The year: 2157 The mission: change everything
The Unit: Democratic State Force Base 1407 Call handle: The Wildcards
Seven Corporations control what was the United States of America. The food supply and its production is controlled by American AgCo. All agricultural seeds in the United States have been genetically designed to fail outside Corporate control.
At least, that’s what the Corporations say.
There’s a rumor that a seed bank has survived the destabilization that brought down old America, and the seventy-five years of Corporate ownership that followed. If it still exists, it would provide free, accessible food for the Democratic State Force and everyone in their care. It’s a risky hunt for a treasure that may or may not exist. Something to put the most resourceful team in the Force to work on. The Wildcards just got the call.
A hunt for hidden treasure.
What could go wrong?
Never ask that question. Life’s a bitch. She’ll answer.
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Ace, Bisexual, Gay, Non Binary, Polyamorous, Transgender
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 3 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Class Differences, Coming Home, Cultural Differences, Healing Power of Sex
Setting: near-future Colorado
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
I got hooked on this series last year. These books take place in an alternate universe, post-fracture United States where huge corporations have become dictatorships in place of a central government. Freedom fighters who cling to a democratic way of life are working to bring down the system, hacking supplies, intelligence, and equipment in order to survive and stay hidden.
WOW. This was probably the most incredible, brutal adventure yet and I had to stop reading to catch my breath a couple of times. I thought for a minute, aww, this is going to be a welcome character development book with a minor adventure at first, but then BANG! (cue O.E. Tearmann’s maniacal laughter: YOU ONLY THOUGHT THIS WAS GONNA BE EASY, HAMILL.)
One of the things I love the most about this series are the characters’ relationships with each other. They truly are a team, a family, and are inextricably meshed cogs in a machine that might fall apart if any one element is removed. They work so well together because they believe in each other, support each other, and give tough love when it’s needed.
O.E. Tearmann (actually a team of talented writers) unflinchingly faces the reality of chronic, severe depression seen through Aidan’s eyes in all these books. There’s no magic pill even in the future to make it go away despite the medical miracles Corporate technology can provide, and I think that is a huge thing to acknowledge. The understanding no one can, or should, go through it alone is important here. It takes a community to heal, whether that community be blood or found family.
The diversity of the cast is not just apparent in cultural and LGBTQIA representation, but in neurodivergent characters as well. I am so excited to see hacker Tweak settling into her new family and growing with the help of medications and counseling.
With all these subtly nuanced characters, Tearmann creates a compelling, breathlessly exciting series of books which have not yet failed to disappoint me. I especially loved the interlude in a pagan community in the mountains. If Coomb Olwen is taking applications for residency, sign me up. And OMG. The end. ALL THE FEELS. Somebody read these so we can squee together.
While this book took a bit of a different track, I personally think Tearmann is just lulling us with a false sense of security until they rip my heart out and staple it back together again. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the Wildcards’ next installment.