The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis
Aster. Violet. Tansy. Mallow. Clementine.
Sold as children. Branded by cursed markings. Trapped in a life they never would have chosen.
When Aster’s sister Clementine accidentally murders a man, the girls risk a dangerous escape and harrowing journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge – in a country that wants them to have none of those things. Pursued by the land’s most vicious and powerful forces – both living and dead – their only hope lies in a bedtime story passed from one girl to another, a story that only the youngest or most desperate would ever believe.
It’s going to take more than luck for them all to survive.
I was provided a free review copy from HotKeyBooks, but it’s also on preorder. So I would’ve still reviewed it and read it. My views are my own and haven’t been influenced by having a proof copy.
This is a tough book. But it is like one of those biscuits that are hard on the outside and have a soft gooey chocolate center. So let’s start with some content/trigger warnings. This book touches on: rape, sexual abuse, child labour, prostitutes (coherced/forced), child grooming (implied), violence and murder, some psycological and emotional torture/abuse.
Big list, right? But it is a book about five young women (girls?) who have been sold to a “good luck” house (a prostibule) as children to pay off debts or similar reasons. There they are groomed to accept their new job and how “lucky” they are to have a home, and a relatively “easy” job. (The story doesn’t imply it is an “easy” job, but some of the society in it does).
Considering the content, I wasn’t uncomfortable or icked by the book. Instead I wanted to keep reading and know what was happening next. The world is very much a “western” (as in cowboy type, somewhere I saw it described as Westworld type and yes, that fits). But our five heroines test their luck when a chance to escape comes up.
The high stakes, the quest and the characters really make this book. And I highly enjoyed it. Didn’t want to put it down. There is a lot of asking what to do when you are just protecting and full of anger, and not only that but what to do with emotions you have had to hide.
The tattoos that mark them as good luck girls was an interesting element, same as how having a shadow or not kinda defines your status and “class”. Interesting world building.
If you like spunky heroines, westerns or cowboys, high stakes and lots of adrenaline, definitely recommend this.