Review posted February 10, 2013. Buddy read with Jo and Lisa. Thanks, ladies. I never thought I'd be reading CitD in the first place, and I'm very sorry that I read it. It's safe to say the experiment failed big time. And I feel kinda glad and relieved that I didn't like it. For what's it worth, I've had an interesting discussion on my update threads even though I hated Caleb & the book.
Since it's entirely my bad that I considered giving this book a try I will refrain from rating it. Anyway, it's not relevant anymore but my rating would have been zero stars because one star is simply too much.
I was aware of the fact that I was not reading a romance. As it was, I was not even reading an erotica book. CitD is one seriously twisted and sick story.
Furthermore, I was aware of the fact that the heroine developed some kind of Stockholm's. Regardless, it doesn't make the book any less disturbing and I have every right to express a low opinion of a book. Also, I am very aware of the fact that this series has a huge fan community. To each their own and all that. It was definitely not my cuppa.
My review contains spoilers.
First let me say that I have read Special Forces: Soldiers Part I -Director's Cut
and I am surprised to admit that SF was a walk in the park compared to CitD. Maybe I feel this way because I'm a mother and I think that violence among men is bad enough, however, when it comes to society's weakest--women and children--then I give no quarter. Whatever the motives are, violence against women and children is completely and utterly inexcusable.
I don't understand why these kinds of books are receiving such great praise. Caleb is a sick, sadistic motherf@@@er and a killer. He is kidnapping girls and young women, he trains them and is selling them as pleasure slaves. The filthy swine beats the hell out of Olivia and does unspeakable things to her. Let's face it, we are not talking about a mild flogging. In fact, she was covered from neck to ankles in angry, red welts for days…days!
She almost fainted because it hurt so much. Whew. What an "anti-hero". It's beyond me why these kinds of books are labeled as dark erotica. Dark, yes. But what's erotic or sensual about CitD? Is rape erotic? I found the sex a total turn-off.
I find it quite disturbing that the main character is portrayedphysically
as every woman's dream man. He's written not as just as a main character or a protagonist, but as a hero.
Intentionally it seems by the author, to garner a connection, sympathy and even attraction to this anti-hero by readers. If the hero in CitD was in every way the same as Caleb, except
he was fat, ugly, smelly, hairy-aped bodily, bald with bad breath and toothless, would readers forgive him? It was very obvious that Livvie felt attracted to Caleb due to his physical attributes and it helped to develop Stockholm's.
There's no getting round it to wonder how real victims of slavery/human trafficking would feel after reading this series. What's their future prospect after being kidnapped? Their pathetic lives won't turn into something "romantic", they won't fall in love. If anything, they can expect severe abuse etc. and more than a few will die from AIDS.
Olivia felt lust, she craved his touch. Yeah, good Livvie has never had sex before and then he rapes her (even though she said "no", you'd almost think it's "not rape" when she "needs it to feel good" and she "can't prevent" it anyway), she takes him up her ass and comes several fu@@ing times! WTF? It's mind-boggling. Atonement and redemption
Rescuing his former kidnap victims is one step in the right direction (it will obviously happen in book 2). But.
That's only the beginning and not the end and definitely not good enough. I am a mother for Pete's sake! How would I react if my boys would have been kidnapped and raped? Do you honestly believe that I wouldn't want to bring the sick f@@@er to justice? I would want to see him suffer. I would want him to do prison time for a very, very long time. Seeking redemption is a positive start and then you go on a journey that will take years.
It's a long and difficult process and not something to take on lightly. Also, I am convinced there are criminals who can never find redemption in my eyes because some deeds are so vile and atrocious that can never be just forgiven. Without doubt Caleb belongs behind bars, he needs to be convicted for his evil deeds. Unfortunately, though, it's not going to happen.
Granted, there is Caleb's awful background. You don't have to be psychic to know why the author wrote such a background story. Hence, it's bound to happen that readers will feel sorry for him. This being said, where would we end up if we would excuse all those filthy crimes because the culprits suffered through something horrible in their childhood?
Anyway, back then I would have felt pity for the tormented boy but now he is an adult. I loathe him, I hate him. He is aware of the fact that he is hurting women. He knows he is a killer. And therefore he is accountable for his wrongdoing and I want him to assume responsibility. Regardless of his personal experiences he inflicts pain and does despicable things. More often than not I just wanted to wipe his sick smile off his face. Also, I can't hear the Kitten & Pet endearments anymore. Ugh. Besides, I didn't buy his being two-faced either. He beats the hell outta her and then he offers a gentle touch? WTF? Well, no wonder since he is so choleric, has a warped mind and has a serious case of anger management issues. The guy is a psycho and he needs to see a shrink subito.
The age of the heroine (she is 18) is very interesting. I suppose the age of consent in the States is 18. Hence, it would have been even more shocking if Caleb raped a heroine who was a minor. I don't want to say too much about her though (the repetitiveness of her being a "whore" got on my nerves after a while). Let's just say the more I read the less I actually liked her. Here are some interesting "quotes". I spoiler tagged them to shorten my review. Please read them.(view spoiler)
I'm not sure if I missed anything substantial but I don't get what Livvie's training involved. All I know is that Caleb forced her to address him as Master.
She had to crawl on the floor and he fed her. That's all I remember (of course there was the severe beating with the belt to break her mentally) but I know that's certainly not an "appropriate" training. Sheesh, I feel bad for writing "appropriate". Maybe the "training" happened off page? Anyway, I found the plot poor, the character development nonexistent and overall…I guess I have to stop now.
I know this is fiction but if the story loses touch with reality then let's just call it a fantasy novel because in real life the sicko would have been prosecuted. And last but not least I think books like CitD are a symptom of our times. Taboo sells. Sad.