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(Badlands #1)

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  298 ratings  ·  69 reviews
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
ebook, 101 pages
Published February 28th 2011 by Carina Press (first published January 21st 2011)
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Average rating 3.35  · 
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Start your review of Badlands (Badlands #1)
The hottest novella from Carina Press today is Baaaaadlands. This book has everything: technology a la steampunk, airship battles, a strangely named heroine, and "hafnawawo".

What's "hafnawawo" - you ask?

Well, the thing every good action flick needs (or at least, usually seems to have). Half naked warrior women!!

The badlands are a desolate land of crime and fighting. Criminals are sent north away from the populated areas. A tribe of warrior women patrol the borders, fighting off the criminals to
Feb 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk
Ever is a warrior and has been patrolling the borders of the Badlands for the past seven years. The Badlands is a separate country, near Texas. It is her job to take the men the United States sends to prison, and keep them secure in the prisons of the Badlands. She is not afraid to kill men - anything to keep her Queen and the Badlands safe. But someone is out to overthrow the monarchy, and soon her Queen is dead. Badly injured, Ever needs to get to Philadelphia to retrieve the princess to resto ...more
Feb 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: steampunk newbies
Shelves: ac-g
Rating: 3.5

Quick Take: An imaginative and adventurous read. I greatly enjoyed the world and broader elements of the story, but felt like some of the particulars could have been well-served by further development, or perhaps even omission.

Novellas can be tricky, can't they? The content of such written pieces sometimes fits perfectly with the requisite length, developing a complete story, world and cast, all whilst fostering reader attachments to one or all of those elements. At other times
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
I am not rating how this is written or the story. The book made me so angry that I don't even want to think about how it is written or anything.

Ever is the dumbest character I've come across. Let's see: her land is attacked, her queen is killed and she, as a really tough warrior, has an obligation to secretly get to the heir and bring her home. And what does she do? First, when she is saved by Spencer's crew, she argues about her clothes. At that moment in the story she is half naked, by th
Mrs. Badass
Apr 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
For a Novella, this was great. I would LOVE to see this world explored more fully. I am completely interested in learning more about the Badlands. The majority of this novel took place aboard the Dark Hawk Ship, manned by Captain Spencer Pierce. Amongst the crew; Henri {Medic} Zeke {Warrior/Weapons} Noah {Mechanic}.

This novel made subtle references to steam punk, it wasn't all gadgets, gizmos and glorified steam engines.

Moreover, this novel was more Romance based. I liked Ever. She was very st
Jan 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011, ebooks
I always listen to music when I read. Actually, I just always listen to music. While I was reading this book, the song Ghost Town by Shiny Toy Guns came on and started circling in my head. Over and over and over. It was just a few lines of it, but they fit so perfectly that I couldn't shake it.

These are the badlands, the worst place to fear, making graves for the ones we left here.

Perfect. I love it when things like that happen.

This book starts off with a bang and sends us on a high-flying quest
Mar 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
Full review originally posted at


I’ve only read one thing written by Seleste deLaney before. One tiny little twenty page short story…that really impressed me. (You can read my review here.) I enjoyed Seleste’s writing voice so much in those twenty little pages that when I saw that she had a novella coming out through Carina Press, I immediately got it…without even a second thought. I wanted to see what Seleste could do with more than a few pages.
Badlands by Seleste deLaney is a novella and the first in her series Badlands. I’m not sure what compelled me to pick this up. It’s short so I won’t say it was a horrible waste of time. Entertaining for the most part but it felt rushed and hard to put together.

This must have received some good feedback though because it was turned into a series with the second being released this year. Please note I don’t often read novellas, so I may be criticizing something that is normal for this style.

Marcela (BookaholicCat)
Feb 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review is also published at

Ever, Commander of the Queen’s Border Guards of the Badlands finds herself in the middle of battle after a surprise attack in their lands. Soon after, she learns that Queen Lavinia has been assassinated. As her duty she needs to bring back as soon as possible the heir to the throne, Princess Laurette who is in Philadelphia. Before the Badlands get affected with more chaos after the dead of their leader the new ruler must be instated.
Book Perfection Perfection
May 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
First of all, major thumbs up for uniqueness. I can honestly say this book is nothing like anything else I have read.

What I loved: The role reversal and the tough heroine.

In this story, Ever, the heroine, is the tough one, the one with weapons, the fighter, the one who has sex with who she wants when she feels like. The hero, Spencer, while not a wuss, is the more passive character, the forgiver, the lover.

I love how this was done. Ever's country, the Badlands (and this appears to take place aro
Feb 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: steampunk, short
This novella was packed with plot and characters that I wouldn't have missed visiting with in a full blown novel. Bravo to a well paced story with great steampunk flavor. It's got some romance too which came on a little quickly but I'll forgive because the pages were short. ...more
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I think I liked me some to come 2/25/11 on
Apr 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
The world was actually interesting and had potential, but the writing was just soooo baaad. The characters actions made absolutely no sense most of the time and while I appreciate trying to write a strong female lead, this backfired big time since she turned out to be scared and submissive whenever Spencer was being hot enough.

In many ways this felt like a first draft instead of a finished book.
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
There might be an interesting story inhere, but the writing is so stilted, the dialogue so wooden, that it's a real slog. The author has tried to make up for the shortcoming in the prose by adding in more flowery descriptors; the effect is that the work feels both under- and overwritten simultaneously. ...more
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-book, steampunk
It took me a awhile to get into this and I started it months ago and walked away from it. But when I picked it back up, I read the last 50% in a day, so I got into the ending and liked the second half much more than the first.
Apr 17, 2019 rated it liked it
The book has a pretty cool world - especially for the short DeLaney had to describe it.

