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The Good Luck Girls: 05/13/22
The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis is a mixture of fantasy and science fiction. Five good luck girls flee their welcome house after a wealthy brag is killed in self defense. Hope lies to the north if the stories can be believed.
The overall setting though is a western, much in the same vein as Firefly. But there are also curses, missing shadows, and demon-like creatures that patrol the roads.
Much of the atmosphere of this book — and the world building — is done through word play. Davis uses commonplace words in new ways. Context makes their new meanings obvious, giving an instant flavor that is different by recognizable. The otherness is created through familiarity set askew.
Ultimately the novel is a quest for freedom. It's a path that brings to mind the Underground Railroad or its equivalent as described in Crosshairs by Catherine Hernandez (2020). Here, though, there is no help along the way. There are the stories but one has to get to the goal unaided.
The ambiguous ending also brings to mind a middle grade novel I read a two years ago, Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan. Here too is a land ravaged by corruption with a fairytale that promises a better life to those who can decipher the stories.
Like Crosshairs and Mañanaland, The Good Luck Girls sits on the Road Narrative Spectrum. The Good Luck girls, branded and pursued, are marginalized travelers (66). Their destination is a fabled placed in the wild lands (99). Their route their though is the Blue Highway (33) as represented by the roads they follow.
The sequel is The Sisters of Reckoning (2021).