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Desert Blade (New Guardsmen #1)

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  60 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
In the post-apocalyptic Midwest, now a ravaged dust bowl, former guardsman Derek Covington must find help for a sick boy. With nothing but memories of all he lost, Derek crosses the desert alone in search of the doctor who saved his own life ten years ago. Drifter gangs who loot and pillage don't dare come near, for Derek has a formidable weapon: a prosthetic arm with a de ...more
ebook, 77 pages
Published April 23rd 2012 by Carina Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 151)
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I really enjoyed this novella from netgalley. I'm not a massive fan of paranormals (they have to be really solid for me to like them, and I don't have a lot of patience for weird shit), and I was a bit worried that this would fall into that genre. But this is more of a dystopian future-type novella, and reading it felt somewhere between falling from a great height onto the set of Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome (but without Tina Turner) and going back in time to the Dust Bowl years in the 1930s. ...more
Julie (Manga Maniac Cafe)
3 stars

Fast paced romp through a post-apocalyptic Midwest on the brink of complete ruin. Struggling to survive in the desert that has overtaken the American Midwest, Lidia tries to forget the handsome Guardsman she helped heal ten years earlier, during the beginning of the devastating collapse of society. Now practicing her valuable medical skills in a small oasis amid the dust bowl that surrounds her small but thriving community, she is shocked when Derek re-enters her life. Taking her from her
Jen (Red Hot Books)
Apr 25, 2012 Jen (Red Hot Books) rated it liked it
An attempt by the government to create a biocrop has gone horribly wrong and shifted the world into a near-apocalypse. Hunger has prompted widespread riots in the street. And it's in a flare of violence that Derek loses his arm. As a Guardsman, he seems a perfect candidate for a special prosthetic, armed with a deadly blade.

Dr. Lidia helps him through the surgery and the first part of his recovery. The two grow to care for one another in their week together. But when it's time for Lidia to evacu
Derek desperately needs a doctor to take home to his settlement to help a boy he's taken under his wing, the only place in this post-apocalyptic wasteland that he knows has a doctor in the army populated strong hold. But seeing Lidia again, he can't help his feelings return from ten years ago, she's still as gorgeous as she was then, still as kind... but more pigheaded. He'll do anything to get her to his settlement, and to keep her there.

Lidia has been dreaming of Derek the past ten years, the
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Plot: The plot is familiar. The two main characters meet and separate in a America that has fallen apart. Ten year later they must work together to bring help to people who have no medical support. The journey brings back feelings that never were acknowledged in the first meeting.

Characters: This is a short novella and as a result there is just a minimum amount of character building. The two main characters are somewhat fleshed out. Side characters are pretty one-dimensional.

World Building: Ella
Apr 26, 2012 Tammy rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2012
Ms. Drake sure has a way of packing a ton of story into a short word count. When I heard that she was going to be writing a post-apocalyptic story, a favorite sub-genre of mine, I knew I had to get my hands on it. And of course, this very talented and creative author did not disappoint!

Desert Blade opens up amidst disaster and tragedy. Derek, a guardsmen, loses his arm in an attack, leading him to a hospital where he meets Dr. Lydia. A team of doctors including Lydia fit him with a unique prosth
Apr 07, 2012 Shirley rated it really liked it
If I had one complaint about Desert Blade, it would only be that I wanted more. I didn’t know when I started that it was a Novella, but it didn’t make me enjoy it any less, it just left me wanting … well… more. *sigh*

Derek and Lidia were both strong characters and I loved the intensity between them. The setting drove that intensity to a whole other level. The end of the world as we know it would bring out the survival instinct in any of us. They fought for what was left and didn’t take time to f
Renee Rearden
Apr 04, 2012 Renee Rearden rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
Published by Carina Press
ARC-provided through NetGalley

Rating: 3.5 Stars

In a postapocalyptic United States, life is a constant battle for survival. Food, shelter and weapons are necessities. Medical care is invaluable. So when a young boy in Derek Covington’s care becomes ill, Derek heads across the ravaged dust bowl that is now the Midwest in search of the doctor that saved his life a decade ago. Doctor Lidia Sullivan’s training and heart push her to help Derek and this sick child. She knows he
Apr 30, 2012 Sobia rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
4.5 stars for the first 2/3's and maybe 1.5 for the end....the real issue with Desert Blade was the length!

It started out so so well! Interesting story, great characters, awesome concept!....I do have to mention it did remind me a bit of Joss Ware's Envy books, but as I loved them this was a good thing, IMO... but by the last third everything felt rushed and it all sorta ran together...It almost felt like there was a checklist and the author was ticking items off to make sure they were included
Jun 27, 2012 Rhianna rated it really liked it
Deliciously good post-apocalyptic romance!

There's just something about post-apocalyptic romances that I can't resist. I wish it was a bigger genre but fortunately there are some great authors out there making each one I find a gem.

Ella Drake's DESERT BLADE could have easily been fleshed out into a much longer story and yet managed to be satisfying at novella length. The blurb covers the basics of the plot well. Both Derek and Lidia are genuinely good people who deserve the happily-ever-after b
Apr 20, 2012 Has rated it liked it
Full Review to be posted soon:

I wished this was a much longer story it felt choppy and vague at times and the short length emphathise this. I wished more was expanded on the world-building because the setting and concept was great with mutated vines and fungus on the loose and causing world-wide hunger and riots. The ten year jump which showed a harder edged hero and a closed off heroine was interesting but there wasn't much of a connection between the hero and heroine even if they previously sp
J.L. Hilton
Aug 03, 2012 J.L. Hilton rated it it was amazing
OMG the author had me at "prosthetic arm with a deadly blade." But then she went and wrote a blog post about the desert sailing ships ...


... and I HAD the read this book!

Once I started, I couldn't put it down. It's like Quentin Tarantino did a remake of Mad Max -- but with romance. Sort of. This is not your typical romantic adventure. The hero is direct, down and dirty. The sex is gritty. These are two adults who know exactly what they want/need, living
♡ Sassy ~ Amy ♡
This was a great novella! A man is hurt in post-apocalyptic chicago & brought to a hospital. He is given a prosthetic arm & meets a female dr. During his week long recovery they become close. They must evacuate & he is left behind to fight off the looting mob.

10 year later he is captured & put in a prison cell. His dr. sees him and says he is not a prisoner & he is safe. HA! He kidnaps her to take her to a boy who is dying of asthsma.

It was a great adventure story with some
May 15, 2013 SubterraneanCatalyst rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, post-apoc
4 Stars

This would have been SO MUCH better if it were a full length novel. Too short! Too short! I liked the premise and the survival aspect- the hint of a love triangle and the struggles. The author could have easily made this a full length book with the material she had. If only. Well I'm giving it 4 stars even though it's a super short novella because I really loved the story.

Ginny Lurcock
Ah yes, an alternate future where boots are knocked and the language is crude.

Check out my thoughts here:
Kerrianne Coombes
Apr 25, 2012 Kerrianne Coombes rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! Loved it. Ella writes an exciting, sexy read that you literally will not want to put down.
Apr 15, 2013 M rated it it was ok
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As a child Ella read books under the covers with a flashlight. There she found a special love of elves, dragons, and knights. Now that she's found her own knight in shining armor and happily ever after, she loves to write tales of fantasy, hot enough to scorch the sheets. No flashlight needed.
More about Ella Drake...

Other Books in the Series

New Guardsmen (3 books)
  • River Arrow
  • Badland's Edge (New Guardsmen Book 3)

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