A coming-of-age tale reimagined as a searing Western epic.
In the small town of Sand, populated by gunslingers and surrounded by endless desert, Imma washes dishes and grieves for a life she never had. She and her brother, Nikko, dreamed of escaping to become bullet catchers, a legendary band of outlaws who can deflect bullets with their hands. But they were wiped out years ago, Nikko with them. And leaving is impossible when walking into the desert means certain death.
When she sees a stranger catch a man’s bullet and turn it back on him, Imma knows it can only mean one thing: the bullet catchers live on, and this is her way out.
Determined to follow him, Imma starts a journey that will take her to her physical extremes and force her to question just what family means and who she really is: bullet catcher or gunslinger; hero or monster.
Before I go any further with my review I must state that Bullet Catcher requires the reader to suspend all belief. You cannot go into this story with any preconceived notions or hold tight to what you know to be true. With that said, this is a angst-y story about a coming of age girl and the life she leads vs the one she wants to lead. Imma wants to be a Bullet Catcher. Yes, a real person who concentrates so hard that they can catch a bullet in mid-air and turn it around on the shooter. See what I mean about keeping an open mind? No, the catchers are not paranormal nor do they have any magical abilities. It’s a learned trait that only a select few can do.
Now, while I do read for entertainment, I still had a difficult time with this story. I felt that the world building was lacking. Why did the Bullet Catchers and the Gunslingers fight? What was the history between the two? Why should I care? These questions never got answered for me, so I’m confused about that part of the story. However, the angst and tale of Imma and her teacher was done well and the author did a good job of keeping the angst going without it becoming too much. Imma’s journey taught her many things such as trust, friendship, rivalry, and growing. She does a lot of growing in the story and I liked that about this book. There isn’t any romance, which is rare for a YA story. But, it works and is not needed in the telling of Imma and her journey.
Overall, even though parts of the story confused me and made me question why I was reading it, the actual character growth kept me interested enough to want to finish. If it weren’t for that, I don’t know if I would have enjoyed it at all.