Liquid Silver Books, $5.95, ISBN 978-1-59578-364-6
Fantasy Romance, 2009
Rae Morgan’s Earth Awakened is part of the Terran Realm series. A quick background for those of you new to the whole thing – we have the good guys, the Keepers of the Environment (KOTE), fighting with the bad guys, the Destroyers, over the state of Mother Earth. The Wardens are those who protect the Keepers. The Talismans are the really super Terran fellows who can do the best woo-woo stuff of them all. Now that I think of it, the poor Destroyers seem outnumbered and the whole thing doesn’t seem like a fair fight at all, don’t you agree?
Archaeologist Lily Redfern, our heroine, is a Earth Keeper, which means she’s dabbles in Earth woo-woo. She has to fend off the attentions of her team leader (whose body odor makes her gag) when she’s not acting like a fragile flower, “resigned to imminent death” while “moaning the loss of human life”. Naturally, she is given the Talisman after successfully using her magic to prevent an earthquake, an effort that causes her lots of pain. I think the powers that be just feel sorry for her. You know, the male Talismans are never as pathetic as this. Can we have a rewind and stuff that Talisman powers into some guy instead?
Our hero is Captain Carr Madoc, a Protector. Thanks to fate, destiny, plot contrivance, whatever, he has a dream where he hears a woman calling for help. Why, it’s Lily, of course, the super-duper Talisman. Conveniently enough, there is also a prophecy that says that he will be the Consort of the Earth Talisman, so that takes care of the need of messy business like courtship and other bothersome stuff. How do we know that the prophecy is true? He has a chubby while trying to save her. A woman at the verge of death needing rescue? Whatever, check out that ass!
Lily spends the rest of the story recovering and needing TLC from Carr. I can’t help comparing her to the male Talisman in Redemption and wondering why a female Talisman has to be weak and helpless. She’s supposed to be a cut above the other Keepers, after all, no? Sometimes gender stereotyping in the romance genre can be such a pain in the rear end. Following Lily is as fun as being forced to wear soaking wet underwear for the entire day. I want her to kick butt, not spending the whole story being coddled, pampered, and protected from harm.
The other subplot, involving the bad guy’s wife Autumn Brody and her partner in crime Trent Steed, is more to my liking. Autumn is an Air Talisman, but while she’s not exactly kicking rear ends left and right, she’s actively trying to sabotage her hated husband’s attempts to destroy the world.
Earth Awakened is a readable story, but it is also a disappointing read because Lily is granted so much powers only to spend the story playing a stereotypical damsel in need of protection, in a relationship that never rises above being another superficial determined-by-destiny thing. If this story had been solely about Autumn, I suspect that this one would have been a more enjoyable read.