*Warning 17+ due to sexual gritty topic and language.
Kaitlyn and Erik are sent on a mission to track down Vance Dasvoik, a ruthless monster. His latest thrill—abducting and selling young women.
Vance’s current victim: Aaliyah, a seventeen-year-old who never imagined walking her brother home from school one evening would change her life forever.
The mission quickly turns personal for Kaitlyn when she finds Aaliyah beaten, her mind and soul fractured from abuse of the worst kind. Kaitlyn knows firsthand what it’s like to be haunted by the past and resolves to bring justice to the elusive Dasvoik.
Note: I was provided a copy of this book for review.
In the previous book we were introduced to Kaitlyn and her abilities as well as her life at the compound. With this second book, the story takes a different direction as we see Kaitlyn in action, doing exactly what she has been designed to do and using her super soldier abilities to hunt down human trafficker Vance Dasvoik.
The story takes place mainly off the compound which was great because it allowed you to see how other people see Kaitlyn, not just those who know what she is. This also demonstrated how far Kaitlyn has come in trying to integrate with society and how she copes in the real world.
Like before we get multiple points of view from Kaitlyn and Lucus, but there is also the perspective of Aaliyah, a young girl who has been kidnapped by Davoik. Aaliyah’s perspective balances out the others nicely and it shows readers the other side: what is happening to the victims, and who and why Dasvoik is the target of the operation.
There is some recapping but it very minimal and Crane does well to keep it natural and within the story. It is also spread throughout so it does not impact on the flow by getting it over in one go, nor does it leave you confused about what has happened beforehand by ignoring it completely. By having a space between the last book and this one Crane manages to blend the recap in with the explanation about what has happened in that time as well as the developments and improvements Kaitlyn has made.
Kaitlyn is different, she no longer has to hide her true self and she is more open about what confuses her and what she is capable of. She still has a lot to learn and because of the logical part of her she does not always know why she needs to learn certain things, but she complies any way, eager to fit in.
As for Aaliyah, Crane is tactful but honest and description with her ordeal and situation. There are strong sexual and violent moments but Crane handles it well, bringing us into Aaliyah’s experience and her mind. The story captures the trauma and terrifying events, bringing out the emotional response not just the descriptive. As terrible as it is, Crane does a brilliant job in the gradual and realistic progression of Aaliyah and what she goes through, we see her struggle, cope, and reason with what she goes through. It makes for great reading, if at times a bit hard to read. You feel so sorry for her, but admire her strength and you hope that she is strong enough to recover.
The Aaliyah storyline and perspective is shocking, but it brings reality and conflict into the story, bringing it into the real world and away from the science experiment feel from the first book. This is a great sequel because you see Kaitlyn in action doing what she has been designed to do and the mission is it makes an already great story a gripping and intense one.
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