Warning : incest, violence, non/con.
And then there are those books which leave you thinking ‘what the fuck did I just read?’ and ‘how the fuck am I going to write my thoughts down?’
To start with the first question, what I just finished reading is best described as non-con, dark erotica in the strictest sense of the word. These three stories feature abduction, cruelty, torture, and rape all inflicted upon Aaron, a character so nice and innocent, despite his rent-boy status, it breaks your heart experiencing the events mostly from his perspective.
I could go into lengthy details about the sort of horrors Aaron encounters but I’ll refrain. I’m fairly sure that readers who are drawn to books like this one will have a pretty good idea what to expect. I’d much rather write about another aspect of this story, one that took my breath away. For me, if this story is anything, it is a testament to the mind’s determination to stay alive. And in order to keep its ‘owner’ safe, Aaron’s mind comes up with almost convincing constructions and lies in order to prevent him from just giving up and dying, although he does come close.
The dynamic between Aaron and Vincent, the man who abducts and subsequently ‘trains’ him, is frightening due to how plausible it all is. I know there’s a good word and psychological explanation for everything I read: Stockholm Syndrome. I realise it’s not something the author has invented, but the way in which he describes the process and makes it happen on the page is stunning. Aaron’s emotional journey is vivid, real and very logical. And THAT is what makes this book such a shattering read. It is impossible not to like Aaron and fall for him, which makes having to watch his journey, as he’s slowly broken into pieces which may never slot back into their original settings, all the more heartbreaking.
Hardly any character in this book is exactly who or what they appear to be when the story starts. Some who at first appear heartless and cruel will turn out to have feelings after all, and others, who at first glance seem to be nothing but bystanders suddenly turn up centre-stage. And that’s all I can say about that without resorting to spoilers.
I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to read and appreciate this book. I’ve tried starting a dark series before and haven’t found the courage to go back to where I stopped reading yet. The Prisoner has me convinced that I should probably try again. This story captured me from the first page, be it in a car-crash sorta fashion. In fact I’ve one-clicked ‘Season Two’ of this series just now, because I have to know what will happen next; especially considering the bombshell the author dropped in the last few pages.
To summarise: The Prisoner is a captivating read but only if you enjoy and can stomach dark erotica. (And it appears I had less problems writing my thoughts down that I feared I might have)