A Longer Fall

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 14 Jan 2020

Member Reviews

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Erica – ☆☆☆☆☆
5 Intriguing Stars

Spoiler-Free Review

A Longer Fall is the second installment in the Gunnie Rose series, and cannot be read as a standalone without massive confusion, as it's a true continuation.

I must admit, I struggled with An Easy Death, but the issues I had weren't as present in A Longer Fall. I gave the continuation a chance because I was intrigued by such an original story, crossing my fingers that it was the first book curse. Sometimes if the first book is amazing, it's hard for the second to live up to the expectations. Sometimes when the first book is so-so, the continuation rocks me off my feet. The latter is what happened in this case.

Gunnie Rose has a dystopian feel, in regards to the US falling and being split up and taken over by several nations. Set in the depression era, with civil rights and women's rights issues from the time making a heavy presence in the series. This is set to the backdrop of Russian magic users to add a paranormal twist.

The pacing was rapid this go around, exciting and thrilling, without being slowed by too much inane information – there is still quite a bit of everyday events, but it added more to the story than taking it away, as previously.

Read in two sittings, I didn't want to put A Longer Fall down, when I struggled to stay interested in the previous installment. Lizbeth finds an unexpected ally in Dixie, as she tries to protect, then reclaim a crate she was employed to protect.

Never get too attached to characters, as they might not be long for this world. Expect Lizbeth to be the gunnie she was born to be, shooting and asking questions later. The survivalist. Expect betrayals, assassination attempts, and high-stress situations. If racism and misogyny are hard for you to swallow, the historical accuracy of Dixie was difficult to read but well written.

There is more emotion this time around, as Lizbeth showed rare bursts of insecurity and her strong need for connection with Eli. These moments of humanity were what was missing from the debut in the series, creating a more well-rounded Lizbeth Rose.

By the end of the novel, I sat there for a few minutes, wishing upon wishing I had the third installment, needing to know what happens next.

Highly recommended to Charlaine Harris fans, and those looking for something highly original and intriguing. My advice, An Easy Death was a hard book to enjoy. Stick with it, then grab A Longer Fall – you won't be disappointed in the amazing shift from book to book.


Sarah – ☆☆☆☆☆
I love Charlaine Harris’ imagination and this series is quite possibly the most original – and most bizarre – of all the weird and wonderful worlds Harris has written. I’m still not quite sure I understand exactly where and when these books are set but the dystopian alternate reality is fabulous. I fell hard for Lizbeth Rose and her altered reality and I really loved this story.

I’m equal parts in love with and completely confused by the setting of this story. The Dixie where Lizbeth’s train crashes is definitely Southern but it exists outside of time. I can’t quite explain it – I’m not sure the actual novel fully manages to explain Dixie – but it’s an oppressive, backwards, and claustrophobic place that Lizbeth finds herself trapped in.

Lizbeth herself will feel more familiar to longstanding Harris fans. Despite her violent profession, Lizbeth is a mannered and moral Southern lady and I love the many conflicting elements of her character.

I love the way fantasy characters are gently mixed into this already dystopian world. This is a world where wizards and Russian Tsars are somehow part of a dis-United States and somehow it all works.

I have to say that I should have started this series at the beginning. Nothing is explained or recapped at the start of this second book, so my head was completely spinning for the first few chapters. I eventually caught up but I’m sure I’m still missing parts of the story. Readers need to start with the first book, which hopefully offers more of an introduction to this weird and wonderful world.
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This is book 2 in the Gunnie Rose series ( An easy death, book 1)  and it's another remarkable read by Charlaine Harris into the world of the unknown.  Lizbeth is back as a hired gun, protecting a crate going from what used to be Texas to Dixie.  This is a alternate history book set in the US that has now reverted back to the ways of the wild west.  Add a Russian  wizard, train rides, slaves, dog and dead people you have all the makings of a classic Harris read.  I enjoy Gunnie Rose and the life she lives to stay alive.  You can read this as a stand alone but it will read so much better having read book 1. I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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4 stars

You can read all of my reviews at https://www.NerdGirlLovesBooks.com.

