I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by the author (self-published) on November 10th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Horror
Source: ARC from publisher
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For a price, the world’s most powerful people can explore their darkest desires. On a private island hidden in the ocean they may hunt humans for game, attend gladiator-style fights, participate in elaborate orgies, and freely indulge in all the deadly sins within the cosplay of ancient times.
Abducted from their life in Miami, Valoria and her younger sister wake up in this secret society, wherein Valoria is condemned to the fights and her sister is taken away to become a sex slave.
Now “property” of a sadistic tyrant, Valoria joins other men and women captives who are forced to fight and maim for others’ enjoyment, to run in their hunts, and participate in deviant fantasies. And she’s under the cold, watchful eye of Alexior, a hired trainer with his own agenda for being involved in the twisted decadence.
After surviving several near-death ordeals, a defiant Valoria focuses on her training and against all odds soon becomes a favorite. But she fights for one thing and one thing only—to be reunited with her sister and to be freed.
But promises of freedom are sometimes just manipulative lies . . .
This was one heck of a book. I don’t think my stomach ever stopped turning.
It’s as brutal as it sounds, and in fact worse, but not as bad as it could have been. It’s the most evil and sinful sort of society but I think Green is a bit lenient with it. (Well, as in serious injury and death count.) In any case, it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s creatively gory, pretty much throughout.
I did like all the secrets, lies, and manipulations. You never knew whether something would turn out to be good or bad, or better than something worse. Things turned out to be false later. Sometimes that was great news. Sometimes it was horrible but sort of good in a perverse way. Fun stuff!
There were tragedies, yes. A few. I came close to serious feels only perhaps twice. I’m just glad I didn’t know the characters enough to feel that sad. We learned enough to like but not enough to become completely invested in, which is good for this sort of book. Some people love being emotionally wrecked by books, but to tell you the truth, I’m a bit tired of it. I like my fairy tales and happy endings. (Then why am I reading a gore fest? Ha! I love them, that’s why.)
I liked Valoria. She was probably the best person to be in her position. She learned to toughen up just enough to be successful and powerful but she never lost her humanity and even when tragedy struck she didn’t become dead inside, like others did and like I would have done. It was admirable. I feel like it would be hard to be friends with her, but she was what they needed. The others felt appropriate as well, for what they were. They were all different—different reasons for doing what they did, different motivations, different personalities. Some were surprising.
Anyway, it was a good story. I liked it. It was long but not too long. And I was uneasy the whole time, but never overwhelmed by the gore. But there was always something new around the corner. You could never get comfortable. Still, it felt righteous.
reaction upon finishing
Wheeewwwww….*lets out long breath*
this book in one word