Periculum - Natalie Bennett
Tagline : Tragic and twisted fell in love…
Ave Satanas, something wicked this way comes.
It’s time for the reckoning to begin.
Enter the Devil’s Playground wary where you tread, for demons are lurking with trickery up their sleeves.
Here good and bad cease to exist, and not all will make it to the end.
The price of freedom will be revealed only after bloodshed and rapture. A claiming of one and purging of others.
Now stranded with two friends and a group of apprehensive strangers, Liliana Serpine must decide who and who not to trust as they navigate their way through hell in the form of an opulent city.
There’s one person who stands out among the others. Ciaran's got a gorgeous face and darkly enigmatic aura. Being drawn to him is inevitable but staying by his side becomes necessary to survive.
When secrets start being revealed in blood, everything changes. From dabbling in the taboo, being tempted by the forbidden, and falling in lust with the carnage.
For those that make it out of this alive, they’ll never be the same people they once were.
The story has some elements of Hunger Games and Divergent, but has a much nastier, sexier undertone.
All through the book you have no idea why a bunch of random people, on a transit bus to the airport, at the end of their vacation, have been diverted to 'the game'. The DEVILS PLAYGROUND, the location of the game, is the stuff nightmares are made of. The characters imprisoned within the game have no way out but to finish the warped journey mapped out for them as they are FORCED through one milestone after another. A series of arrows points the way, with riddles and names in lights, and woe betide they stray from the path. Group alliances are made and the weak are soon whittled out. Each time they move on, they know someone will die and all they can do is hope and pray. At times, they're forced to nominate which of those in their group must face their doom. That's the nastiness.
For the two main characters, Liliana (Lana) and Ciaran they don't seem to have too much of a problem watching the casualties fall. Which is a little cold and hard hearted. But considering the family upbringing Lana has, you get the idea, that's been bred into her. Maybe the same with him? Despite their callous sides, they aren't evil or overly cruel, and you root for them to survive and escape the hell hole they are in.
One sweet part of the story is Ciaran's devotion to keeping Lana safe. he's relentless in keeping her alive.
Ciaran has some inkling of the connection of the people in the DP, and but he's not telling. He knows Lana's surname, without anyone telling him, because he's figured something out. Lana knows he knows something more than just her name but also knows he won't tell for some reason. She has no choice but trust him as best she can in the circumstances. And together, in the midst of all the horror, they have some explosive sex. (Like what!!!???)
And the grand reveal...the twist at the end, well, I kinda saw it coming, but still, it was a great end to the first book.
Periculum is the first of two.
And after reading this I'm impatient for the second. :(
Excellent read. 5 stars. Kept me interested and on my toes the whole way through. I'm a little squeamish as a rule, but I even enjoyed the icky violent parts!