Bound To Stay Bound

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 Outlaws Scarlett and Browne (Scarlett And Browne)
 Author: Stroud, Jonathan

 Publisher:  Knopf (2021)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 421 p., maps, 21 cm

 BTSB No: 861595 ISBN: 9780593430361
 Ages: 10-14 Grades: 5-9

 Fugitives from justice -- Fiction
 Thieves -- Fiction
 Monsters -- Fiction
 Adventure fiction
 Science fiction

Price: $21.58

Scarlett McCain is an outlaw, a bank robber and a sharp shooter-a girl of formidable skills. She's a fugitive when she finds a wrecked bus on a lonely road. Albert Browne, the sole survivor of the accident, seems like an innocent, harmless youth. Against her better judgment, Scarlett agrees to escort him to safety. Soon there are men with dogs, guns, and explosives hot on their heels. As they flee, Scarlett comes to realize that Albert Browne is hiding a terrible secret and may be the most dangerous threat of all.

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   Kirkus Reviews (+) (09/01/21)
   School Library Journal (11/01/21)
   Booklist (09/15/21)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (00/09/21)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 09/15/2021 Something terrible has happened in Britain: London is a lagoon filled with terrifying aquatic creatures, cannibalistic mutants roam the countryside, and the remaining fortified cities rule their inhabitants with iron fists. Not everyone is keen to fall in line, however. Scarlett McCain—bank robber, traveler, and outlaw—keeps to herself, but when she comes across a survivor of a gruesome accident, Scarlett allows him to tag along. Young Albert is her opposite, approaching his situation with a sweet naivete that annoys and then intrigues Scarlett. When the pair attracts more trouble than she bargained for, Scarlett realizes that Albert may not be what he appears, and a race for survival begins. Stroud’s world building is exceptional, his compelling characters easy to root for. There’s real suspense and surprise, along with some truly terrifying moments, though plenty of banter and scheming keeps things fun. Readers may be left with more questions than answers, but future exploits may fill in the gaps. A proper adventure story that isn’t afraid to have a lot of fun along the way. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 11/01/2021 Gr 6 Up—An adventurous fantasy set in an alternate England, after calamities have transformed it into guarded cities with generators and basic commerce surrounded by deadly wilderness and large predators—not to mention the Tainted, who are zombie cannibals. All religions have merged into Faith Houses, which are a significant but not salubrious presence. Enter cutthroat outlaw Scarlett McCain, described as pale-skinned with red hair, who robs banks for a living. Her backstory is mysterious, but she has no love for the Surviving Towns or for Faith Houses. Traveling the wilderness she finds a boy in an abandoned bus, Albert Browne, with pale skin and black hair. He has his own enemies, and Scarlett agrees to help him try to reach the Free Isles near London. They team up with a riverboat pilot, Joe, who has dark skin, and his pale-skinned granddaughter Ettie to make the journey. Stroud combines detailed, deliberate, and evocative descriptions of the wasteland once known as England with a fast-paced plot. Continuous escapes and fight scenes build tons of excitement and at times spine-tingling horror. Scarlett's frustration with the more friendly, naive Albert is often hilarious, as is her ability to talk or shoot herself out of a tough corner. Some loose ends in Scarlett and Albert's backstories seem to indicate the series will continue. VERDICT Intricate worldbuilding and a compelling heroine will appeal to readers who like "Rick Riordan Presents," as well as the works of Philip Pullman and Garth Nix.—Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Lib. Assoc., CT - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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