This is the second book in a new fantasy/paranormal series and the author doesn't miss a step in getting the action started. Lizbeth Rose, a young gunslinger (gunnie) for hire is running with a new crew. They've been tasked with a seemingly easy job of running a crate to Dixie, a place where social norms have reverted back to the last century. Just before they reach their final destination, the crate is stolen in a heist that costs over a dozen lives.

Ever the dedicated Gunnie, Lizbeth goes undercover in the dangerous and backwards land to find the crate and finish her job. She is aided in her efforts by an old friend who she isn't sure she can trust, but is out of options. As she gets closer to finding answers, many lives are put at risk, including Gunnie Rose's.

This is another wild ride for Gunnie Rose. Supernatural elements are still at play, the bad guys are more insidious, and the stakes are higher than ever. Lizbeth is forced to dress and act like a lady, among people who believe that women should be seen and not heard. As you can imagine, not wearing her gear and guns does not sit well with Lizbeth. But once she realizes just how dangerous Dixie is, and that her actions can have severe. and possibly deadly, consequences for others, she bites her tongue and toughs it out.

As with most Harris books, there is always a bit of sexual tension between people who are very different from each other. This romance is a nice relief from the action. I'm not sure how many books are expected in this series, but I can't wait to read the next one! I highly recommend you read this series.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I was not familiar with Charlaine Harris' latest series, Gunnie Rose, until I got an ARC of A Longer Fall from NetGalley. This is the second in the series. That's an awkward place to jump in; however, it was fascinating and made me eager to get a copy of the first, An Easy Death. 

The world of Gunnie Lizbeth Rose, a 19-year-old mercenary, is an altered 1930s America. (Alternate history is generally a pretty good place to start for me.) The Great Depression and the assassination of Franklin Roosevelt have fractured what was the United States into several smaller countries. Magic and wizardry are also elements of this world, though they are more accepted in some places than others. A mission takes Lizbeth into Dixie, a backwards Southeastern country where magic is frowned upon, women must wear skirts, and black people are treated barely better than slaves. 

Lizbeth is an appealingly scrappy character whose main goal is to survive in a hostile world. I believe I would have understood better what was going on if I'd gotten familiar with Gunnie Rose and her on-again-off-again love, a noble-born Russian wizard named Eli, in an Easy Death. However, there is lots of action, lots of magic,  some suspense, and a bit of romance. I expect this to be a fun and long-running series. 

Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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This was a great sequel to the first book in the series -nice continuation of some previous plot items, but I think I would have known whats going on anyway. I also liked that it was very different from the first book as far as plot - it wasn't just the same story rehashed.

The story starts on a train. Lizbeth has been hired by a new crew, and they are taking a mysterious chest to Dixie, which does not sound like a nice place to go (and turns out that is correct). All goes well until it doesn't :). Lizbeth is left with the problem of discovering what happened and why and fixing things as best she can.

I like exploring this alternative world. Dixie is pretty eerie - especially with the way people are treated. Magic is a part of the world, but resented by many people. And of course there was lots of action. Some behind-the-scene questions remain unanswered, but I suspect they will be illuminated in future books.
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I am going to be in the minority here but i found this book really boring. I am not sure what the author`s point of this book was. The characters were not well developed at all. I couldn't even figure out what time period it was. The world was very underdeveloped. The main character Lizbeth "Gunnie" Rose was dull as could be and the love interest Eli, a wizard, had potential but there was not enough told about him. And even the sex was dull. Just when the two characters start to develop the book ended! What a serious disappointment.
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The nitty-gritty: A solid follow-up to An Easy Death, unfortunately I wasn't as wowed by this book as other readers.

I really had high hopes for this book, since I loved An Easy Death so much, but I felt the plot in this sequel lacked the excitement and punch I was looking for. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of things I loved about A Longer Fall, which I’ll go into below, but overall I was a little disappointed, especially with the ending.

