TWD without the walkers!
The following ratings are out of 5:
World building: 🌏🌏🌍🌎🌏
Character development: 🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂
The setting: The Badlands
The Hero(s): Samael (a.k.a. Malum) – was a weak and sickly child who grew into a raging psychopath, which is saying something in the Badlands, where most are considered savages. Lilith has always been his.
The heroine(s): Lilith – she seems to be a normal girl in an F’d up world. She has been friends with Samael since childhood and though she once said he was like a brother to her, she really already had feelings for him.
The Love Story: Samael is alpha male to the extreme. He is so possessive that he has no problem torturing or killing anyone who tries to touch what is his. Lilith is not ok with some of the things he does and she wants her freedom, but she still loves him.
At first I didn’t like the story. I hadn’t read any of the preceding books, but this one is billed as a standalone, so I kept thinking that this world should be explained a little better. However as it went along and I learned more, I understood and liked the way things were revealed. It reminds me of the world of The Walking Dead except without the Walkers (Zombies). Like TWD, they go on runs to get supplies from neighboring deserted towns, and everyone carries a weapon. There is a lot of killing, most for no real reason.
It is completely lawless, but their community or whatever they called it was a bit cult-like. Samael is the leader and though Lilith loves him, he keeps her captive within the compound so she realizes that she has to get away. I can totally see her point, but I can see Samael’s as well.
He is keeping her safe and I liked him more than I thought I would in relation to Lilith. When it came to others, he was pretty brutal. Though as the story continues we find out that he is an extremely complex character. It is funny how you can empathize with some of the most brutal characters in a book like this. Though definitely not when he is doing terrible things.
In the end, I really enjoyed the story and all the characters, though I sort of wish it were longer, I would have liked to see the relationship between Samael and Lilith improve with time and communication. Though that isn’t to say the ending wasn’t an ending. I liked how it ended as well. Perhaps we will see them further in the next book which is about Lilith’s brother Cam. That one will be a trip and Natalie already has a bunch of warnings on the content which will be in that one. From the excerpt, it sounds much more brutal than this one