(Black Lotus, book 1)
They say when you take revenge against another you lose a part of your innocence.
But I'm not innocent.
I haven't been for a very long time.
My innocence was stolen from me. Taken was the life I was supposed to have. The soul I was born with. The ruby heart embedded in a life full of hopes and dreams.
I never even had a choice.
I mourn that life. Mourn the what-ifs.
I'm ready to take back what was always meant to be mine.
But every plan has a fatal flaw. Sometimes it's the heart.
*Due to the dark and explicit nature of this book, it is recommended for mature audiences only.*
Jesus H Christ. This book was a mess.
I’m still slightly unsure of how to review this novel, but I guess I’ll just throw some of my thoughts at the wall and see if they stick.
I don’t want to discount the quality of writing, so let’s just address this right off the bat. E.K. Blair clearly has a way with words, and her writing style has a real way of drawing you into the story. In my opinion, Bang is a novel that you probably should go into blind. So, when I decided to give this book a shot, I braced myself and took the plunge thinking I would be just fine. But holy fucking Moses, there is nothing in the world that could have prepared me for this dumpster fire of a story. And by that, I simply mean the plight of these characters; not the writing. So as much as I urge readers to avoid spoiler reviews before reading Bang, I don’t think it’s a spoiler to just warn you of the substantial amount of child abuse that will test your limits. Well, at least it tested mine.
So, as intriguing as this storyline was, it’s no surprise that the nature of some of the content was painfully difficult to trudge through; I wish I had known ahead of time just how deep into the despicable depths of Hell this story would drag me. It made me feel incredible sympathy for “Nina” and Pike, and also made me physically nauseous. As much as I was completely immersed in the plot, I continually had to take breaks during certain chapters just to give my mind, my emotions, and my stomach a break. It’s…rough. But a part of me just had to know how all of this played out, so I kept reading; I wanted some closure for these characters.
And then something unexpected happened.
I got bored. Like, super bored. After about the halfway mark, I felt like the story started to drag, and every chapter was essentially the same series of events with the same conversations. I started skimming around 75% and let me just tell y’all something…there was a plot point during my skim sesh that made me legitimately annoyed.
The severity of my eye roll to that nonsense was out of this world. One other part of the story that blew my mind (and not in a good way) happened around 83%. It not only grossed me out, but it somehow made me laugh at the same time, I’m guessing just because it was so ridiculous. I think it was supposed to be sexy or intimate or I don’t even know what...but no. No, no, no.
Why would he do that? WHY? And a better question, why would she not freak the fuck out when she realized what was going on?! I have no answers, but there is only one thing I can say about that little “event”…NO. JUST NO. Around 90% is when I stopped skimming, and although the last few chapters felt a little rushed, they were some of the best throughout the entire book.
As far as characters go, the only one I actually liked was Bennett. The rest…meh. “Nina” had my sympathy during her childhood years, but as an adult she had no redeeming qualities. And her whole motive for revenge – I don’t buy it. That’s the reason she went through years of planning this elaborate con?? Because of that?? Oh, okay.
Declan didn’t really do much for me, I could take him or leave him. Pike…I felt for him the same way I did for “Nina” while reading through their foster home years, and he tugged at my heart a few times during his adult years, but not enough to make me have any kind of emotional commitment to him.
So, all in all…Bang didn’t blow me away like I had hoped. I do commend E.K. Blair for writing a story like this, because that takes balls. A storyline of this nature is a risk, and clearly it’s one that paid off considering I am in the minority with my thoughts on this novel. Will I read the sequel? Probably; the cliffhanger at the end has my mind reeling a little bit, and I need answers. If you like dark, gritty books, this would be right in your wheelhouse but just know…dark and gritty is in my wheelhouse too, and it was tough for me to get through. So, if you need someone to hold your hand afterwards, you know where to find me.