By: Seleste deLaney
Published By: Carina Press
Publish Date: February 28, 2011
Format: Enovella, 104pgs
Genre: Steampunk Romance
Series: 1st book in 4 book series; 0.5 Short Story in Badlands ~ Just a Man
Recommendation: Oh yes, so quick, but strong yet dangerous world and characters with steampunk romance twisted in.
After a brutal Civil War, America is a land divided. As commander of her nation's border guards, Ever is a warrior sworn to protect her country and her queen. When an airship attacks and kills the monarch, Ever must infiltrate enemy territory to bring home the heir to the throne, and the dirigible Dark Hawk is her fastest way to the Union.
Captain Spencer Pierce just wants to pay off the debt he owes on the Dark Hawk and make a life for himself trading across the border. When the queen's assassination puts the shipping routes at risk, he finds himself Ever's reluctant ally.
As they fly into danger, Ever and Spencer must battle not only the enemy but also their growing attraction. She refuses to place her heart before duty, and he has always put the needs of his sip and crew above his own desires. Once the princess is rescued, perhaps they can find love in the Badlands -- if death doesn't find them first...
The tent flap swished open and Ever shielded her eyes from the glare.
My Thoughts and Summary:
When the male criminals along with other men dressed as soldiers attack, Ever has to do what she doesn't want and run from battle. Her focus now as she leaves her female troops fighting, is to bring the Princess home to the Badlands to rule as the Queen was killed. Ever signals the regular supply airship, Dark Hawk, as it arrives, warning against the United States attacking ship and for her escape. Captain Spencer Pierce, working to pay off his ship and on his last trip, picks up the bloodied woman he finds, willing to help her. Ever needs to find Princess Laurette and bring her back safely before the attackers find her, or get to Ever first.
Ever is one hard woman. In this world, she has to be. A world where the United States is divided and she patrols the badlands. The place that the states send their exiled criminals to, and Ever's job is to find them, capture or kill them. She guards from the prisoners getting out and the ones coming in. Ever has many views on men, and is tough on them too. And I like that hardness in her. She is my kinda character.
Ever doesn't approve of marriage, feels it's a distraction to the woman warriors. Reading about Ever reminds me of an Amazon Princess Warrior. She is strong and always ready for a fight, doesn't matter in what degree of dress she is in. These Amazon warrior women are of the steampunk era; not ones armed with god forged weapons - truth lasso, bulletproof bracelets, boomerang golden tiara and such, but with pistols, crossbow, and knives on her belt and in her boots. This is one woman out for the fight, and to win at any cost. Ever is the Wonder Woman of Steampunk in the Badlands.
We start off into action. Quickly we learn Ever needs to leave, and she battles her way out. In this quick start it takes a little to catch who's where and what's happening, but it catches your eye and keeps you flipping to quickly learn what all is present in this world. The quick movement, action, and hardness of Ever kept me enthralled to quickly get to the end to know what happens. I did have a little bit of a time trying to see the world at the very beginning and what exactly Ever's position was, but it is all detailed as you read along, so it will all come to light soon enough.
I slipped right into this story and harsh world. A little romance with steampunk and clockwork along with the threat of death and worry. I kept reading to know what happens, the rest of the world around me falling away bringing me to the harsh rocky quiet of the Badlands.
If you are curious about this character, I highly suggest reading the short story, Just A Man, with Ever on the authors site. If you like hard characters, Ever is the one for you. But you get a taste of her determined and clear thinking in the short story. And hopefully Ever and the Badlands are the story for you.
From what I've read of Meljean Brook Iron Sea series, just the novella's at the moment, I think this novella series would recommend this series to them as well.
Oh I've got my eyes out for the next story in this world, Clockwork Mafia, to come April 2012.
**I read this novella for my own enjoyment.