Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bullet Catcher” as Want to Read:
Bullet Catcher
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Bullet Catcher

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  92 ratings  ·  37 reviews
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
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 4th 2016 by Hot Key Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Bullet Catcher, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Bullet Catcher

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn HamiltonBlackhearts by Nicole CastromanThe Girl from Everywhere by Heidi HeiligEver the Hunted by Erin SummerillIvory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh
YA Debuts 2016
256 books — 1,442 voters
The 5th Wave by Rick YanceyGameboard of the Gods by Richelle MeadMind Games by Kiersten WhiteThe Program by Suzanne YoungLet the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger
First In Series (2013)
901 books — 2,317 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  92 ratings  ·  37 reviews

More filters
Sort order
May 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
“Trust your heart if the seas catch fire, live by love though the stars walk backward.”

----E.E. Cummings

Joaquin Lowe, an American author, pens a thrilling and heroic western-themed tale in his debut YA book, Bullet Catcher that unfolds the journey of a young teenage girl who escapes her small town into the deadly desert on the footsteps of an unidentified bullet catcher, in memory of her childhood dreams as well as her dead elder brother's wish to become a bullet catcher. But this journey tur
Actual rating 3.5

While the blurb of this book might hint at certain similarities to other young adult titles, this one differs from most in a few key areas:

The main character isn’t a special snowflake.
She isn’t predestined. She stubborn to a fault, which is how she manages to get herself involved in these events. She bruises easily, she gets seriously injured, she ends up covered in scars. She isn’t one of those people who sees herself as plain while everyone else talks about how stunning she is
Kathleen Dixon
Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kathleen by: the Bookshop
Shelves: db-reads, fantasy, western
A number of books came into the bookshop as reading copies for the staff, and both the owner and I thought that one of the other staff, a 20-something who loves reading YA, would take this book to read. She didn't. The boss made some comment to me, and so I thought I might as well. I do like YA (unless it's YA romance). But I've never read Westerns. So this felt like a major deviation.

Well, who would've believed it?! I really enjoyed this book. Yes, it's got gunslingers, desert, lots of drinking
May 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
**3.5 stars**

Originally posted at:

I haven't had much experience with Westerns in young adult fiction, with the exception of Vengeance Road, but I really enjoyed Bowman's novel, so I decided to give this one a go. I really liked this one! It's been a while since I've read about a mentor and mentee relationship, and one that's got a good adventure to go along with it. Bullet Catcher had grit, guns, and a whole lot of badassery.

I loved Imma's character. Even
Helen White
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: western, fantasy
Imma is an abandoned orphan who wants to catch bullets. Not as daft as you might think. Catching bullets needs a teacher so we have a Mr Miyagi style training session then some bad guys appear - because you need to fight someone. That's when the Western genre starts to get philosophical - is anyone really all that bad? or good for that matter.

Ah well either way it's a fine tale. I'd like a sequel please.
Becca  ☾☁︎⋆ (
From the "overall" section of my review:
Overall, Bullet Catcher was a lively, immensely entertaining and highly addictive book for fans of YA Western, adventure and mystery. Joaquin did an amazing job of writing one of my favourite books of the year so far! I can't wait to read more about the YA Western genre and see more to come from Joaquin in the future. Five stars completely.

Full review: http://prettylittlememoirs.blogspot.c...
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Imma is an orphan living in a tuff world where she has to fend for herself. The bullet catcher becomes her idol and gives her aspirations.

This book reminded me of an old western. It ran beautifully like a film in my head. It was fast paced and rather exciting. Fun fantasy. Something different. 4.5 stars out of 5.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing! A sophisticated YA novel.
Whispering Words...
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I am a fan of westerns in general, I thought this was a really good take on the genre that will appeal well to teen readers. Imma, the main character, is interesting and relatable - I felt invested both in her story and her growth as a character. I loved that the story allowed us to learn about both the bullet catchers and the gunslingers - this insight made for a balanced story overall.
Thornton Rigg
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
If there’s a debt to be paid, it’s to oneself.

Imma’s parents are dead and her beloved brother, Nikko, has run from the orphanage; now she must find her own way. Imma becomes entangled in a world of obligations, betrayals, and no second chances. Through the harsh deserts and mean water parched towns, she learns how to catch and deflect bullets … and she learns much, much more: about life and honesty, about the desert and death.

If all of this sounds a little heavy, Imma’s searing honesty and deter
Michele Coombridge
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, level-one

Gun slinging & sharp shooting in a west like you’ve never imagined, Bullet Catcher is a wonderful meandering through rugged adventures and soul searching alliances.

I thoroughly enjoyed all three of the unique novels I've micro-reviewed in this post, but Bullet Catcher was my favourite.

Lovin' the cover too! Bullet Catcher is an all round winner. 5 stars.

Read more at: ""
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading "The Bullet Catcher" by Joaquin Lowe. The Wild west with a twist, the Gunslingers Vs The Bullet Catchers, those that can turn a bullet around with their bare hands and fire it back at you, or simply deflect the oncoming fire. A riveting read with desolate landscapes belonging to another world.
Charnell (Reviews from a Bookworm)
This was enjoyable, but weird. And I am not at al sure how I feel about it yet. Full review to come.
Zamora Lowe
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
From the first sentence, couldn't put it down!
Read it over a week end.
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
While I loved watching the relationship between Imma and the Bullet Catcher develop, but my favorite character by far was Endd. Really hoping she comes back in the next book?
Anthony Burt
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bullet Catcher, by Joaquin Lowe, is one of the coolest books I’ve read for ages – it’s a YA genre-mash of wild west, steampunk and sci-fi and brings a really original twist to the old gunslinger legends.

