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Monday, April 11, 2011

Badland Warriors: Vikings by Shara Azod

Badland Warriors: Vikings by Shara Azod
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (68 pgs)
Other: M/M/M/F, Anal Sex, Spanking, menage
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Buttercup

Like the gates of Hell, the military base of Camerico marks the line between order and chaos, in this case civilization and the Badlands. Only Warriors -- genetically engineered elite forces -- keep the evil that occupies the Badlands at bay. But the Warriors have become almost as uncivilized as the lands they police. They make their own laws, and they take what they want -- and right now they want Amy.

Three Viking Warriors, armed to the teeth and promising Amy what no man ever has before -- their complete devotion -- sweep her off her feet and away from her government mandated job. What more could a woman ask for? Other than to survive the next attack of the mutants sure to come after they escape into the heart of the Badlands...

They say in space, no one can hear you scream. But in the Badlands, you can scream all you want.

Warning! Your government is lying to you. Oh, you already knew that? Well then by all means keep reading and learn the truth. Shara Azod's Badland Warriors: Vikings takes a new look at an old desire, to create the perfect soldier, or soldiers as the case may be. Swede, Dane, and Nor are genetically engineered Viking warriors, created in a laboratory to protect the population at large and keep the borders between civilization and the Badlands secure. Amy is a soother working in a bar not far from the border. When the four meet it's love, it's lust, it's fate, with a pinch of meddling Elders, and a whole lot of government conspiracies.

The government genetically engineering "perfect soldiers" is not a new concept, but no matter how many times I've seen it in movies or read about it in books I'm always left in awe of the hubris of mankind. Nobody ever thinks that when you create these super strong intelligent warriors that they will be smart enough to figure out when you are lying to them; not the scientist that create the soldiers, or the military that wants to exploit them, or the government that wants to control them.

Now you don't actually meet any of the scientists or government officials in the story, they are more of a shadow agency lurking in the background. I understand that the threat of their presence is more compelling than their actual presence, the unknown is always scarier than if you can put a face to your enemy. But I think it would have been interesting to meet the men and women who created the soldiers, maybe even have one that acknowledges that what they are doing might not be exactly kosher and try to help the warriors find out the truth.

Like the scientists, the Elders are instrumental to the story even if you don't meet them until the end. They are the leaders of the rag tag band of survivors that are living in the Badlands; they have knowledge, and wisdom, and most importantly are the ones that sent Swede, Dane, and Nor on their little excursion that led them to meet Amy. The impression is given that like most good Elders, these ones are somber and serious most of the time. However they have lived long enough and seen enough atrocities in life to take joy where they find it and they are not above having a laugh at the expense of the warriors. These guys cracked me up, when Swede, Dane, and Nor come back to the Badlands with Amy in the middle of mating fever. The Elders know that it's nothing serious or life threatening, but the warriors don't so the Elders have a little fun with Swede, Dane and Nor, while these three big hulking men are trying franticly to help Amy without the slightest idea of what wrong.

Of course Swede, Dane, and Nor are not the only warriors that the government has created, and not all the the warriors are from Viking DNA. They have taken the DNA from all the great warriors of the past and fiddled about to create the genetically superior warriors they are today. This includes ninjas, and while Vikings traditionally work in threes the ninjas work alone, but as Swede, Dane, and Nor find out this is not always the case, or perhaps it was just another lie that they had been told. While trying to escape with Amy the warriors come across a pair of ninjas, who actually help them to escape rather than stop and/or kill them. The ninjas don't just help out of the goodness of their hearts, they have questions and want answers. Although the Vikings tell the ninjas how to get into the Badlands so they can find their answers, you never see the ninjas again. I would have liked to know what happened to them, if they ever made it, or if they were double crossing the Vikings to get access and launch a surprise attack.

Despite the close bond that Swede, Dane, and Nor share as well as the circumstances of their "birth", they each have a distinct personality. Their personality differences are subtle when dealing with each other, because they have such a strong mental bond, but they become more pronounced when dealing with Amy. Of course due to their genetic makeup the differences in the warriors serve only to enhance their ability to work as a team, not detract from it. Despite their differences the one thing they all agree on completely is the need to keep Amy safe. I think it's great that at various times each of the men envy one of the others for finding just the right words to explain and comfort Amy as they try to get her to safety. They look on with awe as one of them soothes her fears with a touch and the right words, and then moments later they are doing the same thing themselves. Their bond might have happened quickly but their is no doubting the strength of their love and devotion to each other.

Shara Azods Badland Warriors: Vikings is a page turner full of fun and witty turns of phrase that leave you laughing out loud and wanting more. Just remember "In the Badlands you can scream all you want. No one gives a damn." And why would you want them to? After all, it would get down right annoying having all that good sex constantly interupted.

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