I'm pretty strong stomached when it comes to horror, in some cases the juicier and bloodier the action the better, but I always appreciate a good trigger warning at the start of a book. It tells you that the author has taken their professional obligations seriously by considering what material to include and most importantly by being appropriately aware of the likely effect on their readership. That establishes a relationship of trust between author and reader from the outset.
Notwithstanding that the trigger warnings for self-harm and abuse were reasonable, the heroine is strong and resilient. Challenges come both from within, following the earlier strains of life, and from without in the form of the perpetrators of several attempted murders in the locality. This variety provided ample narrative drive and action, and I was engrossed to the end.
Above all, I appreciated that Alexa was 'taking back control' because, after abuse and self-harm, taking back control is absolutely the key to feeling stronger and happier again. I enjoyed the potent combination of bloodthirstiness with empowerment, and of self-growth with the imminent threat to safety. Excellent!
(review of free book)