- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1200 KB
- Print Length: 258 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Live and Love the Fantasy Publications (14 Feb. 2017)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01NAYOAWV
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #395,020 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Cruel and Unusual: Episode Two in the Somewhere In-Between Series: (A Dystopian/Paranormal Romance Series) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is full of deep emotions but it's also very bizarre.
I kept reading to the end and I felt the story never ended? It left me with too many questions?
Title: Cruel and Unusual
Author: C.E. Wilson
Review: The opening chapter to Cruel and Unusual was very intriguing, we are introduced to Malcolm Davenport who is serving prison time for a crime he is too ashamed to speak of, under a new government project called Project Isolation where inmates are holded up on islands of Alaska. These inmates are grouped by gender so Malcolm only has one neighbour Flynn and the wardens for company, beside that he is completely alone. I was intriguied straight away and wanted to know why Malcolm was there and what he had done and I hope it will be revealed a little later on in the novel. One thing I really liked about this series of books is that each can be read as a stand alone novel, so will I haven't yet read Untitled Beauty I can still read this book.
I liked the relationship between Flynn and Malcolm, its tense and sometimes hilarious but its there, while we don't know what either man has done to end up on the island we can assume it was something bad. Things take an interesting turn when one of the wardens Janet mentions to Malcolm that there are international tensions over this new type of punishment and the new elect is using spy drones to keep an eye on the island and she warns him to look out for suspicious activity. Just like Janet predicted some strange things begin to happed on Malcom and Flynn's island and neither have any clue what is actually happening. A strange thing crashes onto the island, Malcolm thinks its an inimated doll at first but it talks and cries and insists its a real person.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
Her latest effort, Cruel and Unusual, is her second “Somewhere-in-Between” story, though it has no connection to the first, Untitled Beauty. I know that she’s a big fan, like me, of the classic TV show The Twilight Zone, and what she’s going for here is a collection of stories in worlds slightly off from our own where she can explore important themes and ideas about the human condition. That’s what good speculative fiction is supposed to do—use the speculation to address life as we know it.
Cruel and Unusual posits an America with a new method of incarceration. Certain prisoners can be left to fend for themselves in little caged-in areas on the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. Malcolm Davenport, the narrator of the story, is imprisoned there for his crime. I won’t reveal the crime, but suffice it to say that it is ultimately revealed in the story, and I appreciate the gray areas within it. He shares his island with Flynn, another prisoner. A trio of wardens—each with his/her unique temperament—arrives periodically to check on the prisoners and replenish supplies. They also provide some geopolitical background about the program, particularly whether the government approves of it and whether that or a rival government may be spying on it.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, a winged creature arrives in Malcolm’s cage. Not a bird or any other animal, but a foot-tall woman with bright blue eyes, bubblegum pink hair, and metal wings protruding from her back. She eventually introduces herself as Verity Nine, part of an experimental program of which she has very spotty memories. Is she a person who has been miniaturized and fitted with wings? Is she some sort of human-mechanical hybrid—a vessel for a former human’s soul? Or is she something else? Not gonna spoil that for you, because though her origin is interesting, her ensuing relationship with Malcolm is more intriguing.
And that’s where the message behind this book really kicks in and elevates the story to one of Wilson’s best.
Being so isolated about two years into his sentence, Malcolm is extremely lonely. To make matters worse, he’s pining over his former girlfriend Mauve. The isolation and loneliness is really getting to him. Meanwhile, since Verity may very well be a one-of-a-kind entity or creation, she’s experiencing her own kind of isolation. This story explores how the two of them—and therefore how people in general—have an innate need to be around other people; to forge relationships with other people. It also explores how people view and judge other people, whether by their looks (such as the case of Verity’s small size) or by their actions (such as the case of Malcolm’s imprisonment). The only way the two of them can get through their loneliness and their judgements of each other is to stop and listen. Isn’t that true of everyone? In order to understand one another, we need to listen and be able to accept differences.
Because this is a C.E. Wilson story, there’s going to be a thought-provoking open ending. In this book, she doesn’t disappoint. There’s satisfying ambiguity at the end, particularly in wondering what the future holds for the main characters and what actually went on between them throughout. I refuse to say more, but I found it to be her most satisfying ending among all of her works.
However, the discussions between Malcolm and Verity sometimes get repetitive. This issue isn’t new to Wilson’s books, and it isn’t as distracting as in some of her other books, but it’s the only quibble I have that holds me back from giving it five stars. Is that being cruel? I don’t know, but this well-crafted and unusual book surely deserves its FOUR AND A HALF STARS.
I really enjoy the author's unique story, the way she develops suspense, great character building, good crafting overall. The only thing I would say is the ending doesn't resolve. I know some stories intentionally leave you with questions, but this ending didn't seem to quite have that feel. Can't describe why, exactly. Felt like it almost needed an epilogue, or a little more resolve in some way, because even stories that don't "end" have some sort of resolve at the end. Because of that, I gave it only 4 stars.
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