The story revolves around Lizbeth Rose, a “gunnie”—gun for hire—who has just joined a new crew called the Lucky Crew. Lizbeth and her fellow gunnies have been hired to protect a crate on its way to the town of Sally, but before they make it to their destination, the train blows up, injuring and killing scores of passengers. Lizbeth suspects that someone is after the crate and what’s inside (which is a mystery to the crew) and the train was attacked as a distraction. Sure enough, in the confusion of the aftermath of the accident, the crate disappears.

Lizbeth is nothing if not tenacious and thorough, and she knows she won’t get paid for the job unless she finds the crate and takes it to the drop off point. Struggling with her own injuries, Lizbeth is surprised to find an old acquaintance has arrived to help out: Eli Savarov, a grigori (wizard) from the Holy Russian Empire. Strangely enough, Eli knows all about the crate and his mission seems to intersect with Lizbeth’s. They decide to join forces to locate the crate, but navigating the conservative town of Sally has its challenges. Posing as husband and wife, Lizbeth and Eli find themselves caught up in a battle in between two different factions in Sally, trying to stay alive long enough to set things right. 

Lizbeth is by far the best part of this book. The story is told from her first person point of view, and her odd brand of blunt, wry humor permeates every sentence. She’s a first-rate gunnie and a cold-blooded killer, but when she and Eli get to Sally and have to blend in while they search for the crate, Lizbeth is horrified when Eli makes her change her wardrobe. I loved the scenes where she’s wearing dresses (probably for the first time ever!) and bitching about it:

“Today I wore my pale blue skirt with little white flowers, and the white blouse. I felt like an idiot.”

I also enjoyed Lizbeth and Eli together in this story, although I have to admit that Eli is a bit too sexist at times. In An Easy Death, they sort of hooked up but then separated at the end. Now that Eli’s back, of course he wants to resume their relationship, and Lizbeth doesn’t seem to mind at all, although she’s wary of him ditching her again. Lizbeth has an odd, standoffish way about her. She’s happy to jump into bed with Eli whenever the opportunity arises, but she comes across as emotionally flat. I like to think it’s because her lifestyle is so violent and she doesn’t want to endanger the people she loves, but at times this emotional disconnect bothered me. I also didn’t care for the way Eli kept so many secrets from Lizbeth. I mean, they’re working and sleeping together, yet he coyly keeps refusing to tell her what’s going on with the crate.

I love the world that Harris has created, a sort of post apocalyptic, Wild West with Russian wizards. The world-building was much stronger in the first book, probably because the author was trying to set the stage. In this book, she backs off the world building details and focuses more on the plot, so I didn’t get as strong a sense of the world I loved so much. The elements are there, but Harris only mentions certain things in passing, assuming readers will already know what she’s talking about. This story is a rather tightly focused one, as most of the action takes place in the town of Sally, but Harris’ world is huge, and I was craving some of the more exotic locations and details from the first book. 

Finally, the ultimate mystery of the crate and its contents was a bit of a let-down, I have to admit. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I was hoping for something more exciting and less social commentary. It’s hard to talk about because I don’t want to spoil the story, but after all the casual violence and murder in this story—and most of it at the hands of Lizbeth and Eli—I feel like Harris had a change of heart at the end and tried to turn the story into feel-good, “we can all get along” sort of plot that just had me shaking my head in confusion. Maybe you can attribute it to the weirdness of Sally, I mean Lizbeth hated that town and couldn’t wait to leave. Still, the resolution just fell flat for me.

Overall, I finished this book with a “ho hum” sort of feeling, although you'll see plenty of rave reviews on Goodreads, so maybe it's just me. However, despite my lukewarm reaction, I’m still on board for more Gunnie Rose stories. What the book lacks in the plot department, it totally makes up for it with the characters, the humor and especially Lizbeth’s voice. I’m already anxiously awaiting the title and cover reveal of the next book!

