on Aug. 30, 2016 :
No review I could write would do justice for the brilliance of this book.
I was shocked, mesmerised, intrigued, breathless, appalled, enraptured and absolutely overcome with awe at the talented wordsmith that is Cole McCade.
Much like The Lost, this is a tale of broken people with their own cross to bear and monsters that lie within. I'm a sucker for the descriptive and any writer who gives me that will have a fan for life. Of course the characters have to talk me too, and oh my God they did. Willow, niece of one of my favourite book characters - Wally ex-circus ringmaster who takes in the lost souls and gives them muffins and pretty frilly clothes. She was conjured so well by Cole. Every thought and feeling I hurt with her and for her. Fox gold eyed Priest. He is the Caleb (Captive in the Dark) of this book. The evil villain you want to hate but can't because he becomes your everything.
If there is something Cole excelled at in this book (yes I'm a geek) it is noise or lack of. How perfectly every noise is described made the hairs all over my body stand on end. How silence can be beyond lyrical has to be read to be appreciated.
As always with Cole McCade's books I highlighted many favourite passages hoping that I will find the perfect picture to match his perfect words:
"If she made herself small enough, she could pretend she'd fade into the floorboards and become the nothing she often felt like."
"Light bounced off fine linen and slick, sleek wool in a thread count higher than any sheets Willow had ever slept in. Too rich for the Nests. Too fine for the stink of dumpsters boiling their innards in the sweltering damp summer heat, until the entirety of the Nests smelled like a cooking landfill."
"Her heart beat-beat-beat and her legs became petrified wood, the trunks of frozen trees with her feet the roots anchoring her to the ground."
"Theirs was a house of sounds, always talking to her, grumbling and chirping and sighing, but right now those little voices that made up a house were all saying the same thing with every creak and groan and rattle: Coward."
"People aren't monsters. Sometimes they're broken, but not monsters."
Too many more magnificent examples to quote.
This book ends with one of the most thought provoking and emotional afterwords by an author I ever read. I'm not sure if it will be included in the Amazon release because they had banned it due to trigger warnings amongst other things. If it isn't included, know this, The Found came from the heart of a man who is valiant and brave and who deserves every accolade for this stunning work.
(reviewed 9 days after purchase)
on Aug. 22, 2016 :
This book is exactly the reason I'm tighter with my five-stars. Because when something this brilliant comes along it deserves every single one. Holy hell, Vin "Priest" Mannion.
"Sometimes we find what we want in the strangest places."
I'm picky when it comes to the falling-for-your-abductor trope; it's one I've struggled with in the past because of stereotype and predictability. But here I am, eating my words, because The Found hit every spot. It's dark, it's gritty, it's unpredictable, and you feel everything the characters experience: it keeps you on your toes and has scenes that are, to be quite blunt, as hot-as-f*** and those which are heartfelt. And if you love those elements, then you'll devour every single moment.
"It’s not about capturing you. It's about showing you the pleasure in giving up control."
I loved Priest. LOVED HIM. Beneath the monster is most definitely a man, one with so many layers and I appreciated each one--the cold calm assassin, the tortured and tormented man battling his demons, and the man capable of deliciously dirty things. He stole my heart, put it through the ringer and I was there in that room with him and Willow every step of the way; sweet, vulnerable Willow who was stubborn as hell, determined and, when she wanted to be, downright bloody kick-ass. And the chemistry between them is something else with build-up, fight and discovery as Priest unleashes a side to Willow she never knew existed.
"She’d expected him to torture her. To hurt her. She hadn’t expected it to be like this, his touch invading her in ways she’d never allowed anyone..."
This story was so much more than I could have anticipated and I went through a myriad of emotions: not unusual when I pick up a book by this author, but some weren't necessarily ones I envisaged I'd feel. Priest and Willow have one hell of a journey filled with highs and lows, is perfectly paced for the period of time it covers and what you see is not what you get when it comes to either of them.
"Now...let’s see how much you can endure."
This is absolutely a read to experience in all its glory for yourself and Cole McCade proves he's a master at his craft: creating strong characters and a story which is raw, honest and poignant, filled with hate, lust, kink, determination, fear and perfectly timed humour. Priest and Willow are unforgettable characters: days after reading this they're still in my head and my heart, and I applaud Cole for making me swoon over a man who's a killer because Priest is quite possibly my favourite hero/anti-hero of all time. Crow City is shaping up to be a place where anything is possible and I'm excited to see where we're taken next.
(It's worth mentioning that although part of a series, this can be read as a standalone.)
(reviewed the day of purchase)