How I felt about Ryo before reading this:
How I feel about Ryo now:
How I felt about Christian before reading this:
How I feel about Christian now:
I knew about the pedos going into this. It did not prepare me for the pedos in this. These are not alpha males. These are a bunch of creepy, rapey sociopaths. Their thoughts and insinuations towards the FOURTEEN YEAR OLD female lead were disgusting. Their words and actions towards the FOURTEEN YEAR OLD female lead were deplorable.
And you know what really made me ragey? That I saw it. But Dani didn’t. This is a young woman raised on violence and bred by monsters. She hasn’t experienced enough human emotion to fully comprehend it. And because she’s still a child in so many ways, she doesn’t even understand what these degenerates are doing to her.
We learned in the first five books of this series that Dani is transparent. We know that she uses her bravado like a shield. But the people that surround her are master manipulators. They see through her faulty disguise to the scared, lonely girl beneath. And they exploit the shit out of her.
They use her loneliness against her. They try to make her feel needed, wanted, when really all they’re trying to do is control her. They talk dirty to her because they know that she so badly wants to be an adult, and adults have sex and talk dirty to each other all the time, right? In her mind, yes. Which they know. And use against her. Like everything else.
When Dani realizes she’s being exploited and refuses to go along with their bullshit, they force her. They physically manhandle her into doing things, they mindfuck her into them, or they use her weaknesses against her and manipulate her into the same. And they lie to her about it. They make it seem like its Dani’s fault that they have to do these things to her.
“I won’t ever hurt you unless you make me, Dani.”
“Control your temper or you’ll kill her. You. We’re merely the weapon by which she’ll die.”
These are just a few examples. They do it to her constantly. So fuck you, Ryo, you abusive asshole. Way to completely victimize a FOURTEEN YEAR OLD. You’re such a big bad man.
The fact that this asshole is ALWAYS the one with the power was just the icing on the cake. Dani makes ALL the concessions. Instead of offering to help her do something, Ryo forces her to ask him. AND THEN WHEN SHE DOES, HE DOESN’T HELP HER. Instead of giving Dani a choice, he bullies her into things. Every interaction between them drove me bugfuck. I will never enjoy reading about someone breaking another person. And that’s really what this was.
And before someone tries to tell me that there was a reason, that it was necessary because of things, lemme just call bullshit. Mac never had to break Dani. Mac was kind to her, built her up while teaching her lessons. And she got much better results than this mother fucker.
It wasn’t all bad. I liked the plot. I liked the mystery and the action and the world. And I liked Dani. Even with the fecks and the dudes and the exclamation points. Even with the swagger and the conceit. I like her because I get her. I understand what makes her tick now, whereas in Fever she was just an annoying little shit. I especially liked how much she grew as a character from the beginning of this book to the end of it.
If it hadn’t been for all the whatthefuckpedophilia and how much I hate Ryo and Christian even aside from that, I think I would have given this four stars. But because of it, I can’t. BECAUSE IT WAS FUCKING EVERYWHERE. JUST WHEN I THOUGHT SHIT WOULD CALM DOWN, SOMETHING FUCKING OOGY WOULD HAPPEN.
Disappointment. I haz one.