The Decimation of Mae (The Blue Butterfly, #1)
by D.H Sidebottom
The Devil visited me three times in my life; albeit, my short life. Not in the physical sense, you must understand, but very much literally.
He was persistent, resolute and tenacious. His ruthless greed to annihilate me was utterly disturbing. I am sure if he had hierarchy, the man at the top would have dragged his arse into Hell’s prison for his unscrupulous methods.
I was just fifteen when I first became aware of what he was capable of. This initial taste of him set the playing field for how my life was to be lived – for want of a better word.
He mocked me, showed me mercilessly how he played the game and how he liked to cheat at said game. He ridiculed and taunted me until, six months later, he won and took something of so much importance from me that I would never be the same again.
His second visit was, in my eyes, so much more cruel and heartless. I know we’re talking about the Devil here, and yes, you have a right to say he had no heart but even then, even when I was so utterly broken, I begged to differ and hoped – no, prayed – that somewhere deep in the caverns of his black, tortured soul there was something that beat and confused his emotions once in a while.
The third visit was somewhat different than the other two. He tried, and at first succeeded to bring me to my knees once and for all, but then something happened. God finally intervened and altered Satan’s intention; he sent hope and morphed the Devil’s minion into an Angel, hoping to break and shatter the anguish and suffering. He gave the ability for me to feel pleasure in pain, order in the chaos and light in the darkness.
But in giving me a reprieve, he also gave me something that would finally and ultimately obliterate me. He gave me the capability to love, therefore giving me the ability to be destroyed.
And Satan made sure that I was destroyed. Cruelly, viciously and sadistically.
I am Mae Swift, and this is the story of my decimation.
Kelly - 5 Crowns
This book is so dark, so depraved and mentally twisted that it was painful to read and witness the abhorrence of Mae's situation. I hated what she went through, the injustice of the abuse and horrors she was subjected to in captivity was soul destroying, and yet her character was no victim. Unbelievably strong with a spirit deemed unbreakable, a pillar of strength that was admiring as much as the consequences of her actions of defiance, terrifying. I have never silently cried so much whilst reading a book. Chapter after chapter my tears flowed, and they didn't ebb, not even at the end. I am, for a better word, fucking annihilated... decimated...completely undone.
This book, in all its twisted brilliance, destroyed me!
So, why the outstanding five crowns? Because as much as this story disgusted me at times, I couldn't look away. I absorbed every word in one sitting; a pleasurable and painful experience. Just like Mae, I became a victim to the conditioning, although willing... because the prose, the style, the flow, the dialect (English girl here), the descriptive text, was faultless.
Without planting spoilers, this is very much a stockholm syndrome story but it has a different vibe to any of the others I've read because there is no get out clause. There is a twist here, and one, that if I'm honest, gutted me to the point of pain. My stomach and my heart hurt for this woman, but the events towards the end made me understand things that little bit more.
The lamb and the shepherd have a unique connection but whereas in other dark romances I have come to connect with the enforcer, I couldn't here. Daniel terrified me. The master of hurt and humiliation, the harbinger of pain, all in the name of sexual submission and slavery. His actions were unforgivable and I hated every fibre of his being.
Then... another revelation, a sweet little twist of hope.
I guessed it a few chapters before but it was great to see my vision come to light, even though the end was so far fetched, he wouldn't have been given that honour if this was real life, but isn't that the magic about fiction... and thank goodness is all I can say.
Daniel Shepherd has a way to go to redeem himself, but I have hope, I'm just not ready to forgive him quite yet.
I guess we will see where things lie in book two, which I will be reading because if it is anywhere near as profound and emotionally raw as its predecessor, I know it will be another great, albeit upsetting, read!
Certainly not for the fainthearted but fans of CJ Roberts, Pepper Winters, Pam Godwin and Tabitha McGowan may want to give this one a go!
5 magnificently dark and disturbing Stars.