What’s it about?
Amy’s tale starts in 1884 and is a fast-paced chase across the British Empire. Her quarry is Thomas Payne, the man who sold her into a brothel. We have spectacular fights, Celtic folklore, and a whiff of steampunk. Vengeance runs hand in hand with the slow recovery from trauma. Eventually we have our showdown, our meeting of victim and prey, and then for Amy everything goes so sadly wrong. What she gets isn’t what she needed. Shots ring out and a broken woman flies away…
Who’s she like, give me contemporary pointers!
If Sally Lockhart had the grit of Lisbeth Salander and was moving in the darkness of Caleb Carr’s New York, then I think we would have a taste of young Miss Amy Grace.
Why this tall tale, what has Amy got that others haven’t?
To start with she passes both Bechdel and Mako Mori, she is a truly rounded and independent character, not a facsimile, not a simpering damsel waiting to be rescued. She has flaws, failings, depths of despair. She has all of these, and she has triumphs too. Amy is driven, focused and vulnerable.
She can channel the battle calm and power of warrior priestesses from Irish legend, but she isn’t dependent or driven by this energy – it aids, it does not dominate or define her. The violence isn’t without consequence, she is knocked down, she is cut, and she bleeds, she suffers for her trials.
Amy isn’t some big-busted Amazonian caricature, she is a petite 5’2” woman with a tower of red hair, and a temper to match. She drinks whiskey, smokes, and dabbles with drugs. She seeks no male companion to complete her, instead her occasional itches are scratched by warm and obliging women. Amy is the amalgam of many things, but above all she is an interesting character without current equal or comparative singular reference. She has all the potential to carve a space for herself in the literary world – she just needs a helping hand to get started.