By: Hayley Green
Imagine a world where women rule over men. Men are slaves, sold at auctions for their skills or as breeders. They are controlled by a drug that makes them freeze in fear, and women have Hysterical Strength, something stronger than men’s strength. It kicks in when women feel threatened.
That is the world Jamie Schulz has created in her book Jake’s Redemption. It follows the story of Jake Nichols, a man who is captured and treated like a slave. He is skilled in construction and ranching because of his friend, who managed to escape when Jake was captured.
After two years of being abused by one of the most powerful women in his section of the world, Darla Cain, he is offered a deal. He can get a temporary escape from Darla’s clutches to act as a foreman on a separate ranch after their foreman had an unfortunate accident.
He agrees, albeit reluctantly. There he meets Monica Avery, the owner of the ranch he will be working for. He is attracted to her but fights his attraction, afraid she is like Darla. But he comes to see she is nothing like Darla, and they start to fall in love.
This story is a great one and is relevant to our times. It takes how women are often treated in today’s world, exaggerates it a small fraction, and applies that treatment to men and puts women in power. It’s fascinating and made me think about equality and revenge and what each of these terms would really mean in practice in today’s world.
My one quip about this story is the structure. The pacing for the last few chapters was a bit languid because of the way it was structured. The main conflict was solved earlier in the book so the last few chapters were just wrapping up some subplots and setting up for the next book in the series. It made it a little hard to want to finish the book because I knew everything I wanted to know about the main plot.
The characters were authentic and their reactions seemed real and logical to me. I loved the way the characters interacted with each other and the way the book tackled some hard issues and elicited strong emotions for me.
Overall, I would recommend this book, if you don’t mind some languid wrap up for the last three or four chapters. It is relevant to our times and makes me think about the way women are treated in today’s world and what could be in the future.
An interesting mix of genres, this book combines dystopian, western, post apocalyptic, and romance, but it works.