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Corporate Gunslinger  By  cover art

Corporate Gunslinger

By: Doug Engstrom
Narrated by: Christina Delaine
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Publisher's summary

Doug Engstrom imagines a future all too terrifying - and all too possible - in this eerie, dystopic speculative fiction debut about corporate greed, debt slavery, and gun violence that is as intense and dark as Stephen King’s The Long Walk.

Like many Americans in the middle of the 21st century, aspiring actress Kira Clark is in debt. She financed her drama education with loans secured by a “lifetime services contract”. If she defaults, her creditors will control every aspect of her life. Behind on her payments and facing foreclosure, Kira reluctantly accepts a large signing bonus to become a corporate gunfighter for TKC Insurance. After a year of training, she will take her place on the dueling fields that have become the final, lethal stop in the American legal system.   

Putting her MFA in acting to work, Kira takes on the persona of a cold, intimidating gunslinger known as “Death’s Angel”. But just as she becomes the most feared gunfighter in TKC’s stable, she’s severely wounded during a duel on live video, shattering her aura of invincibility. A series of devastating setbacks follow, forcing Kira to face the truth about her life and what she’s become.

When the opportunity to fight another professional for a huge purse arises, Kira sees it as a chance to buy a new life...or die trying. Structured around a chilling duel, Corporate Gunslinger is a modern satire that forces us to confront the growing inequalities in our society and our penchant for guns and bloodshed, as well as offering a visceral look at where we may be heading - far sooner than we know.  

©2020 Doug Engstrom (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

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cool premise but the execution falls short

The narrator was great. I've got no complaints there. I'm just annoyed the author decided not to starr from the beginning and instead, starts with the run up to the end and flashes back to the beginning then back to the ending and repeats throughout the book until the flashbacks catch up to the end. the flashbacks were excellent but ruined because I knew the ending. it was obvious from the first chapter. I hoped the book was leading to a last minute twist but nope. so the deconstructed story structure has no payoff and is thus pointless and spoils what would have been an emotional ending. But the author robbed it of any impact by drawing it out over the course of the book. This structure works best when there's a twist at the end. Since there isn't, the ending is just drawn out for no reason from page one and it's annoying instead of sad.

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