My rating: ❤❤ of 5!
In the end of the first book, Deadly Captive, Daederich and Lydia are out and about where Lydia sees a little boy. Lydia is praying she’s wrong in her assumption and I honestly didn’t catch on to what she was so freaked on about. Then the story finishes and the next one starts, with someone reading a children’s book to some kids. Because of the blanket of secrecy Bianca covers these books in, it takes a while to find out who’s POV we’re following. When I started this book, I expected that we’d be continuing Daederich and Lydia’s story. I wish I’d known upfront that that wasn’t the case, because my mind was all over the place trying to keep up; was it Lydia that had started over somewhere? Or are we without prior knowledge dealing with a new female lead? Let me spare you the same confusion: the hero and heroine of this book are Nicole and Vince.
It turns out that Cyrus is in the market for teachers to educate the kid that’s recently come into his care. Who’s the kid?
After they quieted, Cyrus continued. “As some of you might know, we’ve caught ourselves a prize. Daederich’s son. You’ve all heard of Daederich?”
This explains Lydia’s reaction from the ending of Deadly Captive. As it turns out Cyrus has acquired five teachers and have them compete against each other, for the three teaching spots for Alrik. At first Vince and Cyrus leads Nicole to believe, that it depends on who Alrik likes, however, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Obviously, there’s no entertainment value in that, and Cyrus has not abandoned his old sadistic and sociopathic games.
Nicole’s story really starts when she sees a fellow teacher, and clubbing partner in crime, getting her throat sliced.
Following that she’s abducted and raped over and over by some very strong men. Having already read the first book I assumed her captors were vampires. What I didn’t expect was exactly how depraved and delusional Nicole is. I don’t know if the aim was to portray her as a strong woman who’s survived a very unpleasant past, but that’s definitely not how she came across for me. Just like Lydia she lacks self-control and only care about her own well-being when Vince is playing nice with her.
“Don’t talk about me as though I’m not here.” Will you shut up?
My eyes teared with frustration, but I couldn’t stop myself. Not with Vince acting exactly as he had before. “I did what you asked. I-“
The back of Vince’s hand cracked into my cheek. “You do not have permission to speak.”
What really rubbed me the wrong way was that even after Cyrus and Vince feed on her, she still refuses to acknowledge that they’re not human. Seriously, this woman is all over the place. One minute she’s willing to die to protect Alrik, the next she’s willing to die because Vince doesn’t love her… that’s not strong! That’s weak, confusing and just annoying. Actually, her need for Vince reminds me more of a sad case of Stockholm syndrome than anything else. So just for my own personal research, I looked up the definition:
Stockholm syndrome is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity. These feelings, resulting from a bond formed between captor and captives during intimate time spent together, are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims. Generally speaking, Stockholm syndrome consists of “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.”
1. Cognitive: confusion; blurred memory; refusal to accept the reality of events; recurring flashbacks.
2. Emotional: lack of feeling; fear; helplessness; hopelessness; aggression; depression; guilt; dependence on captor; development of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
3. Social: anxious; irritable; cautious; estrangement
4. Physical: increase in effects of pre-existing conditions; development of health conditions due to possible restriction from food, sleep, or exposure to outdoors
Considering that Nicole possesses at least three of the four symptoms on the list, I’d say that this explains her behaviour way better than love does.
Vince is one of Cyrus’ guards. When they abduct Nicole she’s given to Vince, so he can train her as his pet. But Vince is constantly fighting his inner demons; what he’s been taught by Cyrus and what he knows is the right thing to do. As we get to learn about his past, I guess his moral compass does make some kind of sense. However, to me it seemed farfetched that Nicole is the trigger for him starting to do the right thing. I get why, well more like it’s literally spelled out in the book, but except for professions I can’t see how she could remind him of his own teacher. She didn’t seem as depraved and F up as Nicole is.
Because the two books are from the POV of the heroine’s we don’t know much about Cyrus, besides from him being one seriously twisted son of a female dog.
“It truly amazes me how easily you can delude yourself into believing I actually give a shit.” Cyrus chuckled
However, that’s getting a bit old now. Obviously, there’s more to him and I sincerely hope that Bianca will provide some much-needed answers in the third and final book. Like what made him become what he is now? Why did he cast aside his favourite pet and give her to someone else to kill? Why Lydia?
These books lack a lot of character and world building.
All the characters seem interesting when they start out, however, with no progress and very sparing information about them, it’s extremely hard to connect with them! Which unfortunately means that I didn’t really care whether they survived or not. Personally, I found that reading this book was like walking down a pitch-black hallway with only a small candle to light up exactly where you are. No hint of light behind or in front of you, only right where you stand. And even then, that light is not too bright.
Have you read the book? Thinking about reading it? Comment and let me know.