Consequences Volume 1 Aleatha Romig
I honestly debated reviewing this book for a few reasons - First, it's outside of my typical reading genere. Second, I'm still kinda reeling from the story. And, finally, I don't know how exactly I should rate it.
Let me explain.
This story is powerful. It's deeply moving and very emotional. And, it's completely horrific.
So, on one hand, it deserves five stars for being so good, but on the other hand, I might sleep better if I had just passed this one by. So, I am rating it 4 stars... because I did like the story even while I hated it. And, I will read the sequel, because I need to know good will triumph over evil. (SEE UPDATE)
Basically, stockholm syndrome is the name of the game here and it was intense. (I was not kidding when I said I think I need therapy.) Prepare yourself for a psychological roller coaster. Obviously, I have not experienced stockholm syndrome myself, but I can imagine that Claire's story would be exactly how awful it could be. And, the author makes us feel it right along with her. Although, many of the horrible things he does to her are not discussed in great detail (something I am very grateful for) it is plenty enough to understand and feel. Anthony was just so hard to read.. In some ways he reminded me of Ed Norton's character in the movie Primal Fear. You never knew (until the very end) which side of him was real. He used every tool imaginable to essentially make Claire lose herself - physically, mentally, and emotionally. Claire was going through the story always on edge, always walking on eggshells, but luckily always managing to make it thorough.
It's difficult to talk about the ending without giving it all away. But, I will say you learn a lot about his motivations in Claire's kidnapping and his life in general. It was a swift transition, but I think it was meant to be. The whole nothing to lose thing stuck with me quite a bit.
After much thought, I decided this book deserves 5 stars not the 4 I gave it originally. The book is very well written and I don't think it's fair for me to remove a star based on my own sense of unsettlement when that is exactly how the author (masterfully) intended it.