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The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne

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The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne

(Being an Account of their Daring Exploits and Audacious Crimes)

Jonathan Stroud

(Walker Books)

In The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne, England has been radically changed by a series of catastrophes. Cities lie in ruins and London is now a lagoon. Furthermore, the surviving population exists in fortified towns where they cling to traditional ways.  Living beyond the towns prowl strangely evolved beasts. Conformity is rigidly enforced and those who fall foul of the rules are persecuted. Some are killed, others driven out into the wilderness.
Some fight back however.  Enter our heroes the outlaws Scarlett McCain and Albert Browne.  They display an audacity and talents that make them legends. The land is brimming with mutated bears, wolves, flesh-eating spear-birds and gruesome cannibal creatures The Tainted.  Scarlett in particular take these into her swaggering stride.  She makes her living by robbing banks and lives a criminal existence.
Following another heist, Scarlett finds a crashed bus.  All its passengers are dead but for a lone boy hiding in the toilet. This is Albert Browne, introduced as a “awkward, skinny and wide-mouthed, like a frightened skeleton”, seemingly the opposite of Scarlett.  However, for all his unworldliness, Albert has hidden talents. Sensing he might be of use to her after all, Scarlett agrees to help him on his own mission. Albert wants to reach the Free Isles, remnants of London which he believes will be a safe haven.
He and Scarlett embark on a journey of discovery along the great river. Here they encounter all manner of hazards.  Furthermore, they are unaware they are being pursued by vicious thugs working for the High Council of the Faith Houses, a ruthless dictatorial regime bent on ultimate control.  Moreover, Scarlett and Browne’s troubles are only just beginning. Their pursuers are closing in and time is running out.
Readers looking for dystopian thrillers will certainly enjoy ‘Maggot Moon’, available in the Bookwagon on-line book store.
Author Jonathan Stroud talks about the book in this CLPE blog post https://clpe.org.uk/blog/2021/qa-jonathan-stroud-all-about-outlaws-scarlett-and-browne

 

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