Gunslinger Girl by: Lyndsay Ely

Summary:

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.

Review:

This was a book that sort of suprised me because I am a huge fan of the Western genre and I was always hoping for a YA book set in the Old West. well this book is technically set in the New West after the Second American Civil War, with a sort of dystopion setting.

The story starts with Serendipity or Pity, is trying to escape her father who wants to sell her to a Commune, which forces woman to basically become Handmaidens to produce children. She deals also mostly with the also the death of her mother who was a Patriot during the Second Civil War.

Pity is basically Katniss Everdeeen if she traded her bow and arrow for two revolvers, and she is a great shot with those revolvers. During her journey she heads to Cessation, which is a lawless town and there she is recruited to become a performer in the Theatre Vespertine.

The setting of Cessation feels sort of like a Law Vegas, where the only law is Selene’s law and you do not dare cross Selene or else you maybe put in her Finale of her show. Selene is basically the person that runs Cessation, and she runs it with an iron fist, while she may be corrupt, you kinda see a reason for her corruption.

There is also a romance in the book, with a boy named Max, who saved Pity’s life while trying to escape and introduces her to the Theatre. The romance was bestially a sort of hot-or-cold with neither one trying to let their feelings. While the romance was very basic I did feel that it took away from the plot and it also introduces a man named Sheridan who basically makes it a love triangle.

I also felt like the ending was a bit rushed, and I would have liked it to be a bit more fleshed out especially when the book takes a few good twists and turns which really makes it feel like a real western.

In the end, Gunslinger Girl was a good book. I really enjoyed the western setting, and while I heard it maybe stand alone, I would like to see where the characters go from here.

Grade: 3.8/5

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Zenith by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings

Summary:

Most know Androma Racella as the Bloody Baroness, a powerful mercenary whose reign of terror stretches across the Mirabel Galaxy. To those aboard her glass starship, Marauder, however, she’s just Andi, their friend and fearless leader.

But when a routine mission goes awry, the Marauder’s all-girl crew is tested as they find themselves in a treacherous situation and at the mercy of a sadistic bounty hunter from Andi’s past.

Meanwhile, across the galaxy, a ruthless ruler waits in the shadows of the planet Xen Ptera, biding her time to exact revenge for the destruction of her people. The pieces of her deadly plan are about to fall into place, unleashing a plot that will tear Mirabel in two.

Andi and her crew embark on a dangerous, soul-testing journey that could restore order to their shipor just as easily start a war that will devour worlds. As the Marauder hurtles toward the unknown, and Mirabel hangs in the balance, the only certainty is that in a galaxy run on lies and illusion, no one can be trusted.

The Review:

This was another anticipated read of mine. I have been following Sasha’s journey with the book for quite a few years, with her drafting and editing this book along with Lindsay Cummings.

I really liked the setting of this book, how it is set in the far reaches of the galaxy, with a ton of different species living within the galaxy. It really reminded me a lot of Mass Effect in a way, in which the crew of the Normandy are a diverse set of people and aliens.

Androma or Andi, is a mercenary and basically a hired gun. She made a reputation of being one across the galaxy. She reminded me a lot of Cealena from Throne of Glass, except that she is in space. She also has an all female crew, who also remind me a bit of Mass Effect, and also the crew of Serenity. I like that each of the crew members all were very distinct in their own way.

Among the travels of the crew of the Marauder, they come across Dex, a bounty hunter who had a past with Andi. While the Dex and Andi relationship if you can call it that, was kinda of the cliched, lovers to enemies back to lovers again. But I think the way that the characters were framed, it was able to sort of overcome that trope. Dex is almost the Captain Reynolds type, who is very cocky in what he does and also the banter between Dex and Andi was always fun to read.

Lira, was another character from the Marauder crew, who had some chapters with her POV.  I though she was one of my favorite characters. and I thought she had a really good arc in the book. While I won’t give too much away, it has a lot to do with her past and present.

The main plot of this book, is sort of a redemption arc for Andi. She was a former Spectre for the Unified Systems, but after something happens she is forced to space piracy. Her main mission is to break the son, of a general out of prison. It feels straight out of Mass Effect, with sometimes Andi and Dex choosing the Renegade option.

The mission also ties into a lot into a conflict that affects the galaxy. This is also one of the few books I read that sort of has a villain POV chapter, along with a few origin chapters tied within the novel, which while it may feel like the Manon chapters in the Throne of Glass series it does lead into something.

In the end, Zenith was a great book. It had everything I wanted in a nice space opera, with great characters and a nice story. It also has a pretty good twist, that I will dare give away. I am very excited to see how this ends.

Grade: 4/5

February TBR

Happy February everyone,

Wow I can’t believe how its already February.

First currently reading:

Zenith by: Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

Yeah, this is sort of cheating since I am about half way through the book and I am enjoying it so far.

Now for my TBR for the month of February

Odd and True By Cat Winters

This was a random pick up from by library. I will admit that it is mostly for the cover. From the premise it reminds me of a gender swapped Supernatural set in the 1800s, with two sisters fighting demons.

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

This is for Hype or Like Friday, and I am so glad that this book was picked. I heard so many good things about this book.

Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsey Ely

I always love a good western and I always keep thinking that more YA should be based around the Old West. While it is not technically The Old West, hopefully it will have that western feel to it.

Bitch Planet Vol. 1 and 2

This was also a random pickup from my library and I heard some great things about it. I am also trying to read more graphic novels this year.

The Roanoke Girl by Amy Engel

This is a book outside of my usual genres since I don’t usually read mystery novels but the premise caught my attention and I could read a bit more mysteries.

Those are the books I plan on reading in February. What books do you plan on reading in February? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Summary:

Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.

The Review:

This is another book I was very excited for. I mean, one of my favorite authors writting one of my favorite superheros, of course I will be all for it. This is another of the DC Icons series in which YA authors write their own interpretations of popular DC characters.

This book, had a lot to live up to, seeing as Batman is one of my favorite heros, I love all things Batman, from the comics, movies and the videogames. This book is takes place when Batman was just a 18 year old teenager named Bruce Wayne who is basically living life as a rich kid, once he gets in trouble he is sent to Arkham Asylum to perform community service. In Gotham there was been a series of murders linked to a group called the Nightwalkers. He also meets a girl named Madeline, who is linked to the Nightwalkers.

What made this book work was that it truly felt like I was reading a Batman origin story. What makes Batman interesting is the psychological dilemma of Bruce Wayne, and there was some aspects of him dealing with his parents death. It shows that Bruce Wayne is more than just Batman.

I also like some of the Easter eggs related to the DC universe, one example is a pre-Two face Harvey Dent who is a classmate of Bruce, and also references to Metropolis.

I also got to see a lot of Detective Batman, which is mostly shown in comics and a little bit of the movies. He was also trying to find out the mystery of the Nightwalkers and how they commit their crimes. He finds a lot about it through Madeline, a Nightwalker staying in Arkham.

I thought the relationship between Bruce and Madeline was really well done, it really fleshed out her character and how she is with the Nightwalkers. Their relationship reminded me a lot of of anyone of Batmans other female villains, for example, Catwomen and Talia Al-Ghul, other villains he forms relationships with. Yeah, Batman pretty much has a type.

Madeline, was actually pretty fleshed, I read a lot about her back story and what mother wen, especially dealing with corruption within Gotham, and you could see why Bruce sees the good in her.

In the end, Batman: Nightwalker is everything I wanted to see in a sort of Batman origin story. It gave a great detective story in the Batman universe. I also felt that this is what Gotham should have been with a great character with Bruce Wayne.

Grade: 4.3/5