Gunnie Rose Book 2
January 14, 2020
Blurb: #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.
#1 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.
Despite the fact that Charlaine Harris’ A Longer Fall, the second novel in her Gunnie Rose series starts out with a literal bang, I had a hard time initially getting into the novel. Much of that had to do with getting used to the narrator, Lizbeth, whose diction sounded younger and more ignorant than that of a typical 19-year old.
Lizbeth is an odd mix of worldliness and ignorance, street smarts but not book smarts, which allows her to ask a lot of questions the answers to which provide much of the world-building in the novel.
One of the strongest aspects of Harris’ writing has always been her action scenes and in A Longer Fall that is no different. For me, the actions scenes balanced out the novel’s preachiness.
While the preachiness is well-intended and some of it definitely necessary, especially in light of rising hate crimes, the quantity stood out. The territory of Dixie is depicted as black and white, figuratively and literally, and what would have made it better was to invoke gray. The only touches of gray are from outsiders. A more powerful statement would have been to have someone native (a white man) to Dixie be appalled by the racism and misogyny. The abhorrence of outsiders never makes a strong enough case unless there’s an ample amount of preachiness. One insider brings hope.
Eli, introduced as a romantic interest in An Easy Death (see my review here), is back, and he and Lizbeth extend their relationship. But all is not roses for them because of a lot of stubbornness on both parts.
While not a cliffhanger, the A Longer Fall has an open ending, inviting the next book in the series.
A Longer Fall is not as fast-paced or as quick-reading as the first Gunnie Rose novel, but it’s still a good read.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.