Monday, September 29, 2014

Into the Wasteland - Lisa Shea

This snappy little novella came as a complete surprise. For one thing, it really is quite good. And for another, it is not at all what I thought it would be. Although the story is exactly as the title claims - a dystopian journey - my first impression is that the story is really more of a western. Yes, a western. From the grubby clothed, gun toting heroine right down to her companionship with a horse named Blaze, the story is a straight shooter. The writing is very clean. There are no superfluous words, added subplots, annoying characters or meandering thought processes. There isn't even a romance. It's a journey survival story and the author sticks to it.

Yes, the reader is thrown into the story without any clues about the world it takes place in, or who the main character is (other than a young woman with solid instincts who adopts the name Hawk). There are gunfights (well, shootings), dangerous characters, and a lot of survival moments like searching for food and shelter. There is also the hint of a mystery man. The reader has no idea whether this mystery man is real or imaginary or what his role in the main character's journey is. It's a guessing game. But sometimes more questions than answers can be a good thing. It keeps the reader reading.

At only 110 pages, it's a very quick read. And as a bonus, it's free (at least for now). One of the things I liked most about the story was that even though it's book 1 in a saga, it could just as easily be a stand alone novella. But because, when I reached the end of the novella, I learned that the proceeds from the sale of this author's books would benefit a battered women's shelter - I decided to buy the next one.

It's available here: