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Mr. S. J. Hamon

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Blovkbuster fiction, flawed but fun.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-09-2020

Though the writing seemed formula driven, the unpeeling of tantilising clues was fun and each new twist kept up the whirling intrigue? However, when the ending came it was riddled with flaws. It followed that classic movie cliche where the villian is about to kill, then stops to first reveal the reasons for all his behaviours. In that time all is exposed, all the loose ends are tied up and inevitably the villain doesn't get his way. This lazy exposition was a bit disappointing and didn't feel true.

Mesmerising, Shocking exploration of abuse.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-08-2020

I listened to this superbly acted novel transifixed, I was utterly absorbed. My dark Vanessa could almost be a companion piece to Nabokov's Lolita. What if Lolita herself could acutely and articulatly tell her side of the story? Instead of from the perspective of the disturbing yet beautifully poetic prose of Nabakov's Humbert character, this time from the hyper realistic perspective of the 15 year old Lolita character growing into an adult. Russel explores the subtly and nuance of an abusive relationship and it's all pervasive power. As much as 15year old Vanessa's story was disturbing, it was the accompanying chapters of Vanessa's adult life that demonstrated the impact of the abuse. It was this that I felt was compelling and missing from Nabakov's Lolita. Vanessa's adult life seemed lost and overwhelmed by the relationship, unable to find her sense of self outside the confines of the toxic bond forged with her teacher. Her world devoid of love and hope. I found it heartbreaking but such an important read.