About a young down-on-her-luck girl called Imma, this desert-based tale is about how Imma decides to leave her hometown and seek a new life. When she was an orphan her brother, Nikko, abandoned her to try his own luck in the desert wilderness…but he never returned. So when Imma meets a stranger i
Feb 17, 2019 rated it liked it
So far an unfulfilling read. I was excited by the premise but the delivery falls short. Scenes that could have been packed with intricate details and world building are rushed and brushed over which really kills it for me.

The character of the Bullet Catcher is interesting but otherwise there aren’t many things keeping me invested in this story. I’m hoping that something changes now that i’m at the midway point.
Chent Higson
Dec 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
Interesting idea and plot, but a bit eh in execution
Also beware of the queer coding...
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I’ve been in a reading slump recently and I just couldn’t get into this book.
roxi Net
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Bullet Catcher really made me feel so much for Imma, its protagonist. Growing up in an orphanage in the middle of desert land, Imma’s older brother leaves her there to train to become a Bullet Catcher. Years later, Imma finds her escape as Bullet Catcher comes to town. Seeking to be trained as she hoped her brother had been, Imma doggedly sets forth to apprentice herself to Bullet Catcher despite his attempts to run her off. The more Imma learns about the Bullet Catcher and his dying art, the gr ...more
A.R. Hellbender
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book was a huge disappointment. The storytelling was off, the characters were flat, and the world building was not all there.
I couldn't tell if the setting was supposed to be the actual Wild West or a fantasy version, which in turn made it hard to tell whether this book was magical realism or fantasy. It had elements of an actual Wild West setting, but plenty that also suggested that it was a fantasy version entirely.
Also, the entire plot was just boring. When I think Wild West, I picture
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been crossposted from my blog at The Cosy Dragon . Please head there for more in-depth reviews by me, which appear on a timely schedule.

Against a desert backdrop, Imma longs to be a Bullet Catcher – a seemingly mythological person who can bend bullets back away from themselves. Bullet Catchers are always the good guys, while Gunslingers are the bad guys. Once Imma has a chance at glory, she will need to make a decision about where her alliances lie.

Where can I start talking about
Jun 16, 2016 rated it liked it
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 ...more
SJH (A Dream of Books)
Apr 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
'Bullet Catcher' was a brilliant read, based around a unique plot which was totally different to most of the other Young Adult books around at the moment. Very refreshing. It was gritty and exciting, placing the characters in life and death situations where there was no easy way out. As I was reading it, I couldn't help but think that it would make a fantastic book-to-film adaptation. A western for teens with a strong female heroine.

The story unfolds with the main character Imma, longing to esc
Jan 23, 2016 rated it liked it
I selected this book on NetGalley because of the cover and the promise of a Western coming-of-age story. It seems like slightly fantastical Westerns are having a bit of a moment in YA, and this sounded like a good starting point. Imma and her older brother Nikko were at an orphanage together and dreamed of finding the bullet catchers and joining them. Bullet catchers can catch and deflect bullets and fight against the gunslingers. Nikko ran away and never came back for Imma. She assumes he's dea ...more
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received this book for free through Goodreads giveaways.

This book exceeded my expectations. I was interested in the story line when I first read the blurb, but I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did, especially since it was a YA novel, and I haven't read a YA novel since I was an adolescent.

I was drawn in from the first few pages, and I finished the book within 24 hours. This novel is nothing like the usual YA novel, which is usually romance focused. It has a very western feel to it. I'
St Stephen's C C
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 ...more
Apr 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Set in the desert, Bullet Catcher is the tale of Imma, an orphan who wants to become a Bullet Catcher, like the legends. A person who can catch, deflect, or bend a bullets path, with their hands. Bullet Catchers were once prominent, but with the rise of Gunslingers, there are few left.
Legends, like any old stories, can be twisted over time, and Imma learns that Bullet Catcher or Gunslinger, there is more death involved than she wants to accept.

A tale of questionable morals, questioning what mak
Jul 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: july-2016
The pace of this book was fairly slow but I enjoyed the western/fantasy(kind-of) setting and the novels story. None of the characters were super likeable but they were all realistically flawed, and I did enjoy that. I also liked the storyline of the novel. Overall it was a good read and I recommend it to anyone who likes westerns and is sick of main characters having to always have a romance.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Into the Parallel (Parallelogram, #1)
  • Crow Mountain
  • The Shark King
  • One Italian Summer
  • Red Ink
  • London Belongs to Us
  • A Change Is Gonna Come
  • First Light (Project Five Fifteen #1)
  • The Wild Other: A Memoir
  • I'll Be Home for Christmas
  • Forevermore
  • The Skylarks’ War
  • The River and the Book
  • The Color of Darkness
  • The Zero Knot
  • Charmed Deception
  • Anything That Isn't This
  • Little Iffy Learns to Fly
See similar books…
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“The sand doesn't care if you're made of flesh or stone.” 6 likes
“It's late at night when the memory comes for me, like it always seems to when the relief of sleep seems ready to draw me under.” 4 likes
More quotes…