Now Borrowing: Gunslinger Girl

January 2, 2018     Ro     Book Reviews, Dystopian, Western, Young Adult

Now Borrowing: Gunslinger Girl

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.

Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely
on January 2nd 2018
ISBN: 031655510X
Where to Find It: Amazon|B&N|Shop Indie|Goodreads|Shop Local
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Western
Pages: 432
Format: Hardback, Digital
Source: Advance Reader Copy

FTC Disclosure: I received access to this book early through Advance Reader Copy (for free) in exchange for a review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.



Quick Take: Gunslinger Girl centers around Serendipity “Pity” Jones. A seventeen-year-old facing the outside world and her own limitations head-on. She’s struggling while surrounded by people who are exactly who you believe them to be. As her world evolves, every moment drives the overall storyline in unexpected directions. Not one character was boring or ordinary. Even as you unravel schemes and reveal people’s motives, Ely pushes her characters continually setting them on a different course.

Lyndsay Ely’s voice is crisp, captivating and colorful. Written in the third person, Gunslinger Girl‘s a uniquely designed future with rules begging to be broken and adventures just waiting to be had. Ely’s written a story packed full of three-dimensional characters and a world riddled with political intrigue, violence, and gritty vitality.


I’m biased in favor of a good western particularly one where female characters aren’t merely window dressing. Gunslinger Girl looked to be a welcome departure from the status quo in the best of ways.

“Welcome to Cessation, Serendipity Jones. The last place on the continent where you can do whatever the hell you want.”

That line alone guaranteed I’d read through to the end.

Ely’s Cessation’s a town where being a badass in a skirt truly is a thing. Learning to pull the trigger when it matters is only the first lesson. Gunslinger Girl throws the doors open wide for an adventurous trek through a dystopian world unlike any other on offer. It’s a swift read full of laughter, love, irony, and conspiracies.

It’s a post-war wild west landscape where survival and entertainment go hand-in-hand. Pity’s a strong-willed yet sensitive protagonist dropped among the viciously lawless and surprisingly loyal. Ely turns genre tropes inside out adding nuance and flair to this character-driven drama.

Serendipity Jones doesn’t have the first clue what she’s doing. But she’s absolutely intent on being the one to decide who she’ll become. Gunslinger Girl deals with heavy themes without being too casual or heavy-handed. Ely has a skillful way with an inference and a meaningful imagery.

This is a coming of age story with a heroine more likely to be heartbroken over losing her six-shooters than her boyfriend and Gunslinger Girl is all the better for it.

If you enjoyed HBO’s Westworld (sorry there are no androids here) or Netflix’s Godless or wished more of the women in Louis L’Amour novels seriously kicked ass, then Gunslinger Girl may be the book you’ve been waiting for.


Midway through 2017, the YA genre slowly shook off the serious book fatigue going on thematically. Too many stories revolved around love stories and way, way too many dystopian worlds that felt like neighboring continents. I threw more than one book against away and into my DNF pile.

Gunslinger Girl broadens the world-building on offer in the YA genre. Thankfully there are many more titles to come in 2018.


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