Water by Terra Harmony
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
More graphic than I expected.
Kaitlyn is snowboarding when an avalanche sweeps her off her feet and buries her. When she awakens, she discovers that she's been kidnapped. Her captors are running tests and experiments on her, and one in particular seems to instantly hate her. But she finds one of the others attractive and ends up shacking up with him not long into her captivity. Meanwhile, she discovers more about the organization that holds her. They are an ancient group of environmental protectors, and they believe she is their next Gaia, a woman who can affect the elements.
Overall, the story is well-written and decently edited, though in later chapters I noticed an increased number of errors, like mind instead of mine. That being said, I'm on the fence about this one. I think it was written to champion the plight of the Earth, and at several points the prose is diverted into various environmentally friendly topics. The organization that kidnaps Kaitlyn at one point stops to try to explain composting to a food vendor and at another holds a meeting with an airport to convince them to adopt an energy savings program. It's kind of odd in a book featuring people with a mystical affinity to the elements (i.e. superpowers). I kept thinking Captain Planet. The powers are somewhat interesting, but the way they are described seems to change part way through the book.
Still, the story might have been much better were it not for the overload of sexual situations, consensual and non-consensual. It is good that the author posts a warning about this content in the very front of the book, but perhaps the warning should be worded a bit more strongly. There are three or four graphically detailed scenes (and perhaps a few not so graphic, too) definitely not suited for younger readers. The attacks, yes that's plural as in more than one, are particularly disturbing to me. I knew they would be bad going in, because I read some of the reviews beforehand, but they were worse than I thought they'd be.
As for Kaitlyn, I think she's suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. She has plenty of opportunities to escape The Seven, but meekly stays with them, though she plays at being rebellious. I don't buy it. Especially when they are in Spain, she could have gotten away or at least made another attempt instead of just helping them put together pamphlets. I also found it odd how we have so much unconscious traveling going on. Both when she is first rescued/captured and later when she is again kidnapped. Going halfway around the world, I would imagine one would come to at least a little bit at some point.
I would say this one is ok and I kind of liked it (held my attention), but it's not one I'd really recommend unless you're comfortable with the adult situations (graphic and otherwise) and don't mind a good deal of eco-content. It was a quick read.
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