I received an ARC of Desert Blade by Ella Drake from NetGalley. Desert Blade is novella and is a short easy read. Before I give you my opinion here is what Goodreads says about Desert Blade:
“In the post-apocalyptic Midwest, now a ravaged dust bowl, former guardsman Derek Covington must find help for a sick boy. With nothing but memories of all he lost, Derek crosses the desert alone in search of the doctor who saved his own life ten years ago. Drifter gangs who loot and pillage don’t dare come near, for Derek has a formidable weapon: a prosthetic arm with a deadly blade.
For a decade, Dr. Lidia Sullivan has fantasized about the handsome guardsman who’d been in her care. And now she can’t deny his dangerous request. But as they make the treacherous journey back to Old St. Louis, they must contend with much more than fierce desert winds and their unthinkable attraction. A fearless gang has spotted Lidia—a rare woman—and will fight Derek to the death to get her. And though he risks his life to save her for the sake of the child who needs her, she fears there’s one thing Derek will never risk: his heart.”
Plot: The plot is familiar. The two main characters meet and separate in a America that has fallen apart. Ten year later they must work together to bring help to people who have no medical support. The journey brings back feelings that never were acknowledged in the first meeting.
Characters: This is a short novella and as a result there is just a minimum amount of character building. The two main characters are somewhat fleshed out. Side characters are pretty one-dimensional.
World Building: Ella Drake has created a unique situation that explains why the World has fallen apart.
Tension: Most of the tension comes from the outside in this story. While there is some tension between Lidia and Derek it is resolved pretty quickly.
Writing: The story is tightly structured and moves smoothing from scene to scene. Ella Drake uses her writing skills to build a good story in an unusual world.
Desert Blade is worth the read. It is a good story to pick up when you don’t have the time to finish a long novel.
Carinia Press published Desert Blade by Ella Drake in 2012.