Big thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy.
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Since this was the second book in a series I quickly found the first one on Kindle Unlimited and start to read it. After finishing it I decided to start book 2 even though I wasn't nearly as excited as I originally thought I would be.  The moves quickly with it western feel mixed with magic and endless blood shed that some how Lizbeth survives over and over again.

Fans of Charlaine Harris will love this new series as for this readers I still trying to figure out if I love it or hate it.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of Charlaine Harris A Longer Fall
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This is the second book in the series a bit different from her other books. A cross between fantasy Western and alternate reality I found this to be a quick read can be read along but would be better reading book one first good world building an interesting characters looking forward to see where the series goes
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REVIEW PROVIDED BY: Kelly
NUMBER OF HEARTS:  4
A Longer Fall is the second installment of Charlaine Harris’ Gunnie Rose series. 

A Longer Fall picks up a few months after the end of An Easy Death. We catch up with Lizbeth Rose (aka Gunnie Rose) and her new crew of Gunnies. We find them on a train headed to Dixie with a package. Dixie is not a place the Lizbeth would normally want to be but the package needs to be delivered. What should have been an easy sit on the box and deliver turns out to be not so lucky for the Lucky Crew. A train derailment leads Lizbeth and her crew facing enemy after enemy. But in the midst of all the chaos a familiar face emerges.  One Lizbeth never thought she would ever see again. 

Eva Kaminsky does a great job again bring these characters to life. I really enjoyed having her read this story to me. I do hope that she stays on for the rest of this series. 

I really enjoyed this book and I am already looking forward to the next installment in this series. Lizbeth is a great character and I enjoy watching her grow as a person. I have high hopes for what might come next in this series. 

Note: I would recommend reading this series in order. I think you could read book two without book one but there is a lot of history that you will miss if you don’t. 

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley, Edelweiss & Gallery / Saga Press in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.
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I really like the characters in the book, but the world they live in? Not so much.  Ms. Harris sure can tell a story though and it was an enjoyable read. I recommend reading book one first.  
Many thanks to Saga Press and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I was given this book by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Gunnie Rose returns in the second book of the series, recovered from her last battles and working with a new crew. They were hired to take cargo to Dixie and have almost made it there when the train on which they are traveling is attacked.  Gunnie is injured, but not badly. When she makes to the town, she has lost some of her crew and the cargo, but she does run into Eli, the grigori she had a run in with before.

This book has all the hallmarks of a Charlaine Harris book - strong female characters, magic, action, and violence.  This is probably my second favorite series by her after Lily Bard.
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I am not exaggerating when I say that Charlaine Harris is one of the top 5 world-builders writing today.  She is also a dab hand at writing complicated, interesting women of whom Lizbeth Rose is arguably the most badass. Her books never disappoint.

Many thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC copy for my review.
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“Everything was boring until the train blew up”, says Lizbeth Rose, a gunnie or a hired gunslinger, in A Longer Fall.

The United States has broken up into several smaller nations. Gunnie Rose is working with a new crew moving a mysterious crate from Texoma to Dixie when the train is blown off its tracks. After being shot and bludgeoned in the head, Gunnie Rose passes out.

When she arose, she was on the side of the toppled train. Some of her crew were dead and the remaining members were wounded. Leaving the crew leader guarding the crate, Gunnie Rose helps two of her crew get to the town’s hospital. When she returns, the leader is dead and the crate is gone. Suddenly, an old friend arrives to both help her find the crate and hire her to find the crate’s owner.

Since reading my first Sookie book, I have always enjoy the author’s writing style and this book is no different. She brings an immediacy to each plot that compels you to keep reading. In addition, her characters feel authentic and include real human strengths and weaknesses among their traits. Setting a thriller in an alternate history that feels simultaneously in the future and in the past is intriguing and innovative.

