I'm no stranger to books that have dark, depressing circumstances--I read [b:Break Her|16049218|Break Her|B.G. Harlen|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1349715284s/16049218.jpg|21830599] and was absolutely enthralled by it in its entirety--enthralled by the lead female's unbreakable spirit and unflinching drive to persevere out of horrific circumstances. She showed spirit, she fought, then she was cowed, and beaten, broken and knew when to keep her mouth shut. She also knew how to bide her time while constantly looking for opportunities.
Olivia didn't accomplish that for me. I'd have liked to see Olivia fighting for herself. Rip pipes out of the walls from the sink or the shower (or try to), peel back the plaster with only her fingernails (or try to), take a spring from the mattress and use it as a garrotte or something! Something more than biting, kicking, screaming and crying. I wanted resourceful. I wanted machinations and scheming! Is that too much to ask? She took the first opportunity presented (which, maybe she wouldn't get another one!), but it was harebrained and ill-planned. She took a gun, a coat and ran. Cars? Cash? Capital to trade with? I can't remember, did she go through his wallet? I wish she would have!
I thought at some point, give some opinions from reviewers I follow, I would start sympathizing with Caleb. I never did.
He has this dynamic, tragic past that lends him depth and credence behind his hatred. But the waffling! Lo, the waffling!! If you're going to be evil, be evil. Then while still being evil, have some regrets. Then after the regrets, QUIT BEING EVIL! He hurts her, he pleases her, beats her, bathes her, strips her. In between all this, she gets some notions about him, starting to find things she likes about him. I can understand this in a twisted sense, I can even get behind it (fantasy, eh?), and then she starts comparing her captivity between captors: Biker/Bartender Tiny and Captor Caleb. The company of one tries to rape her, whereas the other DOES accomplish this. Guess who she prefers the company of. Caleb...the rapist, but its okay because he always takes care of her afterward. Yes, she actually says this.
The vicious cycle carried no emotion for me simply because my suspension of belief was just not great enough this time (and I'm fairly easy to please! See how this still got 3 stars, eh?).
I may pick up the 2nd novel just to see if her vindictive, bestial half takes over just to lay it on Caleb a bit. I'd love to see that.