Luna’s brother brings the wrath of the Dakkari down on their little human village. Luna offers to serve the horde king that comes to punish them in exchange for her brother’s life. He accepts, and her life is changed forever.
This was a fast paced read with likable characters. Luna was strong, and I liked seeing her emotional growth along the way. The horde king was good and honorable. Lots of details like regularly used alien language and an alien version of horses made for great world-building. We don’t learn much about why humans are living on this planet as refugees, but I enjoyed the snippets of information I did get. The sex scenes were titillating but not scorching. The aliens were similar to humans but had tails and black and yellow eyes with no whites. They have a built-in, vibrating, clitoral stimulator, which had me laughing. Don’t all the best aliens have sex toy equipment?
The Dakkari instantly reminded me of the Dothraki in Game of Thrones. Those names are similar, they are a nomadic alien-horse-riding culture, and the men all have long hair. “Kalles” is their word for woman and the first the horde king calls Luna, which is close to khaleesi to me. It isn’t overwhelming, and there are plenty of differences, but I would guess the author is a fan.
I don’t want to give too much away, so how do I say this? The climactic action was too easy to foresee and cliché. But I was very happy that Luna fought for herself and didn’t just wait to be rescued by her man.
First person past tense, all from Luna. No cheating. No OW/OM drama. Several graphic sex scenes. The only foul language I noted was the occasional use of the F word when referring to sex. This is the first in a series of standalone novels. HFN.
Grammar: Error count 15 – wrong, missing, or misspelled words. Missing comma between two independent clauses, but it was consistent so accepted as style. Not terrible.
I enjoyed this and would read more books in the series. I don’t think I would read this one again, so 4 stars.
I’m combing the two reviews for these together here because they comprise one total book. Saltlands picked up exactly where Population left off. It’s like someone just tore the book in two along it’s spine, ala Bed Knobs and Broomsticks!
I liked Saltlands better, but that makes sense. Population is slow at the start because of necessary world building. Taken as one book, the action builds throughout, hitting a steady stream near where the book was broken in two, and goes on to the climax.
Over a decade ago, “the Others” arrived on Earth. They have since carved up much of the planet into private kingdoms. Humans remain in the leftovers, fighting over scraps. This is a post-apocalyptic romance.
I loved the strong female lead, Abel, her African and Spanish genetics, her ability with the sword and hand to hand fighting, her determination, and her emotional strength. I loved Kane, who is complex but honorable. The world-building was good and something I haven’t seen before. I enjoyed the “Others”. The pacing was good, most of the time, and there were some great action scenes. There was a good dose of violence, but it wasn’t described in gory detail. You can cut someone’s head off with a sword without describing blood sprays and such.
There is a cliffhanger ending, but the sequel is out. It’s basically one book split into two parts. I definitely want to read the next one, but I hate this modern tendency of splitting books. “The Stand” is hugely long but is one book!
Child molestation and rape is hinted at in some parts but not seen directly.
This is M/F. No cheating. No love triangle. It is written in 1st person pretense tense. I find this much less jarring than 3rd close present tense.
There are basically two sex scenes. They aren’t graphic but rather camera obscura. They lack detail, so the words could be taken to mean more or less depending on the reader. For example:
I tear his belt free and kick his pants off with my feet, then I tease him with my fingers and then again with my lips.
What is meant by this? Exactly where her fingers and lips go is up for interpretation.
Grammar and spelling: I found 13 errors in Population, including missing words, wrong words, and repeated words or phrases. Not bad at all. This is aside from the routinely missing commas between two independent clauses, missing commas after introductory clauses, and extreme run-on sentences that I have accepted as the author’s style of writing. This is fiction, not academia, so the rules are less rigid. I found this style distracting because my brain shouted “error” frequently, and the run-on sentences were confusing at times.
Unrealistic Timing: Abel is seriously hurt after the forest cult part in the beginning but seems mostly recovered 1-2 days later. She has never worn heels, wears and dances is stilettos for 48 hours, and no mention is made about swollen ankles or legs. There is definitely some almost instalove. It happens pretty fast. But I’m okay with it.
Confusion: Earlier in the book, Abel talks about having been raped or was it attempted rape that was thwarted? I thought two of a gang had actually succeeded until the second sex scene when blood is obliquely mentioned twice along with some pain. If she wasn’t a virgin, where do the pain and blood come from? At the least, it’s unclear. At most, there is a contradiction.
