Friday, June 4, 2010

Wasteland: The Wanderer by Crystal Jordan

TITLE: Wasteland: The Wanderer
AUTHOR: Crystal Jordan
LENGTH: Novella (roughly 28k)
GENRE: Futuristic erotic romance
COST: $3.50

Kadira wasn’t born a Wanderer, but she has done everything she can since being adopted by the Badawi clan to be considered one. Including keeping others out of her life. When Ezra, the Haroun Chieftain, decides he wants to finally taste her, he makes an offer to her clan she cannot refuse, in exchange for three weeks with her. Exclusively…

Though I’m not usually drawn to cover art first, I was to this one, and after reading the blurb and excerpt, decided to give it a shot. I don’t think I’m interested enough to read the other books that are set in the same world as this one. I fear the futuristic setting they’ve tried to create will suffer in those what it did in this one – window dressing for a lot of sex scenes.

I’m not even sure I can accurately describe the world except to say it’s a post-apocalyptic future where survivors have broken up into clans. Religion is different, rituals are different, naming conventions are different…you get the idea. None of that would be a problem if there was enough solid world building to give the reader a good grasp of it all, but while there are some explanations, there just aren’t enough to fully paint it. Instead, the focus is on the two leads and all the sex they have, all the sex they watch, and the myriad ways they dance around their backgrounds until finally coming clean.

Kadira is a shaman/warrior, while Ezra is the chieftain of a different clan. Both have had broken pasts, and problems with their parents (though the problems are drastically different from each other). In this world, sexuality is fluid, which means there are no hang-ups about same sex couplings, multiples, or sharing. People can bond, or not bond, and they seem to trade beds quite a bit. Both leads have same sex contact within the story, so if that’s a problem for the reader, consider that a warning. Personally, I found the sex scenes the best written aspect of this, but then again, they’re the primary aspect. It’s trying to see them within the larger picture that I start to have problems.

The romance does feel real, and the ending is very satisfying, but honestly, without understanding more of the clan dynamics or world structure, some of the scenes feel very gratuitous. For readers looking for something highly erotic, however, this is likely to be a winner.


7/10 – The prose is clean, the sex is hot, but with such a vastly different world, I got hung up in not knowing enough to really see what was going on


7/10 – Alpha but vulnerable, my one drawback to really falling for him is failing to understand why his genius is so unique


7/10 – A worthy match for the hero, though her anger at the start at not being considered for a bond put me off her for a while

Entertainment value

7/10 – In spite of the patchiness of the world building and my problems at the start, this evened out to a hot read

World building

7/10 – A lot of good ideas, and some explanations are given, but honestly, I just could not get a good grasp on it



No comments: