REVIEW and GIVEAWAY: Across the Wire by Stella Telleria
Across the Wire
Published on November 4th 2013 Genres: Adult, Science Fiction
When Mia Mitchell, a hardcore but lonely former Marine, steps into an alley to pull some thugs off an unlucky foreigner, she walks into a fight she expects. What she doesn’t see coming is the foreigner making her a job offer any sane person would refuse. So, she takes it. She thinks she’s headed for some third-world country; instead she’s mysteriously transported to an Earth-like parallel world. That’s a mad left-hook.
Mia discovers a matriarchal dystopia where freedom doesn’t exist and fighting for it means execution. Lethal force bends all to the law; women fear for their families and un-wed men suffer slavery. Mia’s job is to train an underground syndicate of male freedom-fighters for a violent revolution. However, the guys don’t want a pair of X chromosomes showing them the way.
Eben, an escaped slave, is encouraged by Mia to become a leader among the men. But when he turns his quiet determination on her, it spells F.U.B.A.R. for cynical Mia. Their unexpected connection threatens more than her exit strategy; it threatens the power struggle festering with in the syndicate.
Haunted by nightmares and post-traumatic stress, unsure who to trust or how to get home, Mia struggles to stay alive as she realizes all is not what it seems.
Across the Wire was a compelling science fiction read that turns the world we know upside down. Mia, a veteran soldier from the Iraq War, finds herself alone, afraid, and suffering from the after effects of combat, death, and loss when she happens upon a man in the backstreets of San Francisco getting mugged. She helps the stranger and before she knows it, she’s agreeing to help him train a band of potential freedom fighters.
Her recruiter left out one small detail… this place isn’t on Earth. It’s a parallel universe in which Earth has become the social opposite of what it is now. Instead of men being in charge, the entire society is ruled by women. And it’s not pretty. The men are slaves, they have no rights, and only exist to perpetuate the status quo of the oppressive matriarchal society.
Upon her arrival Mia meets an unlikely band of potential soldiers. They are all timid and fearful that she is like all the other women they know. And Mia is not really a person you’d like to know at this point. It took me a really long time to warm up to her because she was so cold and damaged from war. She is resistant to staying and helping these people. She just wants to go home. And of course, her recruiter, Vuri, is more than willing to take her home… except that handy wormhole device that brought here there is broken.
So Mia does what Mia does.. she deals.
This is Book One of the story and I have to admit, I was not all that taken with the world or the people. I’m not in to the submissive guy thing. 😉
But Book Two starts with another point of view – Eben. And Eben I very much enjoyed. Much more than Mia. I did warm up to her towards the end when she started acting human… but Eben carried this book in my opinion.
Eben appears as a worker in a mining camp and the time frame of the story has shifted forward several months. Mia’s now well-trained band of misfit men arrive to free the oppressed workers of the camp, and Eben has a little hero in him as they make their escape with the new resistance army led by Mia.
It’s through Eben’s eyes that we begin to see Mia in a different way and they even begin to develop a little bit of a romantic relationship. A little bit. There is not very much, and this was a disappointment. I wanted to see Mia as a softer person for once, but she really kept up her soldier persona throughout the whole book.
The ending is a little bit abrupt, but promises more to come. I enjoyed the original storyline once we get to Eben’s point of view, but parts of the initial Mia set up felt a little bit… obvious to me. It was so over the top opposite to how society is structured here in our world that there was almost a constant comparison going on. But the science was not bad. The theory behind parallel universes where every outcome is possible is a plausible explanation for space-time in theoretical physics today. And I enjoyed that the author did not elaborate on that point. There’s really nowhere to go and you end up painting yourself into a corner if you try.
Also, even though I felt Mia was a little harsh and rough for my tastes in a heroine, I felt the actual fighting scenes, the boot camp scenes, and other military aspects of her portrayal felt very authentic.
Across the Wire opens up some very intriguing questions and it ends with just enough mystery to keep the reader wanting more.
Four stars from me.
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