ARC Review: Awaited (Wasteland #2) by Lynn Rush
On a mission to recover the first female guardian born in hundreds of years, Russell Leonard finds himself face-to-face with the mysterious woman he’s been dreaming about. While it might seem strange that she recognizes him too, a total stranger, there are other, more troubling things about this young woman that have Russell wondering just who she is and what she means to him. As they embark on a journey that will either free both their souls or end in terrible tragedy, Russell and his Belle must accept each other wholly and completely or risk losing everything they, and everyone around them, hold dear. Awaited is a must-read!
- Title: Awaited
- Series: Wasteland #2
- Author: Lynn Rush
- Prominent Characters: Russell, Annabelle
- Recommended Reader Age: 16+
- Sexual Content Level: light and mild
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
Awaited will have you on the edge of your seat right from the start. Where Wasteland took a good number of pages to build to “can’t put it down” momentum, Ms. Rush brings her A-game to the very first page. Visceral and intense, the opening chapter of this book will have your heart beating faster and your eyes skipping ahead to see what happens next.
Like it’s predecessor, Awaited unfolds in first person male point of view. This time, instead of living in David’s head, we get nice and cozy with Russell, the story’s hero – an unusual viewpoint in this market of female dominated 1st-POV, but a refreshing change. We first met Russell Leonard in Wasteland, as Becca’s “brother”and protector. He’s just as determined and rock steady in Awaited as he was then, but we also get a look at the soul-deep weariness a warrior of over 400 years old would experience when he lives with constant warfare. For someone so lethal with a sword, Russell is the epitome of gentleness when it comes to his Belle. Annabelle is mute, vulnerable, and damaged, with a core of inner strength and tranquility that shines through when you least expect it. Intriguing and unpredictable, she’s not your traditional heroine. The connection between Russell and Belle is like a shining strand of love, iridescent with faith and wrapped in heart-warming purity.
The plot moves seamlessly from each near miss to new revelation, keeping you guessing about what’s coming next and who the players really are. Awaited has a darker, more hopeless feel than Wasteland, resolving in a sinking feeling that just won’t go away. You know bad things are coming and there’s nothing you can do but hang on, go along for the ride, and hope for the HEA. I devoured the first half of this book in one sitting, and it is no quick novella read.
Despite its dark undertones, the writing in Awaited is quite classy and almost gentle feeling. The characters are generally all respectful and well-mannered despite their brutal occupations… yes, even the baddies! These Guardians are upstanding warriors for the Light, not the crass, foul-mouthed soldiers so commonly found in PNR today.
David and Jessica make appearances in this one and it was great to see them again… especially Jessica. I love her spunky, modern, sassy personality, and the way she seems to carry so much on her shoulders yet still be so accepting and calm. I have a sneaking suspicion the next book will be her story, and it’s looking to be another dark one.
The end of Awaited culminates in an emotional flurry of activity, with intense battles and unexpected sacrifices, and I didn’t want it to end! The marquee couple’s journey is nicely concluded and Ms. Rush leaves us with a slight cliffhanger concerning a few of the other characters, leading right into the final (likely to be impatiently-awaited!) chapter of this saga.
Somethings come across loud and clear, whether spoken or signed…
Belle pointed to me, touched her chest at her heart with a flat palm and squeezed my hand.
Halli swiped a tear that had escaped from her eye.
“She’s done that before. When we first met. What’s that mean?”
“She said, You’re Mine.“
If you liked Awaited…
If you enjoyed Awaited and have not read the first book in the series, Wasteland, definitely check that one out ASAP. You’ll get all the backstory on Becca and David, and experience their epic (and sometimes grueling!) journey as individuals and as a couple.
If you liked Awaited for its clean Young Adult feel, and want to experience more male point of view PNR, check out Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series (starting with The Iron King). The first three are told from the viewpoint of Meghan, but the fourth book (The Iron Knight) is Prince Ash’s tale, and there aren’t too many heroes more conflicted, mercurial, loyal, badass, and determined than this Winter prince (click here to see our GT Reviewer Rachel’s love letter to him in February). ’Course, you might be a Puck fan – in The Iron Knight, you’ll get to see plenty of him too. *wink* You can read The Iron Knight as a standalone novel (I did, and I don’t regret it – this was one of my very few 5-Heart perfect score reviews, and one of our two 2011 Books of the Year) but be aware you’re going to get spoilers from the previous three books.
Awaited will transport you to a place where evil roams free and those who fight for the Light often walk in darkness. This is a story filled with anticipation, hope, love, tension, and the purity of the human spirit. Lynn Rush’s second installment in the Wasteland Trilogy in a must read!