Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Bullet Catcher, by Joaquin Lowe (author), Inés del Castillo (narrator)

Serial Box, July 2020

Imma is a young woman who grew up in an orphanage in a world that looks very much like, but isn't, the American Old West, in a land called the Southland. Her older brother, Nico, left when she was still a kid, determined to become a "bullet catcher," someone who can literally catch and deflect bullets. He promised to return for her. He never has, so  she assumes he's dead. He wouldn't have just abandoned her, right?

She's working in a bar, and one day a stranger comes in. When a dispute becomes a duel, it becomes obvious the man is a bullet catcher. He kills his opponent with the man's own bullets, and starts walking out of town.

Imma grabs her few possessions, and follows him. Maybe she can become a bullet catcher.
The bullet catcher ignores her, and yet keeps a pace that lets her keep him in sight, slowing down when she's flagging, speeding up when she has more energy, and at least once leaving provisions for her without any acknowledgement.

When they reach his mountain home, she starts to learn a lot not just about bullet catching, but about herself, her brother, their family, and the history of the Southland.

Oh, and this particular bullet catcher's involvement in her family's history, and the traumatic events of her and her brother's early life.

The characters and their lives are complex and intertwined in interesting ways. Imma finds none of the simple good/bad dichotomies that she expects, and confronts some difficult questions and choices. It's an absorbing story.

This is a Serial Box audiobook, episodic by design, well-produced and well-performed. Recommended.

I received this free as part of one of Serial Box's Thursday night promotions, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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