The New West 1: When Josie Comes Home by AE Stanton. [1. Review copy provided by Musa Publishing]
The future’s a lot like the past — the West’s still hard on women and horses.
The future’s a wonderful place to be if you were considered worthy — until a huge solar flare slagged the world computers. Now, over two hundred years later, the unworthies are all that’s left of humanity, and they’ve reverted back to the old, old ways.
Josie escapes from the forced sexual slavery of Horsetown, vowing to return with help to save her sisters. Ten years later, she’s not home — but her youngest sister, Sadie, insists Josie will return, with her Hero along to help save the day.
The Gambler’s in Horsetown for reasons all his own. Who is he? What’s he really here for? And what will happen if he’s in town When Josie Comes Home?
I was half way through this one before I even realised it. It’s another post-apocalyptic book where the vast majority of women are sex slaves, but the issue is treated with much more sensitivity and understanding than it is in The Last Mailman, which was my main complaint with that book.
And it’s also a damn good book.
It’s not a complex book- it’s simple, like many books of novella length. A story about hope and faith and living through hardship. Ten years ago, Josie escaped Horsetown, promising to bring back a hero to save the women who live there.
Today, Sadie keeps her memory alive, promising the women that this thing will happen. When the Gambler arrives in town, she hopes he may be Josie’s hero.
The writing is good and sharp, and if the dialogue is sometimes awkward, it’s easily forgotten. There are a lot of characters, and we get the story from varying points of view, which makes the various twists and turns more effective.
I will say that I saw the final twist coming a mile away. It was pretty obvious, right from the first.But I didn’t mind, because the rest of the stuff surrounding it was still intriguing enough to finish it.
I won’t spoil the ending for you, but suffice it to say it was satisfying, not overly simple, and left room for future stories set in this world, all of which I will happily read. I love the setting and the characters, and even if these characters are never seen again, I want to see more of the world.
In other words? BUY IT. NOW.
4/5. Loses a point for the occasionally awkward dialogue.