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Book Review

Book Cover

An Easy Death


Author: Charlaine Harris
Publisher: Piatkus
306 pages
RRP: £8.99
ISBN: 978 0 349 41802 5
Publication Date: 30 July 2019

Lisbeth, better known as Gunnie Rose, plies her trade of hired gun in the south west territory of Texoma. Committed, she is one of the best in the territory, but even she isn’t bullet proof...

An Easy Death (2019. 306 pages) is a fantasy novel, written by Charlaine Harris.

The first thing you notice about the novel is the very vague world building. This America is very different to the one we see today, more akin a mythical version of the wild west, which is suitable as this is really a western with fantasy trappings.

In Lisbeth's world, Nicholas II of Russia and his family escaped the fate planned for them by the communists and move themselves and a large portion of the white army into northern America. America, as a whole is in such a weakened state that they are unable to hinder him setting up a new Russian territory. Some states turn back to their colonial masters and align with Britain.

Although this is an interesting idea it is never adequately explained how America found itself to be in such a weak state. One may think of the great depression but that happened in the thirties and the Tsar and his family would have fled around nineteen eighteen. As Alexi, the current Tsar and son of Nicholas II, was born in 1904 and is now a grown man with children of his own, let’s say he is in his fifties, then the novel is set in an alternative American 1950’s, but for the most part it feels like the eighteen fifties.

As a character, Lisbeth is interesting to follow which is just as well as the whole novel is told from her perspective. Her world is a strange mix of the new, cars, trains and a heavy vibe of the frontier. Not content with this Harris also adds in actual magic.

The main thrust of the plot is that Lisbeth loses her crew to a bunch of bandits and takes a job with a couple of Russians who are hunting a specific individual. Why and what for is slowly revealed as the trio travel across an endless wasteland with Lisbeth learning that the search may be closer to home than she thinks.

I think this is going to be a real marmite book. If you ignore the poor world building and really go for the kickass Lisbeth, then this will take you on an exciting journey. However, if the plot holes and relatively poor construction is going to bother you then, it’s probably going to be a turn off.


Charles Packer

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