While I enjoyed reading A Longer Fall, I was confused for a while at the beginning. I felt like I began reading in the middle of the book. The plot, the setting, and especially the characters of this book rely heavily on the reader knowing what happened in the first book in the series. Therefore, I would not recommend reading this book as a standalone. With only that caveat, I recommend this book for those looking for a thriller with an innovative setting, great realistic characters, and paranormal fantasy aspects. 4 stars!

Thanks to Saga Press, Gallery Books, and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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The sequel to An Easy Death is just as good as the first one.  Lizbeth is working with a new gang and they are guarding a crate to be delivered in Dixie. This part of the former United States doesn’t seem to be the best place for her, but a job is a job. When the train is attacked, members of the gang killed or seriously wounded, and the crate stolen it seems the perfect time for Eli to show up and partner with Lizbeth to get the crate back.  Eli knows what is in the crate and who sent it but not who it is going to.   You get more back history on the Russian royal family and their connection to Dixie. I enjoyed the book and I want to see more stories in this weird West.
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I wanted to love this book, but a lack of solid world building, characters I could root for and an underlying message that wasn't cringeworthy made that impossible.  Granted, I didn't read the first book in the series, and that might have helped me understand the world a little better.  But the universe this takes place in is an awful place.  Like Game of Thrones awful.  Like why would anyone want to live here, let alone come here as an escapist fantasy.  Since such a large portion of the book revolves around Lizbeth and Eli's relationship, it reads to me like escapist fantasy.  Unfortunately, the rest of the book is mired in racism and misogyny that you might as well be in Westeros. At least there you get consistent world building throughout the series.

The Gunnie Rose series takes place in an alternate time line, the details of which are left vague in this book in favor of Lizbeth and Eli eating.  Again.  Be prepared for a play by play of every meal they eat together.  Over in Texas, nobody is batting an eye at the gay man and his partner.  Just east in Louisiana, segregation, misogyny and slavery(YIKES!) in all but in name is still alive and well.  Already the setting was starting to lose me because I cannot envision a world in which Texas is that much more progressive than the rest of the South.  Oh, and people from Mexico still need smuggled to New America.  Because in this universe Texas is the epitome of fairness and equality.  

Next, we have the characters.  Lizbeth is our main heroine who's supposed to be this amazing sharpshooter.  But she's so dull.  After an initial shootout in the beginning, she spends two-thirds of the book playing dress-up as a "proper" Dixie lady, eating ice cream, and playing amateur detective.  Eli, our romantic lead, has no personality outside of I must remain distant and mysterious to our main character.  I'm starting to see the appeal of Jaime from Outlander now.  There's something very alluring about a love interest who talks to their partner.  Remember when I said the universe was Game of Thrones levels of horrible to the people who live there?  Be prepared for any characters that have a sliver of personality to die so Lizbeth and Eli can go sample five flavors of ice cream.  Then go have sex and never have a serious conversation about anything, let alone the plot.  

Speaking of the plot, there isn't much of one.  Lizbeth is transporting some mysterious cargo to Dixie.  The cargo gets stolen after the train wrecks.  The vast majority of the book is Lizbeth wandering around trying to figure out where this crate went without even knowing what's in it.  Eli knows, but he's not talking, because.... it makes him sexier if he withholds vital plot information?

Delving into the cringe inducing elements would be too much of a spoiler.  However, if the solution presented here is a writer's solution to racism, maybe they should refrain from writing about racism.

