Heard about this freebie from the Ticket to Stockholm
group, and absolutely loved it. The premise of the book is like this:
Col is part of a generation of people born during the Global War, known as the Ignored. Living as a street rat with a pair of twins, he goes to scavenge food. When he steals once too many from a warehouse stocked by the City Leaders, he is interrogated and eventually picked by a famous interrogator named Vasca. Those Vasca have found interesting in the past usually leave with missing limbs, or never see the light of day again.
The story is considered dark fiction. There are multiple scenes of beatings, acts of dehumanization (like being chained), and one scene of gang rape (though not from Vasca). The writing doesn't get very graphic during these moments, so it wasn't as disturbing as it could be.
The main character Col, is a street rat who does what he needs to survive. Yet he doesn't like stealing from others - that doesn't mean he won't if necessary. He's rebellious during the initial stages of his captivity, and he doesn't do the smartest of things. In fact, he doesn't know much of survival in general. Yet he has a "good" heart. However, my interest didn't lie with Col. It went with Vasca. Vasca was an enigma to me, since the story is told in first-person from Col's perspective. He's an interrogator and is good at what he does, because he doesn't care about people (sound familiar to a certain I&I interrogator? *cough*Toreth*cough*), except for one or two exceptions. Vasca is the one in charge and he lets Col knows it, and not with pretty words either. What I enjoyed most in Forever Ignored was to see how the relationship between Col and Vasca developed. Would I call it Stockholm Syndrome? Not necessarily (I can't really go into much more detail without feeling like spoiling something).
Now I would have rated this a 4.5 star book if it weren't for some niggles. The first being proofreading. The writing gave me the impression that English may not be the author's native language (this is just a conjecture). There are proofreading mistakes that I normally overlook in free online fiction, but there are also the use of incorrect wording, incorrect verb and noun use and missing articles (i.e. "a" and "the"). While it doesn't make certain instances unreadable, it just means rereading a sentence slowly to parse together the correct meaning. This seemed to get worse as the book progressed and was pretty bad by the last chapter. Another issue I had was the lack of character description in the book. I love details in my characters, but all we get is that Col is probably 17-18 years old, skinny, pale skin, and hair that reaches his eyes, while Vasca is tall, muscular and has dark hair. Vasca is at least 7 years older than Col, but we don't really know.
I also feel the need to warn readers that there seemed to be drastic character changes in Col and Vasca in within the last three chapters. I think the author did this in order to give the book a HFN/HEA type of ending. While I love a happy ending, it seemed kind of off in a book with such dark themes. It might have worked better if the ending was more ambiguous and hinted at a possible happy ending rather than painting a vivid picture of one. But that's just opinion. :)