All I Need is You

The Heir

Joining

Love Me Forever

Say You Love Me

 
Heart of a Warrior by Johanna Lindsey
(William Morrow, $25.00, PG) ISBN # 0-380-97854-7
**
After waiting years for the third installment in Lindsey's futuristic series, this disappointing successor to Warrior's Woman and Keeper of the Heart does not live up to the expectations of its predecessors.

Some altering rods have been stolen from the planet Sunder (hypnotic devices that have the power to make male humanoids do the holder's bidding, but the rods do not work on females), so Dalden Ly-San-Ter of the warrior planet Sha-Ka'an sets off to track down the thief, following him into a remote little galaxy known as the Milky Way that boasts but one inhabitable planet called earth.

Dalden meets Brittany Callaghan the day after he and his men land on earth and realizes almost immediately that she is his lifemate. Brittany, a six-foot woman who has had trouble finding men who aren't intimidated and put off by her height, is mutually attracted to the seven-foot Dalden who she believes is a foreigner from some remote part of the world.

Brittany, thinking Dalden to be some sort of secret agent, agrees to help him find the man he came to California to locate and the duo are inseparable from there on out. When the task is accomplished, Brittany will find out that Dalden isn't just from another part of the world, but a different world altogether. Will the independent earth woman Brittany be able to find happily-ever-after on a warrior-dominated planet that totally subjugates its women and treats them like children?

If Lindsey had explored that question more thoroughly, this would have been a much better book. When a sci-fi fan opens up the third installment of an eagerly anticipated futuristic series, they expect it to actually take place in another time or dimension, they do not expect that the first 198 pages (of a 368 page novel) will happen on earth!

The "find the stolen altering rods" sub-theme is given far too much time in Heart of a Warrior, which has the effect of keeping the duo on earth way too long. I wanted Lindsey to take us back to Sha-Ka'an or at least get Dalden and Brittany out of the Milky Way at least 100 pages before it happened.

And there is the matter of the heroine...Brittany is, in a word, annoying. When the reader is finally transported from earth, their diligence for sticking with the book is then punished by a heroine who refuses to believe that she's on a spaceship (and then the planet Sha-Ka'an) for the next 150 pages. Instead, Brittany believes that everything around her is a great conspiracy and that her captors are merely trying to mess with her mind. And this for literally 150 pages!

As if that isn't bad enough, the freethinking computer Martha has more lines than either of the protagonists do. Martha does have her good moments and there are places in the novel where she is truly funny, but overall she is given far too much to say with Dalden being allocated not nearly enough.

The reason why Martha has too much to say in the first place is that in this installment Lindsey suffers from what I call "explanation-itis", or the need to over-explain things. Yes, it is necessary to give the non-initiated some background info to catch them up to speed, but the amount of information they are given basically recounts everything that happens in the first two books which is tedious for people who have already read them.

My final complaint with this novel is that absolutely nothing new happens in this installment. In a futuristic, readers expect to be introduced to new worlds, new concepts, new plant and animal life, etc., but not one new experience is given to us in Heart of a Warrior. Everything we hear and see is rehashed from the first two novels that results in a predictability that is boring.

For those of you that have read Lindsey's first two futuristics and have eagerly anticipated Dalden's story for years, it is doubtful that anything in a review will deter you from buying Heart of a Warrior. The curiosity factor, if nothing else, will eventually get to you. But my suggestion is do yourself a favor and wait until it comes out in paperback. The novel does have some romantic and humorous moments, but not nearly enough of them to justify its twenty-five dollar price tag.

--Tina Engler


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