Lyndsay Ely (2018)
James Patterson presents a bold new heroine—a cross between Katniss Everdeen and Annie Oakley: Serendipity Jones, the fastest sharpshooter in tomorrow’s West.
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.
What I Liked
- The Characters
- For the most part, I enjoyed the majority of the characters in this book. They were eccentric, but not over the top, and they really were genuinely likable (again, most of them).
- The Twists at the end
- SPOILERS- It is safe to say I did not see a whole lot of what happened at the end, coming. I had no idea who was on what side, but could totally see why after their alliance was revealed- meaning, the choices some characters made in terms of which side to align with made sense to me because of things that had happened earlier in the book that didn’t seem like much at first but clearly were significant in the long term. I also low-key kinda liked that Pity doesn’t “necessarily” end up with the guy at the end.
- Casino-ish setting
- I truthfully would have liked more time within Casmir! I loved the setting of the story, I thought it was unique and interesting, and was left feeling like I did not have enough time in this rich and luxurious place to satisfy my needs.
What I Disliked
- SPOILER- I loved Finn’s character and was really devastated that we didn’t get more time with her. I understand why it went the way it did, but wished that the author could have went in a slightly different direction (one that spared our lovable best friend).
- SPOILER- Making her seem vulnerable at the end kind of irked me more than anything else. Throughout the entire book, she is ruthless and sometimes just horrible, but for the good of her empire. So I wasn’t a huge fan of Selene’s ending but that is very much a personal preference.
- James Patterson Presents
- Not only does the book have a banner along the top with his name on it, but Goodreads lists him as an author. Does that bother anyone else other than me? No? Ok cool, i’ll just seethe in the corner by myself.
- I could have used more of this “theme” throughout the story. It felt more like a circus than a western, and the title is a bit misleading. The only thing western about this book was the fact that Pity was a good shot. I can see why some people would consider it a dystopian western, but I personally felt a little disappointed by the genre slapped onto this.
- Open Ending
- I know many people like open endings so that they can imagine exactly what they would like for those characters, but personally, I like a little closure when I am reading. It gives me a cliffhanger feel if all the strings are not completely tied at the end, which ends up me hoping for a sequel that may never come, or could end up super disappointing.
I tried really hard to go into this book without expectations because it was one of my most anticipated releases for this year. I was disappointed by the lack of “western” feeling, but could see where it was drawn from. To me, it was more of a luxurious/circus-like story- which makes me feel guilty about counting it towards my western prompt (Book Riot). However, I really did enjoy this book. I think Lyndsay Ely did an amazing job with this debut, and I would absolutely pickup another book by her in the future. And let’s be serious, that cover though, is amazing! I am really glad that I splurged and now have this on my personal bookshelf. Ely created a world that makes you seriously wonder “what happened” for it to get this bad. Though I would have liked a little more time in Casmir, and to know a bit more about “the second civil war,” I think that this debut really hit it out of the park.
What did you think of this debut novel? Is it on your TBR? Let’s chat!
I accidentally stumbled into a (graphic novel) Library Book Haul that I am now working my way through before I pick up any of my other books.
Wires and Nerve: Gone Rogue (#2) by Marissa Meyer
Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Blankets by Craig Thompson