Review: Heartless by Gena Showalter
There is a reason why Kaysar is called the "Unhinged One". He truly is unhinged. There is a growing popularity of creating anti-heroes as the main love interest. I like this because I am get older and more jaded, I tend to like the more complex male who isn't all good or all bad. I am a bit hesitant to label Kaysar as anti-hero. He is more like a trauma patient that is heavily experiencing PTSD and hasn't recovered in thousands of years and doesn't seem to want to either.
When Kaysar was young, he lost not only his parents, but his younger sister he needed to protect. The horrors visited upon him during his time of captivity is heinous. What makes it worse is the two adults that abuse him are two-faced and society has no idea just how terrible these "Royals" are behind closed doors. When Kaysar finally escapes, he decides it is his mission in life to make the entire family line completely miserable. They must suffer for eternity. But at what cost? My biggest issue with this story is the amount of collateral damage perpetrated by Kaysar. He is just as terrible in many ways as the ones he reviles. Some people when experiencing abuse will become just like their abuser or worse. Others will break that cycle and protect the innocent. Kaysar's actions are all the former. Whilst I felt sorrow for his earlier captivity, his continued destructive behaviour and intimidation of all in his kingdom truly demonstrates how unhinged he can be. I don't really have much sympathy for him and I didn't really root for him to end up with Cookie.
Cookie is an interesting character. She's a gamer girl from the mortal world. Some of the threats she receives for doing well as a female gamer are unfortunately all too real. Threats of death, rape, violence... etc, are pretty common for women to experience. I could go on and on about it, but no one wants to hear it. Cookie's accidental entry into the fae world brings her into a LARP that is not what she was expecting. Her gaming skills totally prepare her for this fae world. Her favourite game to compete in right now is all to similar to this magical place she's been transported into.
I felt for Cookie because she's the odd duck that is left out too often. Her family situation is heartbreaking. Her inability to commit or stay in a relationship is completely understandable. All her fears in a relationship are magnified with Kaysar. He treats her... abominably.
This first book in the series is a good start and sets up for what I think will happen when we finally find Kaysar's missing sister. I am pretty sure I not only know where she is but what she is doing. Ms. Showalter painted a clear picture of it. I want to see what happens next. This new series is a recommended to paranormal readers who like jealous unreasonable males and the females who love them unconditionally.
*provided by NetGalley