Ruth's Reviews > Desert Blade

Desert Blade by Ella Drake
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Apr 27, 12

bookshelves: adventure-fantasy, net_galley, tasty-little-morsels, warrior
Read from April 24 to 27, 2012

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. Also, it starts out in Chicago, where I live, so I couldn't resist it.

For such an incredibly atmospheric setting, the story itself feels deceptively simple. At no point did I think "what a load of $%*#!" and find myself bored to tears as the author spent word count on world-building details that don't add anything. Nope, it was all about the hero, the heroine, how they ended up where they are, and then hints at a better future for them, without solving all the world's problems, or tacking on some dreadful epilogue involving their sixteen children. And yet, we end up with a really good appreciation for what this new world is like - the drifters, the way women have become prized commodities, the lack of everything, and the struggle to grow food. The author has taken some pretty realistic advancements in science (prosthetics and biotechnology) and given them just enough of a twist (and no more!) to make them work as the basis for a really great story.

The hero and heroine are actually pretty damn perfect too. What isn't there to love about the warrior-type soldier hero, especially one who can talk nice and dirty? And who wouldn't sympathize with a heroine, one of the only doctors left, who wants to spend her time training others, and finds herself with no real life as a result? Also, I'm not a great fan of the instant-attraction phenomenon in romances, but it actually works really, really well here. Maybe it's the low-key way it's written? I don't know. It just works.

This is the first book by this author I've read, and I'm definitely going to be checking out her other work. I love good novellas, and this is definitely right up there with the best.

4 stars, I really enjoyed it.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Rane (new)

Rane Great Review Ruth!


Ruth Rane wrote: "Great Review Ruth!"

Thanks Rane.

This was such a great little read. I'm starting to love novellas more and more. Some authors seem to just do them really well.

And I couldn't resist a book set in Chicago....


message 3: by Erica (new) - added it

Erica Anderson Oh, this sounds good. Thanks for the rec!


Ruth Erica wrote: "Oh, this sounds good. Thanks for the rec!"

No problem! Thanks Erica.


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