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 as some scenes may be particularly disturbing.**
Our Review:One thing is certain, E.K. Blair does not shy away from anything in her writing. She grabs your face and forces you to see the ugliness of people, of the world, even as it's wrapped in other things...beauty, fear, hate, love...and as you are recoiling in horror at what you see, you read more. You think to yourself, surely there is redemption, goodness, hope..? You keep reading to try to find your way out of the grimness that you've found yourself in.
We aren't the type to shy away from dark and twisty books, or the realness that comes with it...but to say that this won't probably make you a bit uncomfortable might be an understatement. It is very uncomfortable...So. Very. Dark. But it was beautifully written, even when I wanted to strangle the characters or change what was in the past, present or future for them. Like Shelley said, E.K. has this ability to make these characters seem so very real...and hot damn, The Black Lotus series will be a very hard one to forget.
We've been asked to be very careful about how to word our review because it would be really easy to ruin a reader's experience with an inadvertent detail here or there..and I agree. If we go too far into character or plot description, it would eventually lead to spoilers. So what that means is that we will focus on some other things instead. Indeed. I was thinking from the beginning that the description left something to be desired. But every single detail, character, and revelation are ones that must be unfolded with each turn of the page. Whew. Sorry, that explanation sucks, but I almost have no words still how I feel about this.
1. Pay attention to the warning. I absolutely, 100% believe that if you are easily triggered by disturbing scenes, you should think long and hard before you read this novel. This may not be the novel for you. Some of the scenes are graphic and made up of things beyond anyone's worst nightmare. If you decide to read this...steel yourself and be prepared to take breaks. That is a fair warning, and assessment. There were times that I had to put it down. Step away. Then come back with a fresh mind.
2. Notice in the title that this is a series..and that this is book #1. I haven't seen a release date for #2 ..or #3 so you should know going in that you're going to have to wait to see WTF happens next. And..you will definitely have a WTF happens next moment..If you're like us, you'll be having a lot of theories pop up. I for one have had an absolute blast trying to talk it through with Shelley and Tarah and decide what we all think will happen next. So much fun!
3. If you decide to read Bang after knowing about the two things just mentioned, you may feel like I did, which was conflicted. Without going into the plot, I'll say that I sometimes hated myself for continuing to read this because I wondered if I was somehow implicitly glorifying the unpleasantness, de-valuing the lives of people who have lived what our protagonist has lived through and I would never want to do that. Sometimes I wanted to push the protagonist to do more (both the good and the bad). Sometimes I felt deeply pained for the parties involved. Gosh...when I look at all of the emotions, very few are even remotely happy. Those happy moments..well, just grab on to them tightly.
Just like our experience with Fading I don't think we, or E.K, will have devaluing or pitying thoughts toward anyone who has experienced what any of her characters have been through. There is strength in the struggle, and an extreme realness to this story. I'll stop repeating myself though, because Shelley's thoughts are incredible...and I'll just let her tell you more.
4. Even with my headspace all sorts of effed up, I am extremely curious about how the series will continue. I hope E.K. Blair will fill in some of the questions I still have about the events of the last 10%..and of course, I want to see what she manages to do with her characters next...and I have one tiny hope/wish but I can't say what it is...maybe you'll have the same one when you finish. I'm certain our wish is the same. I can't believe any of the events we have just read, but the structure and pace of the story will keep you guessing and predicting and *squee*ing up until the very last word!
Courtney and I would love to discuss this with you. Hit us up on Twitter or Facebook or leave a comment below. Yes!
About the Author:
USA Today bestselling author and International bestselling author, E.K. Blair takes her readers on an emotional roller coaster with her dynamic and intense writing style. Noted for her ability to create fleshed-out characters that will evoke a realm of reactions, you can be assured that her stories will linger with you far beyond the last word.
A former first grade teacher with an imagination that runs wild. Daydreaming and zoning out is how she was often found in high school. Blair tends to drift towards everything dark and moody. Give her a character and she will take pleasure in breaking them down, digging into their core to find what lies underneath.
Aside from writing, E.K. Blair finds pleasure in music, drinking her Starbucks in peace, and spending time with her friends. She’s a thinker, an artist, a wife, a mom, and everything in between.