[Strong presence of Capture-bonding/Stockholm Syndrome with a Unique Menage Romance]
Hotel of Lost Souls is the first book in The Lost Humanity series. It is a story about the survival and bonding of three early 20s students during their captivity as the blood and sex slaves of a master vampire. The dynamics they form intrigues me so much I am compelled to continue reading the story although finding the pace draggy due to excessive mundane activities described in painful details. I guess this is one of the many pitfalls a new author tends to find difficult to avoid. Writing the right balance of details aren't an easy feat. Readers would scorn those with too little details as well as those that had too much in it. That's where practice and experience comes in as well as the ability to accept and listen to feedbacks, the positive ones as well as the negative ones. Life is a life-long learning experience after all. One would only excel if one could recognise and acknowledge their own weaknesses and not be afraid to change it.
Eventhough this book has a central vampirism theme it wasn't overly focused on it. We do still get snippets of their presence and background story every now and then, so no worries about that. The story is really all about the relationship between fellow captives and their kidnapper cum master cum owner. I am fascinated with the captives gradual progress in developing a strong bond with their captor in the form of Stockholm Syndrome. I am still unsure if what is between... (view spoiler at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15767405-hotel-of-lost-souls) It could well be the effect of falsehood their subconscious mind fashioned just to stay safe and pain free.
The Stockholm Syndrome is a psychological phenomenon I have always find to be utterly intriguing. It's the mysterious part of being human and how vulnerable we really are. When left in a hopeless situation and given the right incentive, one could bend to any extreme just to find that bit of comfort even when it was offered by your own abuser. These abused victims tends to find excuses for the abuser and would strongly believe whatever punishment on them are their of own fault and their abuser is only doing it for their own good out of love for them. The abused would usually choose to submit to the abuser because it felt safer and easier to do so than a confrontation. This isn't baseless guesswork on my part, I have been an abused victim before although not a very physical one but the damage to the soul is not something easy to erase or comprehend. I have lived and I have learned, the hard way. Please note that what I am saying here are only based on my personal experience therefore I am not implying it is the same for everyone. Do you know what is the saddest part? The saddest part was when the abuser didn't even know what was done to me was considered as abuse and I myself was too blind to see that.
I bet Lukas the captor in this story knows exactly what he is doing and trying to achieve. That whipping boy incident was a good proof of how he intents to condition his pets. Zack, Sarah and Jamie was confine in a gilded cage in the form of an upscale hotel complete with all the pampering amenities at their disposal in exchange of their freedom. Lukas would lavish them with expensive gifts and personal attention when they behave themselves. Bad behaviors are promptly nipped at the bud with effective physical punishments that also involves some manipulative mental persuasion of the importance of playing by the rules. Lukas is such a cunning one. Having lived for hundreds of years he should be smarter than most humans with the kind of experiences he had gone through.
Another point of interest was the unique menage and the sexual relationships between this group of youngsters and their master. This dynamic group consists of bisexuals and lesbians. So we get hetero, gay and lesbian sex in one swoop. That's pretty rare right? They even had an orgy with two guys and two girls enthusiastically going at each other. They were satisfyingly plugged by one another... uhmm except one the lesbian and the last guy behind the train of sexy sweaty bodies of course. Not enough penises to do all the plugging and thrusting considering the number of wanting holes we have here.
I think I have a love-hate thing going on with this book. I nearly DNF it due to the draggy pace. Yet there are parts that absorbs my attention and fueled my wish to know more. Like that unique foursome relationship and the captive cum abused victims mentality.
To sum up, the story is a promising one and the author has talent but needed further polishing to shine better. I did have issues with the story's delivery style but it could be down to personal preference I guess. More importantly, I am entertained enough to want to read the next installment of this series. In fact, I have already bought it and synced it to my reading device. I will be continuing these youngster's adventure and journey with their master in book two, Pet and three, Bridges soon.
* Reviewed on March 11th, 2014
(reviewed 3 years after purchase)