Aftermath (Operation Wasteland)Rating: 3.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novella

Fifteen years ago, there was a great disaster that killed millions and left the world as a deserted wasteland. Hybrid droid, Randy Hawkins, is a member of the Rescue and Reconnaissance Unit, heading out on his fifth mission that will take him further south than he’s ever been before. Randy can’t help but wonder whether anyone could have survived for so long in the conditions he finds there. Then he finds Preston.

Preston has managed to keep his group alive for these past ten years in an area where water and food are scarce. When Randy arrives, Preston fears for their survival and goes out of his way to keep the group hidden…until Randy manages to sneak up on him when he least expects him. Now Randy needs to convince Preston and his group to abandon their hiding place and follow him back to civilization, except Preston isn’t going to go willingly.

I rarely venture into sci-fi stories, but there was just something about this storyline that drew me to it. I will admit, I am a fan of post-apocalyptic themes. So when I read the blurb for this story, I knew I wanted to read it.

The setting was believable and the author gave readers enough details so that we could place ourselves into the story. The world is a very different place than what we know it as today. After a catastrophic event, the world is now a giant desert where the temperature soars to 135 degrees, water is scarce, food even scarcer, and radiation has forced people to live underground. In the Northern Territory, there are cities and civilization.

It is Randy’s job to go out and find survivors, report their location, and then they are relocated to the Northern Territory. Randy doesn’t remember much about life before the catastrophe as his memory was wiped clean when he was made a hybrid droid. Part human, part machine, he has the same needs as humans (food, water, emotions), but has the body of a droid. Programmed to tell survivors of the benefits of relocating to the Northern Territories, Randy doesn’t always believe that what he tells people in order to persuade them to go voluntarily is true. After meeting Preston, he begins to question whether forcing people to leave a place where they are getting by is better than forcing them into a city where the conditions are much the same or worse when one considers the violence and death that happen there.

As Randy watches and helps Preston keep his people alive, Randy finds himself falling for the man who risks his own life to ensure the survival of so many. The attraction is mutual as the two seek comfort with one another. The two go from being each other’s foe to being each other’s lover. The benefit of being a droid is a quick recovery period!

I have a few complaints about this book. The first is that the blurb tells us it has been ten years since the catastrophe, then the story itself says it is fifteen years. While not a big deal, it is irritating that something so obvious wasn’t caught in the editing process.

The second issue I had with this book was that I felt as if I really didn’t get to know much about the two main characters in the story. Through their conversations, we learn a bit about their lives, but it felt as if they were strangers having conversations. I never felt the connection between myself as a reader and them as characters. This is definitely a case where I thought the book was just too short.

My last complaint is that I am typically not a fan of books where the story is broken up into a series. I like a book to begin and end with a happily ever after, or even a happily for now…instead, I feel as if I am left hanging as to what happens next.

Overall, this was a fairly decent read and I look forward to seeing what happens next in the story. If you are a fan of post-apocalyptic stories and don’t mind the story being told in a series, you might want to check out this book.

Wendy sig

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