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The Sect (Wicked Trinity, #1) by Courtney…

The Sect (Wicked Trinity, #1)

by Courtney Lane

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This is book is horrible.


Basically. She gets kidnapped tortured intill she loses her mind in the end when she is free she goes back to the guy who made her lose her mind. ( )
  SnowBookHollow | Apr 13, 2016 |
*** I received an arc in exchange for an honest review ****

Warning this book is extremely dark and some readers may take offence to the content.

This is one of those books for me, where it had me captivated so much so it was a read that I was unable to put down.

I felt that Courtney took a different concept and turned it into an amazing read, it is a very dark read and I do love these types of books.

Noah had me confused and during reading this book, I wanted to love him but I needed to know why he was like he was. I felt that he was given clues along the way, but then he turned it around and I felt like punching him lol.

Keaton was running away from a horrible incident and felt that she would be better off on the streets, little did she know what horrors awaited her. She never gave up though, she stayed strong even with everything going on around her and to her. My initial thoughts was she was protected by someone as she didn't seem to get the punishments everyone else did and was treated differently when she got to where she was taken.

Courtney's style of writing is the type that shows it is written from the heart and also research so all the facts are correct.
The story-line flows perfectly and you are pulled in to the story from the very first page.
The characters are created to be like every day people that could very well be living in our society today.

I really love Courtney's books and I will be revisiting the ones I have already read and ones that I haven't. She is a fantastic author that everyone should read one or more of her books

This really is a book that you have to read, a definite one click book, you will find it very hard to put this book down once you start. ( )
  Obsessed-by-Books | Mar 1, 2015 |
This novel gives off the impression that it could be the first work of a first time writer. Let me try and explain that.

The premise of the story is interesting, but the way the events are sequenced in the novel, combined with the first-person point of view, results in a tension arc that is mostly flat.

The book blurb comes with a warning: "WARNING: This book contains pretty much every dark theme there is. Not recommended for those with any triggers or sensitivities to violence, torture, dubious and/or absent consent, and deviant sexual acts. This is not a love story."

But alas, it's not been as dark as the blurb led me to believe, at least not for me, since almost all of the promised darkness and depravity occurs off camera, as in, it is mentioned that it happens, but we never get to see it. Even if the crap is going to be beaten out of the heroine, this is mentioned, similar to how I did just now, in a paragraph or a single line, and then in the next paragraph there's a sentence that she was in bed for a week on her tummy to recover from the ordeal. And that's it.
Admittedly, there's a scene in chapter 5, where she bites down on a cock in her mouth, and to 'reward' that, her third molars are crunched and removed with a pair of pliers. Now, I had to look up which ones the third molars are, and I learned they are also called wisdom teeth. In my somehat traumatic experience, those are extremely difficult to remove, let alone crunch, cause they usually grow sideways in the jaw and have difficulty coming to the surface. Then again, maybe she has more regular teeth and a larger jaw than I did, but I still had to suspend my disbelief for this shock-event.

The story is written in the heroine's first person point of view. Throughout the story she tries to understand what is happening to her and why (not), but the how and why of it all remains unclear until the very end of the novel, as the heroine simply does not have all the information needed to solve the puzzle.
And neither do we as readers, as we are only given hints and pointers to things that are known to the main characters (and to the author) but the gist of the matter is not shown to us, the readers.
This "mystery" makes the reading of the novel seems like reading a detective story, a whodunnit tale.

Perhaps the author intended to write a "mindfuck" story line, a term which I sometimes see reviewers use when the novel text does its best to give off the impression of being an orange, when it was secretly a lemon all along, but the author chose to not tell the reader that. I am personally not fond of those kinds of story lines as I fail to see the suspense in being fooled for 95% of the time only to discover the truth in the remaining 5%.

