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Review: Badlands by Seleste deLaney

Genre: Adult, Paranormal Romance
Fantasy Element: Steampunk
Series: Unknown
Order Online 2/28/11: | Carina Press
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I like the way deLaney formed this Paranormal Romance. It could actually probably be better categorized as more of an adventure novel than an actual romance, for while there was romance the adventure part of it was the main feature. The steampunk tones were very rich and the intensity of the action was overpowering, combine this with a tension inducing romance -- well this was a very well rounded novel. It kept me glued to the pages and it's quick and fast moving plot didn't give me time to slow down.

Seleste deLaney introduces us to an alternate past, where the United States is confined to the East of the Mississippi River and what lays West is a land of rival kingdoms and territories. In the Badlands there rules a monarchy of women. Warrior women that patrol their lands and protect their people from the convicts that are constantly being ousted from the United States and exiled to the badlands. A deep distrust of men breeds within these women and is further intensified when what looks like a United States ship attacks and kills the Queen, freeing many of the prisoners. Chaos insures and Ever one of the guards escapes to the mountains, intent of finding the Princess and enthroning her to bring back order to their kingdom.

Ever is as good as dead though as her battle wounds wear her down and her precarious mountaintop perch becomes hazardous. In the nick of time one of the supple ships spots her and comes to her rescue, it is quite unthinkable that Ever has been rescued by a man and a pacifist captain at that. He does help her though and agrees to take her to retrieve the princess and escape those that pursue her. As their journey unfolds Ever might have to rethink her stance on men and women relations…and where exactly her loyalties lie.

A highly entertaining steampunk adventure with loads of action, romance and political debauchery. I enjoyed this quick read and hope to read more of deLaney's work in the future. Because of the shortness of this title, things might not be explained as fully as you would see in a full-sized novel, but I liked it, it kept things moving, on tract and hard-hitting. Enough was said to keep things moving and I wasn't bogged down with chapter long sex scenes where they stopped in the middle of fighting to get it one. Which I have to say was great and "real".  There are moments when they are overcome with passion for each other…which is more of emotional responses because of their actions, but it led to them having to separate to do their duties instead of stopping for a romp, which I find ridiculous in regular romances. "Oh this vampire is going to rip my neck out in the other room…well lets just have sex because you look so hot with your dress ripped and that cut down your back!" There was none of that, so while there were dirigibles and mechanical birds and women with bustles -- the character interaction was very real, which is why I found myself very attached to Ever and Spencer by the end of the novel.

Recommended for fans of steampunk and romance. There is violence and a bit of sexual interaction so this is an adult novel. This is a great transition from PNR to steampunk. Give it a try, you might like it.


Amateur Voice said...

Great review. :) I really like the sound of this book. Not your average run-of-the-mill harlequin with vampires. Excellent job!


Tasha said...

This sounds awesome. I'll definitely be adding it to my wishlist. Thanks for sharing a great review.

Anonymous said...

I saw this on NetGalley but wasn't sure what to make of it. It sounds good. Nice review!

Stephanie G
Paranormal Haven

Vamchoir said...

I love adventure stories and especially when the heroine goes through so many struggles as you describe. This does need to go on my TO READ list. Whoot.

By the way ... I'm giving you an award for a great blog. To pick up your award you have to visit my blog (since I have a couple of blogs - it's this one: and you can collect your personalized art there.

M Pax said...

Sounds interesting. I like steampunk. Will give it a read.

aLmYbNeNr said...

I read this one and reviewed it yesterday. I had pretty much the same thoughts as you did, except for the paranormal part? I didn't read any paranormal in it, but I did enjoy the steampunk-yness lol!

The Musings of ALMYBNENR

killian said...

Yup, putting this on my TBR list now. :)

Emily said...

I have this one in my review pile and hearing how much you liked it makes me want to move it up. I'm glad you liked it. :D

BookGeek said...

Ohh! Adding this one to my list right now. The gender divide reminds me of "The Slave and the Free" by Suzy McKee Charnas.

SusanKMann said...

Great review. I know Seleste, she's in my writing group. Well was she's still about where I can read her work but she's in another group. She is very talented and I have always loved her work. I haven't read this one however. It wouldn't normally be my cup of tea but your review has swayed me. x

E.J. Stevens said...

Wow, this sounds fabulous! Adding to my tbr wish list now. :)
From the Shadows
Spirit Guide Series

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