(Warning: For mature audiences only)
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 . . .
“No one is ever really free . . . “
WOW!!!! That’s all I can say about this action-packed thriller. Although I adored the blurb, I wasn’t sure the author will deliver, but she truly did. It’s one of those dark books that make you think and leave you with a sense of unease.
Vanquished tells the story of Valoria, not the heroine’s real name, and her quest to find her sister an ultimately escape from the place she’s held captive in. It’s not an easy task and Valoria has to do anything in her power to survive – that includes fighting till death and even more gruesome acts. Here she forms unexpected friendships, with people who in the end might just help her with her final mission.
I loved Valoria – she’s a strong character who doesn’t need a man to guide her through this journey, but a collection of characters, every each one playing an important part in her development. Alexior, Sera, Ignatius, Camilla and the others all have their roles in this book and I enjoyed reading about them. But ultimately, it was Valoria and her stubbornness that made me love this book. No matter what life threw at her she fought against it and in the end was a true victor.
The writing was amazing – it flowed naturally, there was a good balance between the action packed scenes and the descriptive ones. I felt like I was on that island with the characters, I could picture every single building, hole, tree and I just wish there was more books like this.
Vanquished is not for the faint of heart. It’s a story about a girl’s journey of self discovery in a twisted environment where there are no rules for the rich and where people like her are always dispensable. Through the power of love she survived day in and day out and in the end that’s what drove her to her final act of valor. She might just be one of my all time favorite heroines and that’s saying a lot.
***ARC received in exchange for an honest review
S. E. Green (aka Shannon Greenland) is the award winning author of the teen thriller, Killer Instinct, a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers; the teen spy series, The Specialists, an ALA Popular Paperback and a National Reader’s Choice recipient; and the YA romance, The Summer My Life Began, winner of the Beverly Hills Book Award. Her books have been translated into several languages and are currently on numerous state reading lists. Vanquished is her debut novel for adults.
Shannon grew up in Tennessee where she dreaded all things reading and writing. She didn’t even read her first book for enjoyment until she was twenty-five. After that she was hooked! When she’s not writing, she works as an adjunct math professor and lives on the coast in Florida with her very grouchy dog. Find her online everywhere @segreenauthor.
5 eCopies of Vanquished
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