cover image The Good Luck Girls

The Good Luck Girls

Charlotte Nicole Davis. Tor Teen, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-29970-3

In this ambitious, uneven debut, the historical Old West–flavored landscape of post–Empire Arketta sets the stage for monstrous spirits, men who trade their humanity for power, and shadowless girls with cursed tattoos called favors. When Clementine accidentally kills her first client at the Green Creek brothel, her older sister, Aster, springs into action, and alongside Clem’s best friends, transforms Clem’s accident into a shot at freedom. Sycophantic, cold Violet, the only girl there with a shadow, begs to join them, promising to lead the way to a legendary woman who can remove their favors. On their journey to find Lady Ghost and evade their cruel pursuers, the girls must decide how far they’ll go to try to escape their past. While many of the characters lack depth, Aster shines as a protagonist who harnesses her trauma and anger in a world in which her past is literally indelible. And while the plot relies on some contrivance and is sometimes overshadowed by the intricate worldbuilding, Davis creates institutions, systems, and power dynamics with real-world echoes, making the themes timely and resonant. Ages 13–up. [em]Agent: Allison Hellegers, Rights People. (Oct.) [/em]