Review: Collateral Damage
Collateral Damage by Bianca Sommerland
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This time, Nicole Reed is the victim to Cyrus's sadistic and sociopathic games. Nicole was happily teaching young kids when she is suddenly kidnapped. The goal is to have her compete with 4 other teachers for the 3 teaching spots for the little boy, Alrik. Who is Alrik? This comes out a little bit later.
Vince is one of the guards who takes a liking to Nicole. His interaction with her is odd. In fact this entire story is odd. The lack of world building is what brings this story down. If the first book in this series is not read, the reader would be beyond clueless. Even with the first in this series read, the reader may still be confused.
While it is understandable that a kidnapped victim wouldn't know what is going on, and the point of view is from Nicole, it is still expected to have some information revealed. The information about this world is so stingily provided that it makes the reader question if the Ms. Sommerland created what this world is supposed to be. Basically, it's as if we are watching a play with neither stage nor props. This makes it difficult for the reader to connect with the story.
The characters in the story are okay. I never really felt much for Nicole. It is a good thing she was a preschool type teacher otherwise her desire to save Alrik would have made no sense. No one is that altruist to the point of allowing themselves to be killed. At least no one who isn't related to the child. The supposition that Nicole possessed such a strong desire to save a child is what held the book together. Vince is a character who is not well developed either. He's more of a puppet for Cyrus. He seems to have ulterior motives but it doesn't really mesh with his actions. His sudden epiphany of right versus wrong does not ring true.
This tale's focus is not on character, plot or world building. Instead, it is a torture's fantasy of rape and mutilation with erotic undertones. It's a dark fantasy and as long as this is understood, the story is fine. The title of the book, Collateral Damage is appropriate. This book is recommended for dark erotic fantasy lovers who enjoy a bit of torture.
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