The romance is obviously very rushed but with the book being about 100 pages or so, it's expected.

A cool, quick read.
Ana Mardoll
Feb 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ana-reviewed
Badlands / 9781426891250

I was excited to pick up "Badlands" on NetGalley based on the fun and original premise: an exciting American Civil War steampunk novel served with a light romance genre sauce! In the end, though, I was a little disappointed that the romance storyline ended up overpowering the rest of the plot, and the neat steampunk elements that served as the backdrop for the story were never really given a chance to shine through.

After the Civil War, America has been fractured into the
Melissa Hayden
Feb 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
A novella I couldn't put down. A hard woman in a deadly world, full of action, clockworks, and a blooming romance. I really enjoyed!

*****FULL REVIEW*****

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 agains
Pamela / SpazP
Feb 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Originally posted at WickedLilPixie Reviews

Steampunk for me is one of those genres, very much like Science Fiction, that I can take or leave. I usually end up reading the genre only if a specific book or series has been recommended to me a billion times that I make an exception. And only if there is some Romance up in there. I have little to no experience with the genre, so I didn’t know what to really expect when I picked up Badlands. Sooo, I might have had to look up a few words in the diction
The Project
Mar 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The background of Badlands is kind of like an alternative US version of Xena, Warrior Princess, infused with a dabbling of steam technology. Basically, we have tough-as-nails warrior women in various states of undress, brutal brawls to defend friends and country and romance in the skies. It all sounds a little crazy, but it is well-written and Seleste deLaney has an undeniable gift for storytelling. I was incredibly impressed with how smoothly the events flowed, particularly considering the limi ...more
Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it

Publisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: 2/28/11
How I got this book: NetGalley

DeLaney creates a new and completely different steampunk like world than anything I’ve read before. Ever is a warrior woman who protects the area known as the Badlands. She’s fierce and will do anything to protect her lands and queen. When an attack takes them by surprise and kills their queen, it is up to Ever to find the princess and bring her home to lead her people.

Captain Spencer is reluctant to take on Ever, but wan
Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, steampunk
I really enjoyed the premise of this story, and the two main characters. I liked the world development, and the pacing. There are only two things that held it back from a five-star rating, and this is what:

1. (most important) I started listening to the audio book version of this one, but just couldn't get into it. The reader didn't do it for me. Her voice kept lilting up at the end of sentences, and for one reason or another that just bugged me. Also, when we got to the more romantic scenes, I d
Jan 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Ever of the Badlands is Commander of the Queen’s Border Guard. When the Queen was murdered during the attack on Badlands, Ever must abandon her fight to escape and bring back the heir to the throne. She succeeded in flagging the Dark Hawk and was brought on board.

Captain Spencer Pierce needed to complete this run to the Badlands to enable him to pay off the Dark Hawk but this is now that he can’t land in Badlands to make his delivery, this is an unlikely event. On top of that, Ever has requested
Jun 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi
RATING: 4.5)BADLANDS by Seleste Delaney is an interesting fantasy/science fiction set after a Civil War in America that divides the land. It is a fast paced,page turning story of passion,
betrayal,trust,sweet sensuality,allies,enemies,action,adventure,romance, and love.
Ever is the commander of her nations border guards and a fierce warrior. She is the queen's protector,but when her nation is attracked by aircraft and her Queen killed,she must find the next Queen,the Queen's daughter. This takes
Jan 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Romantic American Steampunk

Mash up great steampunk elements into Civil War Americana, make women as tough as nails and throw in a weak splash of adventure and you'll get Badlands. The blurb pretty much says everything that could be said to summarize this novella length story.

Ever is one really strong heroine and Spencer makes a terrific hero. Their attraction wasn't fully felt by me as a reader, there was a hurriedness to it that frustrated me. I think if given more time to develop it would hav
Jenn Baker
Feb 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Seleste has definitely shown herself as a strong storyteller with this story. I love her alternate history of the Americas after the Civil War, including the different ways how each region reacts to Ever and her self confidence in herself and her body. Seleste did a wonderful job of showing the pros and cons of the clockwork mechanisms. How important they were for certain tasks but also how they could be used against other people.

The characters in this story were amazing. Their depth of personal
Mar 24, 2013 added it
Shelves: dnf
*sigh* I loved the idea of this book. It's steampunk set in North America post the American Civil War. As far as I could tell, in this version of reality, the country split and in between the previously warring factions there's a strip of land called the Badlands. It's a matriarchy ruled by a Queen who is attacked and killed as the book starts. The heroine, Ever, is one of her guard, and her first priority becomes getting to the heiress to the Crown and protecting her. To do so, she needs help f ...more
Seriously Reviewed
May 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 assassin
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Ever gets interrupted pre dinner party by a siren going off at the fortress. The prisoners have escaped and are fighting their way free. When she and her guards get there, she hears of the queen's assassination and realises she must find the princess heir to the throne. She ends up aboard the Dark Hawk and finds herself strangely attracted to the captain but she must fight her attraction and get on with her mission. But can she stop herself if he's also attracted to her?

I loved this story so muc
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Author of speculative romance (aka Julie Particka).

My quirky spy series, Agents of TRAIT, is published by Entangled: GAMING FOR KEEPS, CONNING FOR KEEPS, FIGHTING FOR KEEPS, and DYING FOR KEEPS

My steampunk romance series is from Carina Press: BADLANDS and CLOCKWORK MAFIA.

The Blood Kissed novels (KISS OF DEATH, KISS OF LIFE, and TALES OF THE BLOOD KISSED) are available from Seleste deLaney Books

Other books in the series

Badlands (2 books)
  • Clockwork Mafia (Badlands #2)

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