Review: Wanted and Wired by Vivien Jackson

Reviewed by Ronelle

Heron Farad should be dead but biotechnology both saved and changed him. Now he heads a crew of uniquely skilled outsiders who fight to salvage what’s left of humanity: art, artifacts, books, ideas-sometimes even people. People like Mari Vallejo.

Mari is a badass gun for hire and this contract promises to provide her with much-needed information about her father’s whereabouts. There’s just one thing; working with Heron has stirred up all kinds of wants she doesn’t dare indulge. He doesn’t think of her that way, anyway… right?

Well, she’s about to get her answer when their contract goes horribly wrong. Leaving the two of them on the run together. Someone set them up and now they’re on everyone’s Most Wanted list. Both should be dead, but they’ve never felt more alive than in each other’s company…and alive in all the steamiest ways.

***
I really, really enjoyed this one! I’ve kinda developed a thing for dystopian sci-fi lately (maybe I’ve been watching my husband play Fallout too long?) and Wanted and Wired definitely satisfied all of my requirements. There’s plenty of action, danger, crazy technology, and sizzling chemistry between the two main characters. This is a series I look forward to continuing.

Mari was just the right mix of (no offense) stereotypical Texan, with the slang, the drawl, and the nonchalant southern attitude. She was there to kick ass and chew bubblegum and lord, did she make me laugh! Some of the things she thought and said were downright hilarious. I loved her from the beginning and was impressed with her… I suppose ‘humanity’ is the best word. She thought of herself as a monster and she’s got flaws, hang-ups, issues and all this repressed sexual tension where Heron is concerned, but she’s also strong in her own right. Heron was complex in his own way and just as uncertain about how human he was, though for different reasons than Mari. He showed more control and foresight, was steadier and a bit more serious but not in a stuffy or boring way. His personality was a nice balance to Mari’s outward bluster. The mutual respect these two had for each other was obvious and Ms. Jackson ramped up the sexual tension at just the right pace. And when that tension finally reached a breaking point, look out! Fair warning: the sex in Wanted and Wired was very, very well written.

My only complaint about Wanted and Wired was the world building, and no, not that there was a lot of it. There was, and it was needed, but what I didn’t like was the too-frequent feeling of being out-of-the-loop. Past events were referenced and technological terms (like Heron’s mirror and the arcology) introduced in a way that left me feeling like there was a previous book that contained all the explanations and somehow I missed it. (There isn’t.) It wasn’t a constant issue, but it was a frustrating one at times.

Oh, and while I did spy the occasional typo (“sure could sure”), they were infrequent enough not to interrupt my love of the story. Actually, the most common—and weird—one was inconsistent spelling for free fae. I spied it written as free fae, Free fae, and freefae. Weird, like I said, but nothing to get your knickers in a twist over as it seemed Ms. Jackson used a thorough (and mostly successful) editing process. If she’s reading this, she has my sincere thanks!

Bottom line: I loved this and am really looking forward to the next book in the series. If you like your dystopia spiced with a well-constructed romance and a hero who balances his heroine, then give this a try.

Rating: A-

Click to purchase: Amazon

Wanted and Wired
by Vivien Jackson
Release Date: April 4, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

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