Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Rayn Mirago Series by B. D. Messick

The Rayn Mirago series consists of four books written by B. D. Messick.

1.  Sojourn: The Wildlands, 2015
2.  Sojourn: The Deadlands, 2016
3.  Sojourn: The Beastlands, 2016
4.  Sojourn: Enclave, 2017

In Sojourn: The Wildlands, the oceans have risen, and the world's climate has been destroyed.  The United States has fallen, and five cities remain as enclaves:  Las Vegas, Spokane, Dallas, Chicago, and Atlanta.  The rest of the former nation is in ruin.  Rayn Mirago lives in the Las Vegas enclave and is about to turn 17.  Teens are forced to leave their enclave at 17 and must sojourn to another enclave, which is chosen by lottery.  Only the strong will survive the sojourn, so this practice keeps the remaining population strong.  Teens are forced to go to another enclave so that the population will remain diverse.

In the lottery, Rayn ends up with the Atlanta token in her lottery.  As she leaves Las Vegas, she says goodbye to her parents, knowing that she will never see them again.  A couple of days into Rayn's journey, she is joined by Luk, who left before his birthday so that he could join her.

In Sojourn: The Deadlands, Rayn and Luk continue their journey through what was once Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri.  This part of the country is desert with dangerous hybrid creatures and vicious wind storms.  The teens are captured by members of a dangerous cult run by an insane man named Jacob.  An important character dies, and Rayn is consumed by hatred.  Rayn and Luk reach Graceland, where they stay with a group of people who are fugitives from Jacob.

In Sojourn: The Beastlands, Rayn and Luk depart from Graceland for Atlanta.  The rumors are that Atlanta has fallen, but Rayn wants to find out the truth.  She also wants to seek revenge against Jacob.  Alee sneaks away from Graceland to join Rayn and Luk.  The group soon consists of four after the teens encounter Trace during their journey.  The teens fight through the jungles of Mississippi and Alabama as they slowly get closer to Atlanta.

In Sojourn: Enclave, Rayn, Luk, Alee, and Trace reach the final stages of their journey into Atlanta.  Once the teens reach Atlanta, they face their final showdown with Jacob.

The romance is excessively overdone in this series and is not believable most of the time.  Rayn and Luk are constantly kissing, touching, giving each other seductive looks, and admiring each other's bodies.  They even stop to do this in the middle of dangerous scenes or right after nearly getting killed.  The kissing and ogling of each other is extreme and obnoxious.

I enjoy romance when done properly, but the romance is not developed right in these books.  It's nauseating.  Each time Rayn and Luk began their antics, I coped by quickly skimming over as many paragraphs as needed to get past the smooching.  Yuck.

The romance is somewhat less obnoxious by the third and fourth books, but it is still excessive and annoying in those books.

I was really bothered about Luk's token in the first book.  I knew instinctively that he probably did not get Atlanta as his destination, but Rayn accepts that he did without even asking.  How stupid.  The topic was ignored for the entire first book, and I considered it rather important.  I was bothered about the token the entire time, and I would have been less bothered if Rayn had even considered the possibility of Luk not having the same token.  Instead, Rayn smooches with Luk constantly instead of thinking about this rather important detail

It was not until page 69 of the second book that Rayn finally asks about Luk's token.  Oddly, she accepts his lame answer and doesn't begin questioning his story until later.

Aside from the annoying romance, this is a rather good dystopian series.

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