It’s the first YA book I’ve read in over a year and my overall impression was that it was alright. It started off good with Imma and her brother Nikko growing up and dreaming of becoming bullet catchers, people who can deflect bullets with their hands. Nikko runs off to join them early on and then vanishes from the face of the earth. Imma meets an old bullet catcher and basically bullies him into teaching her. Nikko reappears and Imma has to decide whose side she is on and what is right and wrong.
And I think that is what is good about this book. You have two sides, the gunslingers and the bullet catchers. Both have their propaganda that deems the other evil and in need of being wiped out. As the story progresses you see that both sides have their redeeming features but are also responsible for some pretty serious crimes.
Both Imma and Nikko have to come to terms with this and work out which side they belong to. They have family loyalties, but at the end of the day it is up to them. Mid way through this book I did get a bit bored – Imma took a while to work things out and waiting for her to do wasn’t all that entertaining. Having said that she did meet some other fun characters along the way who build into that idea of what is perceived as right or wrong.
There’s also some gore in there. The gunslingers want to be faster so they add some machinery into their hands and it is grim. I’m not one for blood so that was a tough part for me. But it added a different take to the Western setting of the book.
It’s a book that makes you think a little bit, but I would have preferred it to be faster paced. What I did like that the main character wasn’t the stereotypical tortured teenager. She was a lot more likable and real.
As it’s so hot right now maybe you should read something desert themed. Let me know how you get on if you do.