4 out of 4 stars
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House of Pain by Denna Holm is classified as Sci-Fi/Fantasy, but it reads like a dark erotica novel. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at the discovery. The story is about Magdalena (Maggie) Shelbador a succubus, and her quest to find true love. She is a slave who dreams of being free of the life she has in the whorehouse in which she grew up. Her story becomes tangled with that of a widower named Daniel and all the troubles he encounters trying to rescue his kidnapped son. The story is set in the year 3515 and is very apocalyptic by all accounts. The story is filled with demons and magic, and people who are trying to survive in a time that seems almost prehistoric.
What I liked most about this story is that every area was well developed. The storyline was impeccable, and any questions that I had were answered as I read further. There was nothing I disliked about this book. While I don't agree with some parts, especially the bits including the abuse of children, the author was still able to write a captivating story. She was able to write a story that caused me not to use my real life biases to judge the book.
The character development was significant, and I was able to see the characters in a different way, which added to the quality of the story. The main characters were given enough of a back story to understand them, but not too much that it took away from the main story. The main themes I observed were pain, torture, friendship, loyalty, and love. Being able to find people loyal enough to risk their life for you is a gift that should never be taken for granted.
This book has lots of triggers and is not suitable for squeamish persons or children. It is very sexually charged and is only appropriate for a mature audience. I was very flabbergasted when I read some parts of the book. Some of the scenes depicted were not only taboo, but some were very disturbing, and they involved kids.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars, as it is well written and edited. I found only one error, and I almost missed it. This book is perfect for book clubs, as many points can be discussed. I would not recommend this to people who do not like dark or sexual novels.
House of Pain
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