Ely explores this world in unique way. Intricate details create an in-depth world with complicated factions and a government that seems frighteningly close to our own.

Storytelling is an art, and Ely is truly magnificent at it. Instead of her writing creating a perfect image of a scene, it submerges the reader in the world. Instead of simply envisioning the flashing lights of Cessation, I could taste the dust in the air, the shouts and hollers of a crowded city and smell the metallic blood. She writes not what she sees, but what it would feel to actually live in this world, a task that is much harder. Her perfect balance of dialogue is evenly dispersed among enriching descriptions that make it impossible to put down.

Although countless Wild West tales have been told, no hero has been sung quite like Pity. She’s a strong woman, sure of her guns and her skill, but not unbearably confident. Her ability to take calculated risks, not for fame or for glory, but for the survival of those around her make her impossibly strong. She is not foolishly brave, nor impenetrable. She is affected by what happens around her, which is all that is keeping her humanity in a city as dark as Cessation. Her strength in the hardest of times makes her easy to love.

In a world bent on destroying you, and a city that sucks everything in to its twisted depths, Pity must figure out who, or what, she can trust if she is going to get out of this dark world with her humanity intact.

Reviewed by Caitlyn K., Teen Board Member on January 29, 2018

Gunslinger Girl
by Lyndsay Ely and James Patterson