“Some Desperado” is my first introduction to Joe Abercrombie, and I’m not impressed. “Some Desperado” is about a young (I think?) woman named Shy who has run away from home to try her hand at becoming… you guessed it, a desperado. We start with her running away from a group of rather unsavory men who she apparently had been working with. Turns out she was just as good at being a desperado as she has been at everything else in her life. Which is to say, she has a tendency to majorly screw things up and then scrap her way out of the situation. Or so we are told. It’s just a short story; I don’t have that much information about her. Turns out she’s not very good at getting herself out of the bad situations either. She is a walking example of the “From Bad to Worse” trope. In fact, things continue to get so bad for her that I find myself no longer caring about her immediate dangers. Chances were good she was going to last at least until the end of the short story. Once the final word is said, however, her chances of survival don’t seem very high given her current record of increasingly worse predicaments.
The thing that bothered me the most about “Some Desperado” is that this book was chosen to be the opener to an anthology about dangerous women. I never got the implication that Shy was a dangerous woman. Reckless, foolhardy, and a bit lucky, yes. She was only dangerous to the men following her because she had first been a danger to herself.
A petty thing that bothered me was her name. Since it’s only a letter away from “She,” I spent a good portion of the story forgetting she even had a name. I don’t know if this was an intentional choice, but it didn’t inspire me to be more invested in her character.