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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Audible Book Review: An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris

This is easy listening, but not compelling.
An Easy Death
By: Charlaine Harris
Narrated by: Eva Kaminsky
An Easy Death audiobook cover art
Series: Gunnie Rose, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 10-02-18
Language: English
Publisher: Recorded Books
Genre: Alternate History, Historical Fantasy
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.0; Narration 4.0.

Publisher's Summary
Number-one New York Times best-seller Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse mysteries, True Blood, Midnight Crossroad) delivers the first thriller in a new trilogy that presents a chilling alternate history of the US where everyone believes in magic - but no one is sure whether they can trust it.
After the assassination of FDR in the 1930s, the US collapses and is picked off by the UK, Canada, Mexico, and Russia. We find ourselves in the Southwestern states, now known as Texoma. It is here that the gunnie Lizbeth Rose tries to piece out a life, running security on runs from Texoma across the border to Mexico, where work and prospects are stronger.
When two Russian magicians come looking for a man named Alex Karkarov, they hire Lizbeth to find him or his family, but there are problems: The man they're looking for is dead, but he has a daughter they now need to find, as an ever-growing set of sorcerers and gunnies do not want them to succeed. It's a good thing Lizbeth is a deadly gunfighter; too bad she hates sorcerers, even the ones on whom she has to learn to rely.
Number-one New York Times best-seller Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse mysteries, True Blood, Midnight Crossroad) returns to fantasy in a taut thriller set in a US where magic is an acknowledged truth, but disreputable.
©2018 Charlaine Harris, Inc. (P)2018 Recorded Books

Lizbeth Rose’s world is an alternate Southwest US because a flu epidemic contributed to a government collapse. This resulted in America being broken up with territories going to Canada (in the north), Mexico (to the south), Russia (in the west) and UK (in the east). Most ‘native’ Americans are frightened and cautious of Russians magicians known as Grigoris.

Lizbeth is a “gunnie” or bodyguard and guide in a bleak, rough land. She has recently suffered a loss of team members after a surprise attack by bandits. Lizbeth isn’t happy when two Russians appear at her door seeking to hire her skills but the fee they offer would allow her some security. She agrees to help them look for a man named Alex Karkarov or his rumored daughter. They fail to tell her the political importance of their mission that other sorcerers are set on preventing their success. Lisbeth and her two clients are repeatedly attacked and Lisbeth has to rely on some of their skills as they travel. But as the journey brings them to the place where the man was killed, it becomes clear that Lisbeth hasn’t told her clients some important facts,

The story moves along a deadly path to the mission’s conclusion. There is quite a bit of violence by gun and magical attacks. Although the journey makes good action, the plot doesn’t seem to present a clear purpose other than introducing gunnie Lisbeth and her alternate world. Lisbeth is a well-developed character which is more than I can say for the background history that led to this alternate US. I found the story interesting entertainment but not compelling towards further books in the series. Readers who like alternate history, magical elements and a strong heroine may want to check this out.

Audio Note: Eva Kaminsky does a reasonable job and did well with the accents. Her rendition of Lizbeth sounded a little older than the character who is (I think) no older than her early 20s. Still, I am glad I had the book to listen to as it was an easy listen.

Source: 12/16/18 November Credit at Audible. This qualifies for 2019TBR, 2019Audiobook and #SciFiMonth 2019 goal.

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