I don’t read westerns. I have nothing against them, but I’ve never really cared, and beyond that I’ve never read anything by Joe Abercrombie, so when I picked up Some Desperado it was at a considerable disadvantage. One which was increased because it was in the anthology Dangerous Women which includes several fantasy stories making me look for the fantasy twist and in the end it simply wasn’t able to overcome those disadvantages to really engage me.
The first major issue I had with the story was the language. From the first page it uses a western style language and while it uses it well it tended to distract me. In a novel, or if I read this type of story, that would likely disappear, but in Some Desperado it distracted me and kept the story from really flowing.
Beyond that I never felt a real connection to any of the characters. I have a strong suspicion this is a prequel to a story I haven’t read and those who have will almost certainly get more out of it. But I never really understood the motivation which got Sky to commit the crime or steal from those she had committed it with. So all we have is someone trying to survive who isn’t even all that likable and seems guilty of the crime she is being hunted for. So while she is a realistic woman and well written she didn’t make me want her to win.
On an objective level I simply did not like this story and cannot recommend it. By itself it doesn’t really tell a particularly compelling or complete story and while there are a few interesting moments they never really grabbed me. This may be different if you’re a fan of Joe Abercrombie or know more of the story this is based on, but by itself it fell flat and didn’t convince me that I should seek out more of his work.