Publisher's Note:  

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city's brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father's apprentice, Logan--the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city's top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor's impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.


by C.J. Redwine

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Overall Review:  

Romance and loyalty to one's true self collide over and over in this book which deals with everything from a corrupt government to a mysterious beast that lurks beyond the supposedly protective walls of the city of Baalboden. Suspicions of traitorous activities can get a person killed in this fictional city, and girls that wander the streets unsupervised are punished severely. When a young, newly orphaned girl becomes suspicious that her father isn't really dead, and may still be alive, she begins to consider a journey that puts her life at jeopardy.


When I first started reading this book, I was kind of expecting it to be set in medieval times. The cover depicts a girl in a long cloak and boots, and the description on the dust jacket sounded like other books I have read from that time period. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this book isn't really set in any time period. I would say it is best described as a steampunk novel, and though I haven't read many books in this newer genre, this book was delightfully entertaining. Some younger readers may be able to handle the abundance of violence in this story, if they are on the mature side, but for the most part, I think an older reader would appreciate what happens in this book.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  1 religious exclamation; 1 mild obscenity


Violence/Gore:  A girl is captured and tortured by an older man, with a brief description of him threatening her; a character is said to be flogged publicly because of a crime committed; a character is killed in a violent stabbing, and blood is involved; citizens of a town are menaced by a beast; teen characters are chased several times by guards and authority of a town for crimes they have committed; a teen is threatened with the punishment of death for petty crimes said to have been committed; there are several violent extended scenes of fighting, often involving injuries and/or blood.


Sex/Nudity:  A young man and young woman kiss several times; a rape is implied briefly, but never occurred.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Death; destruction; murder; defiance of authority

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Reviewed By Lydia
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