Those books epitomize the two different styles of dark captive books I've read over the years. Recently CaroleDee over at www.bittenbyromance.com recommended I try out Bianca Sommerland's Deadly Captive book. This book lands into a completely different category that falls between twisted fantasy and psychological thriller. The land of shock value. It's kind of like the difference between the movies Fatal Attraction, Seven, and Saw. They're all intriguingly messed up, but in different ways.
Deadly Captive has a jumpy flow and I had a few meh moments in the first half of the book. I waffled on whether or not I wanted to share this book until I read the second in the series.
Why? Well, I rarely ever recommend something I rate 3-3.5 stars. I'm recommending it anyways. Even though I would give the first book in the series a 3.5 star rating, it was enough to make me want to read the next book in the series. Book 2 Collateral Damage, was a solid 4 star for me. The writing and plot, in the second book, flowed a lot more smoothly and made up for the things I felt the first book lacked.
Deadly Captive by Bianca Sommerland
Lydia awakes as if for the first time. Chained down and blind, she doesn't know who she is, where she is, or how she got there. A man's whispered instructions are the only thing keeping her alive.
She and her cellmate are being held captive. They are forced to perform in front of an audience, who have a taste for the extreme. Will they be able to keep each other alive and escape the hell they are living?
From the first page, no punches are pulled. I went from intrigued to knotted stomach, to aroused, back to knotted stomach. The things they are put through are rough and like I said before, the flow is a bit jumpy. There are things in the plot that I felt may have just been added for shock value and to keep things moving. It was around these points in this story I felt 'meh', but I kept going because I really wanted to know where Bianca Sommerland was going with it all.
Lydia and Joe are really put through some shit. And the strange thing is, they don't always see it coming. Lydia is strong one minute, falling apart the next. Joe seems ageless and all knowing one minute, young and reckless the next. Then the second half of the story he seems much older but lacking reason. I really felt for them in the first half of the story, but often wondered where their common sense had gone.
On the other side of that, they are being held by some twisted individuals. Joe and Lydia continually have to make choices under duress, so they aren't thinking clearly. Their captors enjoy batting them around and keeping them thrown off balance. They're inner strength and perseverance is amazing.
I still have mixed feeling about Joe and Lydia. I love them, I feel bad for them, I want to smack them, I want to cheer for them. I still look forward to seeing more from them.
Also, the book turned out to be a vampire book. I was shocked. I guess my first clue should have been that it was a recommend from someone with a blog named Bitten By Romance.
I'm a little embarrassed to say, I was quite a ways into the book before I figured it out. I'm not sure if the vampire thing is supposed to be a surprise or not. It felt like a fact we the reader were suppose to already know.
This was my first Bianca Sommerland, is she a vampire writer? There is a great warning label for this book on ARe. No where in the big old warning label was their a book contains vampirism. Nothing on her site or book descriptions says anything about vampires.
After I read the book, I read the book reviews. THEN I saw the 2 star review from the girl that was shitty pissed she got sucked into reading a vampire book. LOL
I imagine her reaction kind of went like this
I didn't mind it, nor hold it against the book. I thought it added to the story. Especially in Book 2 Collateral Damage. So, I can't speak for Bianca Sommerland's other series, but his one contains some vampires.
Now for the great warning via ARe...
Warning: This book contains material not suitable for readers under 18. (understatement) While there are aspects of BDSM, in several scenes, most are dubious/non consensual. This book contains situations that some may find disturbing, including torture and rape which is part of the story not meant for titillation. (trust me, it's not sexy and it is disturbing) This book contains violence, sex, and blood, among other things. Reader discretion is advised.
Collateral Damage by Bianca Sommerland
When Nicole is kidnapped things go from bad to worse. Her will to survive and escape stems from her need to free the child she is in charge of teaching. If she were only left to teaching and caring for him things would be easier. She's constantly tormented and tested.
With her captors always one step a head, who can she trust, how will she survive, and save the child?
Collateral Damage made up for all the issues I had with the first book. I still ran the gambit of emotions, but it didn't have the same chaotic edge. The flow felt organic, and all the characters had a more two dimensional feel to them. There was a consistency in this story I appreciated.
You get a lot more connecting points from the characters in this story. Back stories of pain and survival let us the reader see who these characters were, and what shaped them. We also get a lot more from Cyrus, our villain, in this story. In Deadly Captives, he's very one dimensional. In book one he seemed more like the head gamemaker from Hunger Games. In this second book, he's front and center. He's not just a sadistic villain, he's smart and deadly in a way that shouldn't be underestimated.
Although Nicole and Vince are put through a lot, they don't suffer even half as badly as Lydia and Joe in book one. Although there is much of the same rough stuff, that makes this book truly dark, it's not nearly as shocking as the things that happen in the first book. I believe I'd feel that way even if I read this book first. Vince knows Cyrus in a way Joe didn't, and he's also in Nicole's head from the get-go. They were able to get to a place of absolute trust more quickly because of this.
I loved, loved Nicole and Vince. Really enjoyed their story. This book ties everything together, and gives us more insight into the captor's world we only got a glimpse of in Deadly Captive. I have lots of questions I hope get answered about first and second and third tier, and how everything like that works. I'm looking forward to more from all the characters and seeing where the story is taken.
The End, the last installment of this trilogy, is due in Early 2014. It's early 2014 now. I'm ready!! Bianca Sommerland hasn't updated her site, so I've got my fingers crossed she's in her writing chair putting the finishing touches on this bad boy.
Okay, there isn't a warning for this book, which is silly. There should be. So, I'm going to do a made to order for this one.
Warning: This book contains material not suitable for readers under 18. This book contains situations that some may find disturbing, including rape, seriously rapey rape not meant for titillation. Also quite a bit of the dubious consent. BDSM, that is consensual but doesn't really start out that way. This book contains violence, sex, and blood, among other things. (the fact that there is an 'among other things' you should find disturbing) Reader discretion is advised.
Thank You Bianca Sommerland!
For more from Bianca Sommerland please visit her @http://www.im-no-angel.com/