Riley is the third leader of Fog and has a crush on her brothers’ friend and right hand man, Mick. So even though they are in danger and being targeted still in what might be an upcoming war, Riley is still determined to have Mick. Even if he seems desperate to keep her away from him and anything else that could hurt her. With Ally and her being targeted the most, Riley needs to be in her toes while continuing to help those in need. However, the awkwardness with Mick after sharing their first kiss in the way, Riley can’t stop thinking about him.
Mick has a troubled past and it only got worse after his trip into the Wasteland. His love for Riley causes him to stress whenever they get to close. Now that they kisses, he can’t stand to be near her because he is worried he will only hurt her more. Not to mention her brother might not take well to their relationship. So Mick plans to keep his distance, only Riley won’t let him. After there is word the girls are being targeted does he realize that he may be the only one standing between Riley and their enemies.
I need to say thank you to Shelby Manuel for allowing to let me read this book before it was released on October 1st of 2022. I received this copy as an ARC (advanced reader copy). Before I jump onto the review portion of this, I would also like to say if you like spice you should check out her work.
Wasteland: The Factions of Red River by Shelby Manuel is the second book in The Factions of Red River series. It follows shortly behind Fog. It even back tracks a little as the main characters switch to Riley and Mick. While you can read it as a stand-alone as it goes over the information from the first book, I would still recommend reading Fog first. It gives more back story into the world and started the world building with ease. Having read Fog first, I can say it helped understanding Wasteland even more. I do want to point out that the main characters we follow are different than the first book, and while I normally can’t stand that kind of thing, it works in this series. The story plot amazes me. I don’t think I will ever get over the story.
However, I want to address the negatives first so that we can focus on the positives. Let’s start with the triggers. Now Shelby Manuel does a great job in going over the triggers first and I have no qualms about that. But what I do have a problem with is how spicy it made it sound and it just lacked a little in my standards. The spice was there, and the triggers hold true, I guess I was just hoping to be spicier than it was. The adult content didn’t take from the story and once again only added to it. So that seemed to be alright. The other issue I had was a few spelling errors that I hope get caught before release the main one being Theo’s name in one part became “The”. It made me do a triple take. But the errors were reduced this time around.
On to our positives. Even though we follow different characters, we still get some information on the characters we watch last book. It was nice to seem them interact and even see how their relationships form. Not to mention, I also really enjoyed how Wasteland technically picks up a little before the end of Fog. It goes over information that we didn’t get to see, but also provides that information onto why things are the way they are at the beginning. But wait there is more? It also continues the story line on the upcoming possible war between factions. I loved that even though the book focused on Riley and Mick’s relationship, the story line continues nicely. It was pleasing to me.
Getting to know Riley and Mick in their own ways, only showed how diverse these characters are. I feel this book is a good example of how opposites attract. Riley’s personality didn’t strike me as one that would get along with Mick, or even allow her to stand on her own, but I was completely wrong. It had me thinking about my own relationship a few times, and if I am honest with it, I did finally understand why my husband and I work so well. I never thought about it before. I believe that best part of Shelby’s writing is that is causes me to pause and think. After all, I do look for certain things in post-apocalyptic stories. This book was still a beautiful even with the errors.
Considering all of what was said prior, I will be rating this book three out of four stars. As I stated there wasn’t as much spice as I was expecting based on the triggers. I do love the story line and the character switch. It allowed us to still see how Ally and Jax is doing, but from an outsider’s perspective and it didn’t leave me with too many questions, except for, what’s next for our characters? Who is next? I believe you should pick this book up if you loved Fog. You should be able to devour this book as well. It will release October first, so keep an eye out and be prepared!