Janet “The Kid” Fogg and Dave “Gusto”Jackson - Misfortune Annie and the Locomotive Reaper
When Annabelle Fortune, the fastest gunslinger in the wild west, inadvertently stops a stranger from attacking a train -- and he wears a suit that enables him to fly! -- the government believes she's the only one to have witnessed the Locomotive Reaper and survived to tell the tale.
Promising to find out what he can about her missing father, the Director of the Secret Service persuades Annie to swear in. Too soon, her detested nickname re-stakes its claim.
Partnered with Beau Slokam, whose penchant for gambling leads them straight to the Doom Gang, Misfortune Annie guides the smooth-talking Southerner in a chase through the Rockies, with her Cheyenne friend, Wontoa, rounding out their unlikely trio.
When Annie again meets the Locomotive Reaper, his gadgetry proves far more advanced -- and deadly -- than even top scientists could have imagined.
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Annabelle Fortune, known as Misfortune Annie is one of the fastest gunslingers in the west, despite being 15 years old. When Annie gets tangled up in a guide job gone wrong, she inadvertently stops the mysterious man known as the Locomotive Reaper from robbing and murdering an entire train full of people. Since she is the only person to have ever seen the Locomotive Reaper and tell the tale, the Secret Service asks Annie to sign up and help catch him. Annie is reluctant, but with the promise to find information about her father, she is swayed. Annie is paired with agent Beau Slokam who brings more trouble to the table than what they are chasing. Now Annie and Beau, with the help of Annie’s friend Wontoa must fend off the Doom Gang while tracking down the Locomotive Reaper.
A fast-paced, action filled adventure in the Wild West with a wonderful heroine. Misfortune Annie’s bravery and determination leap off the page from the first scene. She uses quick wits, intelligence and a little bit of luck to get out of sticky situations. I do wish that we got to know a little more of her past and backstory, there is definitely a mystery there that the Secret Service director begins to hint at, but in such a short story, we don’t get into anything like that. Also, I was definitely interested in the Locomotive Reaper himself, much like Annie was and I wanted to dig a little deeper into his character. A flying man in a huge suit added a little element of Steampunk to the mix, but it wasn’t out of place at all. With a fifteen year old heroine, this is an appropriate read for young adults, but has plenty of elements to keep adults interested as well.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
by Janet Fogg
co/author of Misfortune Annie and the Locomotive Reaper
December 10, 1880
It was mighty nice of Stephanie to ask me to drop by to share my favorite Christmas gifts, what with them being so old-fashioned and all — Thank you, Stephanie!
You might be interested to learn that the weather has been temperate this winter, which is lucky for city folks in particular, since there's not much coal to be bought along the Front Range. Not sure when we've seen so little snow in Colorado, which makes it easy enough to cut firewood. When I ride into Manitou from the ranch, you can hear timber crashing down all around town.
Oh, and some of you folks down near Salida, we heard tell that the Palace Restaurant is setting up a free supper for Christmas night, and a cordial invitation was extended to all friends and patrons. Uncle John says that's what Christmas is all about, and I do agree with him.
As for me and my favorite gifts? It must have been ten years back when Uncle John gave me Pa's Union cap. I've worn it ever since. I know folks like Beau Slokam, who fought for the South, took umbrage the first time we met, but I reminded him we are all one nation now. Once he got to know me and I saved his life a couple of times when we were chasing the Locomotive Reaper, he settled down some.
Then there was the year we were given some of those fancy Necco Wafers by Miss Lacey, the schoolmarm in Manitou. I think those candies were really for Uncle John, as I never did see him blush before! Miss Lacey said in 1847 some man named Oliver Chase invented a machine for cutting lozenges, and then had a hand in making those Wafers. They sure were tasty, though I can do without thinking about machines for a spell, what with that wild locomotive ride and all the Reaper's gadgets.
I still have the bow and most of the arrows Wontoa made for me when I was eight. I think Chief Tocala mighta leant a hand making them, what with him half-raising Wontoa. Anyway, the bow and arrows are way too little for me to use now, but I have them hanging on the wall in my bedroom, 'cept for the arrow that hit the rock and broke, and the one I lost in the river. Never shoulda shot at that muskrat.
The year I turned ten, Wyatt took an interest in my shooting, and he spent two whole days teaching me all his good habits with the Colt .45. I've never forgotten the lessons he shared. That was also the year he gave me my first book. I hadn't been reading much, and didn't particularly want to, then he gave me Alice's Adventure in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. What an adventure she had! Not sure I understood all of it, but I would be proud to call Alice my friend, and her story made me want to read as often as I could.
'Course there's the one gift I secretly pray for each year, and that's to find my Pa. I'm gonna go looking for him next year, what with learning that the Regulators and Billy the Kid might know something about what happened to him. Wontoa and Beau said they'd lend a hand, and I reckon that's the best gift of all — that my two friends will drop what they're doing to ride off and search for the Regulators and Pa with me.
Well, it's time for me to see to my chores, so I'll say goodbye. Here's hoping you and yours have a fine Christmas, and that you too, are blessed with great friends.
Annabelle Fortune (aka Misfortune Annie)