There were times when the story got too close to familiar fairytales. There was some “Beauty and the Beast” when Abel first gets to Kane’s estate and some “Cinderella” with the ball preparation.
I would have given this 4 stars, but the aforementioned problems drop it to a 3 for me. I will be reading the second half of this ONE book.
In the second half, action is
almost nonstop with lots of gory fight scenes and drama. Each chapter has a
black and white inkblot image above the chapter title, blood splatter, and they
are appropriate! The violence is certainly amped up. Abel goes through hell,
one desperate situation to another, and keeps her determination and resilience.
It was a wild ride, very fast paced, and kept me reading very quickly. It made
me laugh out loud a few times. The humor was appreciated amidst the intensity.
It tickled my funny bone that the villain always sets up in dental office
buildings. I liked the secondary characters, especially Mikey.
There are a couple of short sex
scenes, not graphic. Romance is not the focus of the second half of the ONE
book. There is some OM drama. I was very happy that our main couple dealt with
this in a mature fashion, by talking it out. It didn’t cause anything stupid to
happen except a ridiculous fight for fair maiden’s hand.
I found more errors in this half
– 17. Mostly missing words, a few repeated words or phrases. As with the first
half of the ONE book, commas are missing everywhere, but I accepted that as
writing style long ago. At the opening of this half of the ONE book, I thought
to myself, “Someone has a thesaurus.” Many words were used that just aren’t
common enough to be in Abel’s thoughts since she hasn’t spent the last decade
This is a 1st person
present tense novel. One scene could be considered cheating, but wasn’t exactly
consensual, so I don’t want to call it cheating. OM drama. Occasional foul
language, but it gets as bad as it can. HEA.
A third book is hinted at called “Generation 1”. I couldn’t find anything when Googling this. If it is published, it will at least be a totally different book than this ONE.
Beth is won at the auction by Ekan, a pirate. He takes her back to his ship with no intention to share, but his shipmates have other ideas. This is a reverse harem story, not a menage.
I love this series so much! When I saw this was out, I had to drop everything and read it. I was not disappointed. The world-building throughout this series is fantastic. I’ve loved how truly alien the aliens are. At first glance, Na’riths aren’t that different from humans, but their personalities, customs, and well… downstairs are quite different. As always, the writing itself is wonderful, great pacing, lots of humor, pop culture references, and I love love love the similes and metaphors the aliens use. It was great to have chapters from each of the characters. Whenever I’m reading these, I start thinking, “Tevek that!” instead of our English word hahah
Cowboy romance mixes with SciFi romance like chocolate and coffee
Sanna wakes up in the auction pen with her guide dog, Kota. The two are bought along with Beth by Ekan. Ekan gives Sanna to Breslin as a present, but Breslin doesn’t treat her like a possession. They go to his planet where he raises carnivorous horse type creatures.
I love western/cowboy romances and I love SciFi romances, so this is like chocolate and coffee together! It is so wonderfully done! As always, I love Amanda’s writing style, imagination, and humor. Carnivorous horses! Love it!
Refreshingly unique within the SciFi Romance genre
Tara also woke up in the auction pen. Fortunately, she is bought by Tac’Mot, a marsupial type alien. He works on a ship whose capitain is Brax. They may be great, but Tara needs to get back to her two toddlers on Earth!
Quote from blurb: “For those of you that prefer not to be surprised, there are TWO heroes in this story. It is a Happily Ever After with three people, a mini Reverse Harem set up of MFM (male/female/male) that doesn’t quite classify as Menage… and you’ll find out why.”
I absolutely love that these aliens are alien, as in not entirely human like. They have reptilian, avian, marsupial, etc characteristics, which makes sense. Nature on Earth is extremely varied along branches, so I expect alien humanoids to come with variety.
I also love how the alien characters use metaphors/similes with alien comparisons. Something like, “It was more bitter than marbock seeds.” We readers have no idea what those are, but we understand they must be very bitter. I’m impressed with the imagination it takes to do this.
As with the first book in this series, I love how they can’t understand each other for a long time and how that is written. It makes for some great laughs.
Zadeon rescued Callie after she had been gang raped. This book deals with her PTSD and healing. So if this is a trigger for you or you don’t want to read about such horrible things, give this one a skip.
Yes, there is rape and torture in the back story, but this book is about healing and love. It is extremely well written. The portrayal of shock is very good. Callie’s mind jumps around, not sure why she is doing things from one moment to the next. The pain isn’t glossed over or healed immediately because of Zadeon. The healing happens over time in a very realistic way. Extremely well done!