Saturday, June 2, 2018

Review: Worlds Apart (Warriors of Risnar #2) by Tracy St John

Worlds Apart by Tracy St John

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Worlds Apart by Tracy St John blurb

Worlds Apart brings us a love story between a human woman and a sexy, striped alien, set amidst sexism, racism, and war. It's an action-packed look at the cost of fighting for and against everything. Is winning worth the price or is love the ultimate prize?

The story opens with Anneliese reunited with Nex as she needs to be taken back to Risnar to have a tracking device embedded into her by the Monsudans taken out so they can't track, capture, and experiment on her again. Anneliese is a fighter. She has fought all her life against prejudice, sexism, and racism. She's fought for the rights of others, for those weaker than herself, for her country. There's no denying her strength and her willingness to jump in feet first to defend whoever needs defending. The problem is, Anneliese doesn't know how to do anything but fight, even when she doesn't need to. She's constantly combative, railing against those who care about her, and picking fights when none are needed. It's a huge character flaw because she eventually pushes away the one person who cares and loves her the most, Nex, with her need to fight and always win. It made her very difficult to like as a character. Fortunately, she is aware of her flaws, but it takes her a long time to come to terms with it, and to make an effort to change. It was so hard for her to even bend a little, to accept help. She even damages herself with her stubbornness and resistance towards the care she needs. She can't be trusted to take care of herself. It's almost like on top of her need to fight everyone and everything, she also seems to need to be self-sabotaging. She does redeem herself towards the end of the book, but by then I had kind of gotten tired of her. I almost didn't finish the book because of Anneliese but I persevered because I loved Nex and I like the world of Risnar.

Nex, on the other hand, is a delight. He's sweet, charming, funny, and protective. He's desperately attracted to Anneliese and wants to build a life with her. He's patient as he seduces her with the Risnarian rituals of intimacy, and as he cares for her. One of his failings though was he wanted Anneliese to bend which she is incapable of doing. He wanted her to allow him to care for her and protect her, but her independent and combative spirit did not allow that to happen. This, unfortunately, caused a lot of tension between them, especially with Anneliese constantly pushing Nex away while he's trying to get closer to her. I did like that he eventually decided he loved her for who she is and didn't want her to change (okay, maybe a little!), accepting her for who she was. Personally, if I had a guy who wanted to protect and care for me, I'm all in. I wouldn't be battling him every step of the way.

I posted in my reading group recently I was tired of seeing so much social, ethical, social justice and political issues being shoved down my throat with a lot of the romances I am reading. What happened to telling a good story for readers to escape into a fantasy world? What happened to just being able to enjoy a story for what it is? A good romance? Instead, it seems like every other new book I am reading now has the authors banging on about some issue or other. It's not like I don't care. I do. But I read enough about it on the news. Hear enough about it on social media. Watch enough of it on TV. I don't want it in my romance novels. This novel is no different. I understand Ms St John meant to highlight the Native American culture and all that entails, but she put so much sexism, racism, prejudice, and women's rights into the story, I felt like I was drowning in it. I get authors have a platform in their books and they want to use it to highlight issues that are near and dear to their hearts, but maybe do it a bit more subtly?

I like the world that Ms St John has created on Risnar. I love the Risnarians and their culture, their respect for their women, their acceptance of everyone as equals, and their care of their environment. I'm also very invested in how the war between the Monsudans and Risnarians will turn out, so I want more stories revolving around that. But I don't want more overt social and political issues being shoved down my throat. I'll definitely read the next book in the series if there is one, but I hope Ms St John tones it down a bit on those topics.

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Tracy St John

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