Skip this book.  It has none of the magic of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and is too bogged down by the mindset of the people of Dixie to be an enjoyable read.  I almost vomited when one of the villains(?) said they couldn't rape a married white woman.  Two stars, only because I managed to finish it.  Mostly I was waiting for something interesting to happen, but I regretted it by the time I was done.
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I was a fan of this author’s Sookie Stackhouse series, but I haven’t read anything by her since. This series seemed interesting, and I picked up the first book. I liked it well enough to read the second. The author has a way with words that make you see everything going on just like you are there, and this series is no exception. I feel like I’m in an alternative western with magic, and you survive by your wits or magic. In this installment, Gunnie is with a new crew guarding a crate, things happen, and she runs into an old friend. I think Gunnie is an interesting character as is Eli, but sometimes I feel that they don’t really fit together but then something happens and I see it. Sometimes the book feels too much like a western, but the writing is so engaging, it’s hard to put down. I liked this plot and book better than the first one. If you liked the first one, you will definitely like this second. If you haven’t tried the series, you need to; it’s very unique and addicting. Recommend. I was provided a complimentary copy which I voluntarily reviewed.
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I loved the first book in this series. This one wasn't quite as good but it was still good to see Gunnie Rose again. The themes of racism and slavery seemed very topical but the book as a whole started to veer more to the romance novel than my preference. I hope the series turns back to the first book again!
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In this alternative history, the United State has been divided up into several independent regions. The atmosphere is similar the Old West, but magic is the heavy-handed influence that is both feared and appreciated.

Lizbeth Rose is a favorite character. She is a Gunnie – a hired gun. She shoots first and usually, does not even need to ask questions, so confident is she in her ability and her purpose. 
"The blond one pulled his shiny new gun, and I killed him."
Note, she doesn’t aim, doesn’t fire. She just kills him. This efficiency of words is characteristic of Lizbeth. It is also refreshing and serves to move the plot along at quite a clip.

Lizbeth is an interesting woman. In essence, to make a living, she often has to kill. While she does not seem to regret the need, it does not harden her. She is vulnerable, honest and determined to set things right.

Early in the story, the man who hired Lizbeth dies and the package is stolen. Lizbeth needs the money so she is determined to find who the package was to have been delivered to. Enter old friend Eli, grigori (wizard, magic-wielder, sorceror, etc.). Eli also has a vested interest in the delivery of the package, so they team up. I liked the pair working together in An Easy Death, so I was please to see Eli again. He has a history, as does Lizbeth, so keeping them together means we get to learn more about them. Off they go to the prudish little town of Sally, where grigori are feared, women who wear pants are frowned upon, and blacks are second-class citizens. The town’s unwritten rules are enforced in not so subtle ways by the rich and powerful.

This is a story of bigotry, ideals, hope and change. Who determines what is right? How does change happen? In fictiondom, change is a lot easier than in real life, so even though I was rooting for Lizbeth and Eli and the good people of Sally, I thought the ending was, hmm, silly. Well, I liked what happened, but it was too easy.

5 stars for A Longer Fall. I thing you would benefit from starting with An Easy Death, if you have not read it, but it is not necessary. I am hooked on this series and will continue to follow it.

Through Netgalley, the publisher provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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I had a great time with this book!  After enjoying the first book in the Gunnie Rose series, An Easy Death, I was pretty eager to jump back into this alternate world and go on another adventure with Lizbeth.  The action in this book started right away and I found it to be a rather fast-paced novel.  I found it impossible to put this book down and ended up reading it in a single day. 

Lizbeth is working with another crew at the start of this book.  Her crew has been tasked with delivering a crate to Dixie.  It should be an easy job.  But of course, things go wrong.  Lizbeth is trying to hold things together when a familiar face shows up to help.  She must work to find the crate and complete the crew's mission.

I liked this book just as much as the first one.  Gunnie Rose doesn't give up on any mission and she seems to be able to instinctively know who should be trusted.  The town she finds herself in has a lot of problems and tensions are high.  She must work with her ally to find the crate and deliver it appropriately but she seems to find difficulties at every turn. 

There were a few surprises in this book.  The book takes place almost entirely in Dixie which is a different environment than what we saw in the first book.  I had a great time trying to figure out exactly what was going on and how Lizbeth would complete her mission.  I love the growth that we have seen in her character throughout the series.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  This is an original and exciting story with wonderful characters and a bit of magic.  I cannot wait to read more of Gunnie Rose's adventures in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Gallery / Saga Press via NetGalley.
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