In this novel, all the mystery is solved in the very last two chapters. An extremely lengthy epilogue then takes care of all remaining confusion. What was promised to be so dark turns out to be almost squeeky white, in this reader's opinion. The author, or at least the main character, has a different view: Both hero and heroine are to be seen as pitch black, and therefore Made For Each Other.

To be fair, I did get all the way to the end of this novel, I had no moments of comtemplating to put it on the did-not-finish shelf. Curiosity where the story was going did the trick. In that sense it's a very successful novel.

But, I had expected so much more. And it could have been so much better, I feel.

If I were to advise this author on this book, I'd recommend putting some of the horror on camera.
That would give depth to the hero as well as the heroine.
At the moment, there's only single lines to indicate he's going to beat the crap out of her, and next thing you know she says she was in bed on her tummy for a week in order to heal. Emotionally, for both characters, it's like it never happened.

Also, the workings of "the sect" could use some elaboration. Either the leader of the sect could use some more camera time, or the reports of what goes on and why could be reported by side characters, but at the moment there's only hints of how horridly depraved the place really is. The heroine does not take part in any of the depravity, ever, so we don't get to hear about it from her first person pov. The only one who tells the heroine some stuff is Noah, but behind the scenes he goes out of his way to protect her from the danger. We don't know that as readers at the time, of course. But all of this makes the place seem less dangerous than it really is. Not until the last chapters do we understand why and how it was a life-threatening situation rather than an annoying one.
On the one hand, that makes the subject matter easier to stomach of course, but it also prevents getting a genuine feel of the depth of the danger the heroine is in.

Another thing is the pacing and tension-arc of the novel.
The intro is quite long, there's quite a bit of text devoted to life with Jeff. A lot of background info on both her and Jeff is kept from us, and as far as I can determine, for no particular reason. Why shouldn't we know she ran because she had dealings with a murdering rapist madman called Gregory in the past and he is trying to catch her? When she's abducted by The Sect, knowing this, could add tension in the form of trying to decide who kidnapped her and why. Is it Gregory's doing behind the scenes, or is she in a very unsafe 'safe' place?
Also, with all the textual investment in Jeff, he gets a sad ending: he dies and it's told in a single paragraph with not much of an emotional reaction from the heroine.

For the longest time, once she's abducted, nothing much happens, except time passing. There's hints of depravity, but she spends a lot of time unconscious, in isolation and/or off camera. With all the hinted sexual depravity, it is a bit surprising that the first real sex scenes don't happen until the third quarter of the book. And even then it doesn't amount to much depravity. I know there's a reason for that, Noah shielding her from it, but still, I found it disappointing in view of the fact that this is supposed to be a dark novel.
Then there's the ending in which all is revealed, bit by bit, slowly but surely and what wasn't told in the last 2 chapters was told in a very lengthy epilogue. It would have added depth to the darkness and suspense if we could have known some of this stuff during the main part of the novel.

Related to that last point, I guess the first person pov is a hindrance there. Everything is seen through the heroine's eyes, and she doesn't know much, and what she does know she doesn't understand, and to be honest, how could she when everyone speaks in riddles?

Last, and I'm wary to touch on this topic, there's religious elements and tones in the novel that could have been stronger. "The Sect", especially the way it's talked about by its leader, could use some more grounding; what does his mock-reli-babble amount to in depraved practice? How does the heroine feel about all this? She concludes the leader is a babbling madman, but she gives no indication of moral judgement, while she happily remained celibate for years when she was still with her fiancé because he was a religious man.

Then there's the hero who turns out an odd mix of white knight and dark lord: Noah. Since we only see him from her pov, we never get to see this mix very well during the novel. Knowing more about his motives would make him a more memorable character than he is now.
In fact, if the novel could have been written from his pov, I think it could have been a lot more satisfying.

So there you have it. An interesting premise, and lots of room for improvement. And as all writers improve as they write more, I'd like to encourage the author to continue to write. ( )
  Bluerabella | Feb 22, 2015 |
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