Wednesday, January 15, 2020

A Longer Fall by Charlaine Harris

#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.

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Book 2
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

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.

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.

Charlaine Harris is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse and Midnight, Texas, fantasy/mystery series and the Aurora Teagarden, Harper Connelly, and Lily Bard mystery series. Her books have inspired HBO’s True Blood, NBC’s Midnight, Texas, and the Aurora Teagarden movies for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. She has lived in the South her entire life.

Connect with Charlaine

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of A Longer Fall (Gunnie Rose #2) by Charlaine Harris to read and review.

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