Liz Maverick – “Wired”

21 Oct

GENRE: Romance / Science Fiction (Action)
PUBLISHED: Love Spell, 2007

WHY THIS NOVEL: Primarily Carolyn Jean’s review on “The Book Binge” blog.

The back blurb:
Seconds aren’t like pennies. They can’t be saved in a jar and spent later. Fate seeps through cracks and shifts like fog. Pluck a second out of time or slip an extra one in, the consequences will change your life forever. Is the man you love really the man you think you know, or is there a version of your life in which he’s your enemy? If you didn’t know who or what your were before, would you take a chance on becoming that person again?

L. Roxanne Zabrovsky is about to discover fate is comprised of an infinite number of wires, filaments that can be manipulated, and that she#s not the one at the controls. From the roguishly charming Mason Merrick–a shadow from her increasingly tenebrous past–to the dangerously seductive Leonardo Kaysar, she’s barely holding on. This isn’t a game, and the pennies are rolling all over the floor. Roxy just has to figure out which are the ones worth picking up.”

Wired is the first book I read in the Shomi line. It’s called a “action romance” on the book spine and it’s written in first person POV and narrated by Roxanne, the heroine.

Two comments about the “action” thing:
1. A lot of things happen in this story but I went with science fiction because of the whole alternate / parallel reality premise and the funky future-y device. Wired is really a mixture of sub-genres, a hybrid, and maybe “speculative” would fit best.
2. After me saying I prefer character-driven stories, it seems action works just as well because I really liked Wired. But then, I think the story’s premise interesting which is something that gets me to read all kinds of genres and stories (I said that too).

So I really like Wired. Actually I liked it so much that I stayed up until 3 a.m. to finish the book and on the whole ignored all kinds of things I had to do in favor of reading. What kept me reading was the story’s premise and Roxanne’s voice and character which I thought an intriguing contrast to the more action-oriented plot.

For quite some time in the story, Roxanne is pretty passive and doesn’t take much action herself. First, because she just doesn’t know what’s going on, and not acting then is rather smart, I think. And second, she easily gets panic attacks and then she can’t do anything at all like in the following quote (it’s on a street near her home at night, two men are closing in on her):

If nothing else, go down fighting. But I knew those old words and that belief were as hollow as those mantras I repeated over and over and over on the way here, and I gave in. Curling my head down into my knees, I rolled onto my side in the street. Even to save myself, I couldn’t work past my panic and the fear. I felt so weak. So, so weak. I hated that feeling more than anything in the world. But I couldn’t do anything about it. (p. 8,9)

So aside from figuring out what’s going on (external), Roxanne also has to find out why she’s so easily frightened (internal) because she doesn’t really know, she (and the reader) just knows she is.

The place where the above quoted panic attack happens and even the situation itself (what happens) are re-visited several times in the course of the story. I thought it a good way to let the reader see how far Roxanne has come in overcoming her panic attacks and in understanding what’s going on. It’s when Roxanne has a fair understanding of both, when external and internal action meet so to say, that Roxanne finally can (and does) act. I thought watching Roxanne overcome her panic attacks and turning into someone who’s able to go after the things she wants very interesting and ultimately satisfying to read about.

The external action is driven by Leo and Mason for much of the story. They know what is happening: there is not just one reality, there are infinite realities, and thanks to a funky future-y device, you can cross from one reality to another. And they hold control. Both Leo and Mason try to get Roxanne on their side while not being exactly forthcoming with information and that’s where the figuring out part for Roxanne comes in. One of these men works to preserve/restore (it depends) the “original,” not messed with reality, the other works to get a reality he desires. But who is who and what does that mean for Roxanne? Does she want her original reality or would she be better off in another one? These are the kind of questions the story and Roxanne ask, and I liked this figuring out element of the story and this play with “what ifs” a lot. And in the end, it’s Roxanne who decides what’s happening.

