The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne

By Jonathan Stroud

Set in a broken, future England, where gunfights and monsters collide, this is the exciting first title in a phenomenal fantasy teen series by the bestselling children's novelist.

England has been radically changed by a series of catastrophes – large cities have disappeared and London has been replaced by a lagoon. The surviving population exists in fortified towns where they cling to traditional ways, while strangely evolved beasts prowl the wilderness beyond. Conformity is rigidly enforced and those who fall foul of the rules are persecuted: some are killed, others are driven out into the wilds. Only a few fight back – and two of these outlaws, Scarlett McCain and Albert Browne, display an audacity and talent that makes them legends.

Categories: Fiction

For readers aged: 12+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781406394818
  • Published: 01 Apr 2021
  • Price: £7.99
  • Size: 198 x 129 mm
  • Pages: 400

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Customer reviews


'You won't be able to put this down. A classic in the making.'

'Thanks to Albert's quirky likeability, Scarlett's insouciant bad-assery and the evocative setting, you soon forget the cliches and simply enjoy the ride. [...] In short, this is bleedin' brilliant from start to finish. And did we mention the giant otters?' SFX

'Stroud’s writing is a treat; brilliantly crafted world building, taut action scenes, fabulous villains and witty dialogue. A wild ride indeed, and the first in a series.' The Observer (The New Review)

'the incomparable Jonathan Stroud fresh and startling As ever with Stroud, the narrative tone is sophisticated and sardonic.' Financial Times

'I’ve gone for the sheer entertainment and escapism of Jonathon Stroud’s The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne, first in a series, and the perfect tonic to January lockdown. [...] Stroud’s talent for creating astonishing yet utterly believable literary worlds is well known – and this is another triumph. This adventure – starring a pair of charismatic anti-heroes, intensely cinematic action laced with characteristically dry wit, and a mash-up genres – crammed with gun fights, monsters and shadowy government operatives. Pitched for younger teens, but I expect discerning readers of 10 and up to devour it.' The Bookseller

'Perfectly paced, beautifully written and bursting with black humour and bold ideas.'

'Imaginative, original, taut and with multi-layered protagonists... A wild ride.' Jo Cotterill

'Scarlett and Browne is phenomenal, unputdownable storytelling of the highest order. Terrifically entertaining, out next month, I would add to your wish lists now..' Piers Torday

'High adventure, and a rich landscape with some fabulous megafauna. Look out for this when it appears next month!' Thomas Taylor

'If you enjoy comedy, mixed with thrilling action, this is the book for you.' Books Up North

'A unique blend of Wild West-inspired action and fantasy, this is a brilliant new tale from the author of Lockwood & Co. It's bold, funny and original, and older, more adventurous readers will love it from start to finish.' The Week Junior

'Jonathan Stroud is an exceptional world-builder and this smart and audacious first volume of a new series has something of Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking sequence about it — notably, mind-reading and an oppressive regime. […] Stroud tempts you along by answering questions by degrees and keeping all plates spinning: adventure, fantasy, humour, mystery.' The Sunday Times

'Wanted: a sequel — as fast as you can pull a pistol. […] Stroud does not compromise. Scarlett is unpleasant, hard to love; Albert is irritating, weak. Yet through skill and good writing we begin to love and understand this odd couple, mini-me John Waynes, and by the end we’d pay a ransom (or at least the paperback cover price) to see them again. Luckily for us there is a new one trotting over the horizon ...' The Times

'Gunslinging action and pitch-black humour meet post-apocalyptic thrill ride in this brilliant new departure for the author of the Lockwood & Co series.' The Guardian

'So begins a cracking new adventure series from bestselling Stroud — and what a thriller this is […] Fuelled by black humour, this action-packed odyssey grips from the first page.' The Daily Mail, The Scottish Daily Mail and The Irish Daily Mail

'A roller-coaster of an adventure novel – I can’t wait for volume two!' Tricia Adams

'Bravo to Jonathan Stroud! With its cast of charismatic characters and extraordinary world-building (think broken Britain with Wild West vibes), The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne is an audacious firecracker. And, in even better news for fans of funny, inventive adventure fiction, this is but the beginning of what’s set to be an extraordinary series.' Joanne Owen

'Scarlett is a fantastic character whose grit, independence and competent badassery won me over immediately.' borgprincess

'I LOVE a story that simply refuses to nestle neatly into genre guidelines, and that’s absolutely the case with Jonathan Stroud’s latest, The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne. A little bit sci fi, a bit dystopia, a pinch of zombie apocalypse, and a whole lot of western — all set in England — make this one a rollicking adventure tale with impeccable world building... A++' Half-Deserted Streets

'Jonathan Stroud’s The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne is a galloping adventure story set in the near future. […] A new book by Stroud is always a treat, and this one is tense and assured. [...] Like all the best children’s books, this one is about growing up and finding your place in the world.' Literary Review

'Set in a broken, future England, where gunfights and monsters collide, this is the exciting first title in a phenomenal fantasy teen series by the bestselling children's novelist.' bookish biologist

'The quality prose and strong descriptions help to fully immerse the reader in this chilling world and rooting for what would be in many other books, the "bad guys'! Scarlett and Brown sure have their fair share of spats, which are hilarious to observe. This is a shadowy fantasy novel with two likeable anti-heroes in the fore and a lot of monsters in the shade.' The School Librarian

'Saddle up for a thrilling ride with the vibrant young Scarlett McCain […] Killings, stealing, narrow escapes and a pair of memorable characters make this black comedy a must for the summer holidays.' The Daily Mail & The Scottish Daily Mail

'The characters are also really well written, engaging and really easy to like, one is a fugitive the other an outlaw, and you're rooting for them really quickly. Add a fantastic villain into the mix and it really is a great, fun read. I recommend it!' Toppsta

'This book was amazing. The story and the plot-twists, the slow reveal of information. All of it was excellent. Scarlett is one of my favourite characters because she is so strong and witty. I hope the author carries on writing more because I will be reading every single one!' Toppsta

'Every page of The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne is addictive, fast-paced fun.' New Statesman

'This blend of dystopian future and Wild West adventure features superb world building by master storyteller Jonathan Stroud. He has created a heroine, her companion and adventure which lives long in the memory of the reader. […] A book to be savoured with anticipation of the further lawless exploits of Scarlett and Browne.' Armadillo

'Jonathan Stroud is an exceptional world-builder. The dystopian setting is like Britain as we know it but changed by a climate cataclysm. The two teenage central characters are defiant outcasts thrown together by chance and surviving by bank robberies and their wits. Stroud keeps all plates spinning: adventure, fantasy, humour, mystery.' The Sunday Times

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