Heart's Prey
by Jan Zimlich, futuristic (1998)
LoveSpell, $4.99, ISBN 0-505-52277-2

There's something wrong about a futuristic romance where the hero's name is Dax Vahnti but his friend's name is Haywood. Haywood, huh. And what about a planet named Nirvanna populated by tribes with names like Texans, Lakota, Pawnee, Cherokee, and Kansans. What's so special about Texans and Kansans, anyway? Why not Miami folks?

Oh, I get it. This is a futuristic-for-beginners type of story.

Our Lakota tribe heroine Rayna Syn is a subject of a prophecy. She's the Destined One to kill Dax Vahnti, leader of an outer-space troop who seeks to relocate these Nirvanna hillybillies for reasons Dax deem best kept from the hillybillies. Of course, Rayna fails her mission in a spectacular display of ineptness and stupidity. Whatever the shaman is smoking, I don't think it is working on improving his scryche skills. Dax takes Rayna into custody, and lots of space adventures ensue. Most of them catalysed by Rayna's ineptness and dimness that led her to be used like a puppet by Dax's enemies.

Yup, it's inept science fiction romance time again. Rayna has the intelligence of a senile, blind, deaf mole and Dax is the authority figure to rein her in, but not before lots of tears and misplaced anger on each's part. A heroine who could use a boost of common sense and enough silly science and sillier setting make Heart's Prey an inept, almost-campy-but-not-quite, and barely adequate read.

Rating: 50

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