by Vivi Anna
I read Vanquished in one sitting, rushed right through it. Did I love everything about it? Nooooo, some of it squeaked me out! <g> But I LOVE the heroine Kat. And not just because we share the same name. I would personally put this title in the DARK fantasy genre. It’s a story about an nontraditional heroine in a brutal, futuristic world and it sucked me in. I plan on picking up the sequel because I need to know what happens with Kat.
Vanquished is set in a future where the world is suffering from nuclear fallout. Civilization as we know it is gone and the earth no longer pretends to be civilized. It’s the year 2275 and Kat is a fierce, kick-butt, sexually confident and strong woman. She takes care of herself. Kat is what drew me to this story. I loved her attitude and her strength. I especially enjoyed the moments of vulnerability that let me see her heart. I liked that she wasn’t a one note caricature of a warrior princess, but that she has a lot of layers… like an onion. 🙂 I appreciated that she didn’t apologize for who she is and the decisions she’s made to survive. Kat is a treasure hunter and fights to recover earth’s old technologies and sell them to whoever will pay the most. Kat’s partner in hunting and in bed when the need arises is Damian. The arrangement works for them, for now.
There’s a scene in the beginning that captures Kat’s determined, pragmatic spirit. Some scavengers want a treasure they just recovered and are after them. Damian tells her “We’ve only got two shells,” he confessed while popping them into the chamber. “Then pray there are only two of them” …..She would not die out here. There were many adventures she had yet to experience. See? love her!
Kat is determined to retrieve a big score called The Monolith and retire to somewhere safer…She hopes to start a better life so she could get her daughter back and live in peace. Another treasure hunter named Hades is after the same score. After an teensy, weensy fight lol they come to an agreement and decide to go after it together. The location of The Monolith is in the Vanquished City. Ground zero of the nuclear blast. There are stories of otherworldy creatures, ghosts and mutations caused by the radiation. It’s unfamiliar territory for Kat and Hades and they acquire a guide named Darquiel. So all of them, including Damian, set off for Van City.
I loved Hades. Yum! He appreciates Kat for who and what she is and values her skills. He gets her. They understand one another because they think alike and look at the world from a similar perspective. Yes, there’s chemistry between the two warriors. But they focus on the job…. for the most part. 🙂
Just as strong-willed, disciplined, cunning, and determined as he, Kat was ever his equal. Possibly even more. He could have easily dropped his guard for her, to take her. And although he could feel her want, feel her desire for him, she held back. She kept those needs in check. He admired her for that.
Like I mentioned, I rushed through this book. It’s fast paced and intense. The part I was uncomfortable with was some (honestly, most) of the erotic content… The bad guy is sadistic and can torment in and out of dreams and uses Kat’s body against her. So much with the NOT liking of that… I guess that’s the point though. I did like the HOT intimate moments between Kat and Hades and how she let down some of her walls and let him see more of herself than she’d ever revealed to anyone before. Kat is brave. Not just physically, but emotionally too.
I won’t spoil the rest of the story. It entails their search for the treasure and the troubles they encounter. I NEED the sequel. I kinda wanna shake Vivi! I NEED to know what happens next with Kat. I’m rooting for Kat and I will follow her to hell and back… I am trusting that even if the way gets darker, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. Kat deserves that. 🙂
Here are a few more of my fav lines
♦ Hades was like a rock. There was no doubt in Kat’s mind that he could face anything and remain standing, stable and unaffected. She recognized herself in him. And that was a frightening realization.
♦ She was starting to like him. Certainly, he pulled at her carnally. The man possessed a sexy, dark and dangerous aura that made her mouth water and her lower parts boil. But there were other qualities about him that were starting to eat at her insides. He was charming in a wolfish way – which of course turned her on even more – and made her laugh. Life didn’t bring her much to laugh about. So she found his easygoing manner refreshing.
♦ “Hades, you asshole, get up. I refuse to die like this, trapped underneath you.” “Would it help if you were on top?” “It might.” Kat began to laugh. She couldn’t help it. The ridiculousness of the situation overwhelmed her.
♦ She had once come across a video box that proclaimed to be about buns of steel. It wasn’t until she read the back of the box that she realized they were talking about the muscles of the buttocks and not rock-hard pastry. Ha 😛
♦ “And who are you in this?” “The tragic heroine with several character flaws and counting.
If you are in the mood, for an intense, darkly sexual, adventure story with a strong, fierce heroine, pick up Vanquished and follow Kat into the abyss.
The Queen of Tarts