Corporate Gunslinger

Harper Voyager. Jun. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9780062897688. pap. $15.99. SF
DEBUT In a near dystopian future, insurance companies save money by having duels to resolve disputes instead of going through costly litigation. Most people are scraping by with crushing debt. But if you can make it as a gunslinger, you can shoot your way to fame and fortune. Kira Clark is an aspiring actress who is trying to claw her way out of massive debt. Turns out that her acting skills are just what she needs to create a persona to help get her through these near-death experiences as a gunslinger, and she’s pretty good at acting and shooting. When her friend is killed it gets personal. But will her anger destroy her focus? Engstrom tries to tackle financial inequalities by pairing them with an updated, gun-toting gladiator arena. The narrative jumps back and forth between Kira’s backstory and the fight at the pinnacle of her career. There are gaps in the story that make it difficult to follow and the ending is a cliff-hanger.
VERDICT This title is hard to categorize, but it might be of interest to readers looking for near-future corporate intrigue.

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