Author: Jonathan Stroud
My rating: 3.5 out of 5.
The wild dystopian west (in Britain) with monsters.
Scarlett is a bank robber. Notorious, infamous, and younger than expected, considering all her exploits. She may be a ruthless outlaw, but when she happens upon Albert, sole survivor of some transit accident, Scarlett offers him escort to the next town over. What should have been a simple trip suddenly becomes lethally more eventful.
This was a wacky sort of dystopian fantasy. Bizarre, but in a good way, once I got into it. I was hoping this would be more similar to the author’s previous books. I loved the Lockwood & Co. series. This one felt more dystopian with less magic in comparison, although it wasn’t a bad read, just very…different.
Scarlett was an excellent character. Young, resilient, practical, and amazingly good at her work. (Bank robbing and surviving tight situations.) Albert was so weird and naive and inept in comparison, but somehow, the two made a great pair.
Even though this is dystopian, it wasn’t the typical dark and hopeless type. There were plenty of humorous moments and excellent satirical writing. I usually avoid dystopian books because of their gloomy atmosphere, but this book had more of a Wild West with monsters (human & other) and some magic kind of feel. It was much cheerier than I expected.
In a dystopian future, citizens can live proper and prim lives under the strict laws of the safe walled cities, or they can live in the wilds outside the protection of the cities. For Scarlett, teen thief extraordinaire, cities are there to be robbed. On the run after liberating a bank of its funds, Scarlett comes across a boy stranded in the wild. Albert is strange and has his own secrets, but Scarlett agrees to escort him to the next town. When her act of kindness gets her into more trouble than her heist deserves, Scarlett realizes that Albert’s secrets may be more unusual and lucrative than she could’ve imagined. Or, they can just get them both killed.