Both men also use seduction to get Roxanne on their side and while she feels attracted to both initially it’s not really a love triangle, but this is of course the place where the romance comes in. As for the romance itself, it doesn’t play a really big role but it works well enough for the story’s parameters, IMO. One thing I would have liked to see is how Roxy and the hero met and fell in love because I think there’s an interesting story there. The way the story is told has the hero in love with Roxanne for the whole story (because the falling in love part happened before) and Roxanne doesn’t remember their first meeting. That is, if I understood this right because this is where I couldn’t get the time line of the different realities completely straight. I also would have liked to know more about how the situation at the story’s beginning came about (which is tied to the part of the romance not told, I think). But these are only small niggles.

Wired was a fun and fast (in the sense of turn-the-page) read with an interesting premise. I very much enjoyed the puzzle element in the story and I liked that Roxanne went from having things happening around her to take action on her own and decide what (and which reality) she wanted.

I ordered the follow-up book Irreversible a few days ago and I really look forward to reading it.

Would I recommend this novel? Yes.

Would I read this novel again? Yes.

Grade: 4,5 / 5


6 Responses to “Liz Maverick – “Wired””

  1. Carolyn Jean Tuesday, October 21, 2008 at 4:22 pm #

    Hey, I’m so glad you liked it! Doesn’t this book just make you plow forward to see what happens? Also, that’s a good point about not seeing where and how the heroine and hero fell in love. It would have been fun. I mean, I didn’t feel it as a lack, and it sounds like you didn’t either.

  2. Taja Tuesday, October 21, 2008 at 9:46 pm #

    And I’m really glad I read it. I didn’t think the absence of their (original) falling in love a lack, just that it would have been an interesting story, too, especially how it leads to what happens in Wired. And Roxanne kind of does fall in love again in Wired so there is that.

    I really look forward to reading Irreversible.

  3. Christine Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 5:56 pm #

    I enjoyed Wired as well. I really liked Roxanne–her emotions and behaviors were very realistic and I could empathize well with her. I was disappointed with the romance in the novel, though. I didn’t think it was developed or explored at all really. The reader just figured out along with Roxi that there was a prior relationship and then once she realized she had feelings for him in the present, they just sort of clicked. I would have liked more development in that aspect of the love story.

    I loved the part when she found the black stilettos and gun in her closet! 🙂

    Anyone have thoughts on the goldfish? It’s been a while since I read Wired, but I’m thinking maybe the fish in the small bowl, then the baggie, and it still survived is a metaphor for Roxi’s journey? Or am I reading too much into that? LOL

  4. Taja Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 8:45 pm #

    I agree with you on the romance, hence the no big role comment. But I thought of it more as an “added” bonus than a main story element, so I was okay with it and didn’t think it lacking. Although of course I would have liked more! 🙂

    You know, for a moment I had to think: goldfish? And I read it only a few weeks ago. LOL. I can’t say I saw it that way when I read the book, but uhm, I think it’s there at the end and she has lives without it (in the “wrong” reality?), so you may be on to something.

    Must go check later – in one hour or so after I have replied to all of your comments. 😉

    No really, I was thrilled when I saw them. Thank you. Does this mean things have settled down some?

  5. Christine Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 10:20 pm #

    You know… I’m not so sure that goldfish had any significance whatsoever. LOL I just remember the poor thing being in a baggie the whole time, and thought it must mean something otherwise why have him or her in the book in the first place, right?

    And ha ha ha about all my comments. It doesn’t mean things have settled down AT. ALL. It’s worse. It’s just that I missed so much on a daily basis, that when I finally come by, I read everything you wrote since last time and just… well… leave my two cents everywhere! 😉

  6. Taja Thursday, November 6, 2008 at 10:29 am #

    Goldfish and baggie – you have a good heart, Christine! And I really like your idea for why it was there. Why not? 🙂

    Although I wished for it, I didn’t really think that things could settle down. And now I hear it’s worse!

    I didn’t want to tease you too much with my comment about your comments. I hope you didn’t think so. I feel quite honored that you find the time to visit my blog and comment. I love it when you come by and I love your two cents! Always interesting and funny.

    Seeing your comments this morning was a really good way to start the day. Keep them coming! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: