The Good Luck Girls is a feminist western-est debut novel by Charlotte Nicole Davis. In Arketta, girls are sold to Welcome Houses, branded on their necks by favors, and forced into a life they never would have chosen.
After Clementine accidentally kills a man on her Lucky Night, her sister Aster knows they much escape. With Clementine’s friends Mallow and Tansy and head girl Violet following along, the girls make their grand escape. Pursed by Arketta’s most vicious and powerful forces, the girls trek across the Scab in search for assistance from a bedtime story called Lady Ghost.
As soon as I read the first few pages of this book, I wanted to read it all. Davis does a wonderful job at world building. Similar, I felt, to the likes of Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone or Justina Ireland’s Dread Nation. I was able to feel myself there with the girls on their journey to freedom.
The story has strong women with heartbreaking backgrounds who form a family and all have beautifully written character arcs and growth. (Violet’s was my favorite) Davis’ writing style has become one of my favorites.
There is both fantasy and western elements sprinkled throughout the book. There are raveners who can mess with your mind and feelings, and spirits - both calm and vengeful ones - that haunt the land giving the fantasy feel. There’s also robbing, stealing, and “The Law” as there is in westerns.
The girls are constantly on the move so the book is always filled with action - clear up to the very end. It’s face pace, but it’s never fast enough that I felt like I was left in the dust.
I’m not a big fantasy reader, but this book is one I recommend checking out.