The Protector (Men of the North #1) by Elin Peer
Romance | Science Fiction
Released July 6, 2017
Goodreads | Amazon
The Protector is a book that is way out of my comfort zone because it’s a smutty romance novel, which I don’t read very often. I was in the mood for some romance, though, and found this book for free on Kindle Unlimited.
This is the first book in a ten-book series set in a futuristic dystopian world recovering from a devastating war. The inhabitable parts of the world are split in half, one half being the Motherland and the other being called the Northlands.
The Motherland is ruled entirely by women, a decision that was made due to their belief that World War III was caused by men. The story is set 400 years into the future, and the war left much of the planet completely uninhabitable. The Motherland is pacifistic, vegan, and people no longer enter into marriages or paired relationships. Men living in the Motherlands tend to be small and docile, with many “feminine” qualities.
Then we have the Northlands. In the Motherlands, it is against the law to visit the Northlands or possess photos of the “Nmen” who live there. The Northlands are inhabited almost entirely by men, with only a few women. Whereas men in the Motherlands are small and docile, men in the Northlands are strong, eat meat, hunt, and have more traditional views on relationships (some of which are outdated by even our standards).
Our main character, Christina Sanders, is an archaeologist who convinces her government to let her enter the Northlands to excavate the remains of a library. When she arrives, she is given a bodyguard, as the ruler of the Northlands knows it will be difficult to protect her in a land where women are scarce. However, Christina is horrified to find that she has to choose her “protector” after men fight to the death to be considered for the position. She chooses Alexander Boulder, one of the most prominent men in the kingdom and a very successful businessman (although we never learn much about what he does in the book). In order to remain in the Northlands to excavate, she is forced to marry Alexander.
Now that we have the plot out of the way, let’s get into my thoughts on the book. While there were definitely some very, very steamy scenes in the book, I just couldn’t get behind this novel. The world-building was weak at best, the characters were all walking cliches, and the sexism was so blatant that I was barely able to get through it.
In the Motherlands, men are docile and delicate (I know I keep using that word docile, but I seriously have no other word to describe them), and due to their lack of masculinity, women no longer enjoy sex. Also, women now rule the world entirely because they believe men to be unfit for ruling and are too warlike and brutish. Christina is swept off her feet by Alexander because she’s never been turned on by a man before. The gender stereotypes were so annoying and off-putting and were such a big part of the book that I had to force myself to finish reading it.
The main characters all act like children and none of them are at all believable. Much of the book was predictable and boring.
I just can’t recommend this book. There have got to be better dystopian romances out there. If you know of any, please leave your recommendations in the comments!