Wednesday, January 8, 2020

ARC Review: A Longer Fall by Charlaine Harris

A Longer Fall
Author: Charlaine Harris
Series: Gunnie Rose (Book 2)
Publication: Gallery / Saga Press (January 14, 2020)

Description: #1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris returns with the second of the Gunnie Rose series, in which Lizbeth is hired onto a new crew, transporting a crate into Dixie, the self-exiled southeast territory of the former United States. What the crate contains is something so powerful, that forces from across three territories want to possess it.

In this second thrilling installment of the Gunnie Rose series, Lizbeth Rose is hired onto a new crew for a seemingly easy protection job, transporting a crate into Dixie, just about the last part of the former United States of America she wants to visit. But what seemed like a straight-forward job turns into a massacre as the crate is stolen. Up against a wall in Dixie, where social norms have stepped back into the last century, Lizbeth has to go undercover with an old friend to retrieve the crate as what’s inside can spark a rebellion, if she can get it back in time.

New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse mysteries and Midnight, Texas trilogy) is at her best here, building the world of this alternate history of the United States, where magic is an acknowledged but despised power.

My Thoughts: The second Gunnie Rose book has Lizbeth hiring on with a new crew who has the job of delivering a crate into Dixie. Lizbeth doesn't want to go into Dixie which has reverted back to an earlier time period in its culture where women are only valued if they are married and dress appropriately and Blacks aren't valued at all.

Problems start right away when the train they are on is derailed and hired gunmen attack to steal the crate. Lizabeth is about the only one of her crew who survives mostly unhurt. It is up to her to find the crate and deliver it to its destination even though she doesn't know who hired the crew.

Lizbeth runs into Prince Ilya Savarov who she met in the first book and discovers that he is also on Bthe trail of the missing crate. After the events of the first book which left Eli and his family in disgrace, completing this mission is his only hope for salvaging his family's reputation. However, some of the grigori don't want his mission to be successful. Neither do some of the powerful white residents of Dixie.

I really liked this story. Lizbeth is an intriguing character - practical and pragmatic and intensely loyal to her own values. Because the story is told from her point of view, we don't have quite as clear a picture of what Eli wants and thinks which makes interpreting their relationship less clear. Lizbeth does love Eli but believes that they don't have any sort of a future because their lives are so different. She tries to convince herself to live in the present and not make plans for a future that has them together.

The world building is excellent in this story which tells of a fragmented United States with the Holy Russian Empire complete with its magicians controlling what used to be California and Oregon. Lizbeth's region of Texoma, Dixie being composed of the Southern States mostly east of the Mississippi, and Britannia which is the Northeast part of the former United States.

Fans of alternate history with magic and with an intrepid main character will want to read this series.

Favorite Quote:
"Eli, we judge every day. We decide that person is bad and this one is good." It was a struggle for me to talke about what  felt. I wasn't used to it.

"There is a difference. We have to fight people who are trying to kill us, to block our path to the goal we have promised to reach."


"But that's different from picking people out of a crowd and deciding that person isn't worthy of live," Eli said.

"What makes it different?" When Eli didn't answer right away, I went on. "What's the difference between deciding someone has to die because they're shooting at me, and me deciding someone has to die because they don't believe people different from them are human?"
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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