Wanted and Wired
Sci-fi romances are kind of hit or miss for me. Still, the synopsis of Wanted and Wired, the first book in Vivien Jackson’s Tether series, really grabbed my attention. Who doesn’t love action-packed, futuristic romances featuring competent leads falling in love while on the run? I know I certainly do.
It’s important to point out at the start that this story is set in a future in which Texas is no longer a part of the United States. The reasons for this are quite complex, and the author does tend to flood the reader with huge amounts of information during the first quarter of the book. However, once you get past that, the story picks up nicely and the info-dumps pay off.
Mari is a female assassin who works for the government of Texas. She has a number of memory issues, which make her a bit of a loose cannon, but she’s quite successful at her job and thinks of herself as well-liked and respected by her colleagues.
Heron is Mari’s handler. At first, I thought this meant he was her boss, but Ms. Jackson actually means that he’s kind of Mari’s back up. He accompanies her to jobs and does as much as he can to insure things go smoothly. He’s also been in love with her for several years, but she sees him only as a trusted friend and colleague.
The story opens with Mari and Heron out on a hit. He has some bad feelings about the job as a whole, but, for reasons I never fully understood, Mari fails to take his concerns seriously and proceeds to go after her target. Things go horribly wrong, and the government is soon trying to apprehend them. Mari flees, and Heron somewhat reluctantly goes with her, doing his best to keep her alive.
I loved watching Mari and Heron working together to outrun their enemies. Heron has some great technologically enhanced abilities that made him a fantastic ally, but I’m not going to say more about that, as part of the thrill of the ride was finding out just what he was capable of, and how he would manage to save the day.
The story hinges quite a bit on Mari’s past, but, as I said earlier, she doesn’t remember things very clearly, or, at least, claims not to. She plays things pretty close to the vest, and, at times, I found myself growing annoyed by her secretive nature. There were things she should have told Heron, but rather blithely decided to keep to herself, regardless that being fully informed would help Heron do his job more effectively. There are some pretty amazing twists at the end of the story that make Mari’s actions a bit more understandable, something for which I was very grateful.
Both Heron and Mari have a strange habit of having very long inner monologues at rather inappropriate times, and this detracted from the action in a couple of places. I wanted the focus to stay more on what was going on externally without so much emphasis being placed on their thoughts. It’s one thing to be aware of what people are thinking, but it was overdone here.
I must, however, give Ms. Jackson props for her well-developed world. Wanted and Wired is the first book in a series, and I can’t wait to see what happens in future installments. This one has some flaws, but nothing that will keep me from revisiting the author’s work.