Thank you to Walker Books and Netgalley for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway
Book: The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne (The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne 1) by Jonathan Stroud
Release Date: April 1st 2021
Tags: Young Adult | Dystopia | Adventure | Western | Paranormal Powers | Monsters | Bank Heists
Trigger/Content Warnings: Confinement of children | Electric Shocks
Other books by this author I reviewed
Bartimaeus || The Screaming Staircase | The Whispering Skull | The Hollow Boy | The Creeping Shadow | The Empty Grave
Set in a fragmented future England, The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne introduces us to a world where gunfights and monsters collide, and where the formidable outlaw Scarlett McCain fights daily against the odds. When she discovers a wrecked coach on a lonely road, there is only one survivor – the seemingly hapless youth, Albert Browne. Against her instincts, Scarlett agrees to escort him to safety. This is a mistake. Soon, new and implacable enemies are on her heels. As a relentless pursuit continues across the broken landscape of England, Scarlett must fight to uncover the secrets of Albert’s past – and come to terms with the implications of her own.
A new book by my favorite author? Count me in.
The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne is set in a dystopian England that mirrors the wild west from earlier history. It reminded me of the tv show Defiance, except that had a lot of scifi elements. The Outlaws does not as much though there seems to be a hidden part of society that hides kids with paranormal powers… It is an interesting setting for our characters to live in. A place where heists, gangs and criminal kids run around together. That is also a bit of the downside. In that there isn’t a real explanation why England came to this dystopian setting and how far in the future this is really set.
Having said that, this book is all about the characters. We meet Scarlett McCain first as she is pulling off a heist on a bank. She is an outlaw kid who is used to being on her own. Enter Albert Browne who she meets as she is running from the horde of towns people after her. He doesn’t turn out to be quite as naive and harmless as she first thought him to be…
Their interaction, Scarlett’s frustration and Albert’s endless naivity on the surface, is what makes this book. Because there is still so much more to both of them. Albert might be naive to the world, but he certainly wasn’t so naive that he didn’t hide who he truly was. While Scarlett wants to be on her own and be hardened to the world but couldn’t leave Albert behind. They make an interesting mix. In the banter they have but also in the bond that they build as they are being chased by those that want to lock them both up. And while we got bits and pieces of their past, there is still a lot to be discovered in future books. And I can’t wait for that.