Publisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: 2/28/11
How I got this book: NetGalley
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 assassination puts the shipping routes at risk, he finds himself Ever's reluctant ally.
As they fly into danger, Ever and Spencer must battle not only the enemy but also their growing attraction. She refuses to place her heart before duty, and he has always put the needs of his ship and crew above his own desires. Once the princess is rescued, perhaps they can find love in the Badlands— if death doesn't find them first…
*Blurb from Goodreads*
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 wants to help her in any way he can. The two set off to find the princess, and are thrown up against multiple attempts to stop then, regardless of the costs. But once they have the princess on board, will they make it to the Badlands in time to save the country?
I really enjoyed this story, it was different and unique in the world building, something I had never read before. It was fresh and enjoyable to dive into the story where the main character is from a country ruled by women, and protected by women. While I found Ever to be a refreshing strong female lead, she also rankled on my nerves a bit with her inability to recognize her own feelings towards Spencer. It almost felt like she was too much of a warrior to be a woman, if that makes any sense.
I enjoyed Spencer’s character. While he was a force to be reckoned with all on his own, he didn’t overshadow ever in any way. I enjoyed that he was focused enough on his own mission, that he didn’t try and overrun Ever’s. The way they came together and danced apart throughout the book was really well done and fun to watch (except I cringed with Ever’s little interlude with Zeke).
Although it’s fairly short (only 100 pages or so), deLaney does a good job of keeping things moving, interesting and fun. Steampunk fans out there will enjoy the fact that most of this book takes place on an airship, which I thought was totally awesome.
All in all, I give Badlands 4 out of 5 airship battles!