Maybe I've read too many books this year that would make society want to hurl rocks at me while I'm suspended in chains, dangling from a wooden pole. These same people would be chanting in some ancient language, getting ready to lit the pyre that would ultimately cleanse my unholy soul as to not allow me to contaminate others.
I mean, looking at the title, that cover art, and the prison setting, I expected something...more
. More violence. More hardships. More angst. Just overall, more feelings
. And don't get me wrong, there was a little bit of everything (i.e. attempted rape, murder, sex, some FEELS), but none of it really met my expectations. It felt kind of tepid.
You have Anderson, who has pretty much cruised through about 8 years of prison time without a problem. He lived on the down low, and is ready to bust out in 8 months. He was probably the most unremarkable imprisoned character I have ever read. I felt Lem was single handedly dragging all the dead (Anderson's) weight in this story. Lem is the guy with the mysterious past. The gentle giant of sorts, who has a lot of potential. It's just unfortunate that most of the story is told from Anderson's third-person POV.
It also didn't help that Anderson and Lem didn't regularly start interacting with one another until about 62% into the story. I was getting impatient once I hit the 50% mark and there was NOTHING in terms of a steady interaction. And when they did meet at that point, I had to scratch my head wondering when Anderson's mind did a 180 degree spin from "i am soooo scared of this hulking giant" to "i want his dick up my ass nao!" It was such a sudden change in his attitude towards Lem that made it hard for me to really connect with the relationship. This further made it difficult for me to get choked up with feelings regarding the progression of their relationship. Maybe if their mutual attraction made more sense to me, then I would have started gushing the big-fat-man-tears. But it just didn't happen.
I've been bitching a lot about this book, but it wasn't a bad
read. In fact, I'll probably pick up the sequel just to see where it all goes. As I mentioned, Lem alone made this book pretty interesting to me. And once they started having sex......sorry, my eyes were glazing over from remembering the scenes. Ahem, anyways, the sex was pretty damn amazing. It's just that the book didn't meet my expectations for the "dark prison story" I was expecting. And really, that's on me and not on the author.