Series: Wasteland, Book 1
Rating: 5 Stars
Blew Me Away
I feel utterly compelled to mention that I am not a huge SciFi fan and I actually dislike (and usually avoid) post apocalyptic, futuristic stories. I'm also not a huge fan of multiple partner erotica. Oh, yeah - I'm not all that crazy about novellas, either. I read so fast that I burn through them way too quickly, and they're usually not as satisfying as full length novels. So, now that all that's out of the way, I have something else to say: Wasteland: The Wanderer Blew. Me. Away. It's a SciFi-futuristic, post apocalyptic erotica novella featuring multiple partner sex scenes and I loved it.
Yes, it's a novella, and the first of four novellas by four different authors written in the same "world" with the same overall setting - post apocalyptic earth following the solar flare catastrophe of 2012. In this bleak and barren future, women are in vast minority and are often segregated from men, classified by the goddess as Wanderer, Whore, Priestess, or Breeder.
In this first book, Crystal Jordan introduces us to Kadira, the Wanderer shaman, and gives us a glimpse of her tragic past and the brilliant carnality of her present. Ezra, chieftan of his people and brilliant inventor, carries the scars of battles on his body and the wounds of shame on his soul. He has been captivated by Kadira for years, but she has never lain with him during any of the spring or fall celebrations that unite clans for the duration. This time, this year, he will have her. No matter the cost.
Jordan has penned a tightly woven plot full of breathtaking sexuality in just about all its forms and pairings and combined it with a captivating love story and personal journeys of acceptance and trust. What impressed me the most was the sense of fullness the story provides. With such limited space, novellas often have to sacrifice some aspect of full storytelling to pull off the story arc, and while it's true that Wasteland: The Wanderer did condense the build of the relationship between Kadira and Ezra, Jordan still somehow managed to encapsulate in very realistic fashion the evolution of her main characters and the triumph of their unity. I haven't seen a novella of any genre pull off such a feat in quite some time. I was very impressed.
The sex in this novella is also remarkably well done. Graphic, yes, but written with a passion and sense of culture that impressed and amazed me. This futuristic world is vastly different from our own and in no other way is that evidenced more clearly than in the orgiastic rituals and relationship structure of the Wanderer people, and yet, at no time did I feel that such graphic sexual displays were strictly for the readers titillation, and in truth, they were written with a sense of respect and joy for the participants that is unmatched. I can't imagine a more satisfying read on any front in the format and concerning the subject matter that Jordan offers here. It's exceptionally well done and I highly recommend it...even if some aspects just aren't your thing.
One more mention: I have never included commentary on cover art in a story review before, because frankly, it has nothing to do with the story, but I want to commend the graphic designer who covered this book. It's beautiful artistry that reflects the bleak world of Wasteland and the character of Kadira perfectly. Kudos.
Note: This novella contains graphic scenes of M/F, M/M, F/F, M/M/F, and M/M/F/F sex.