Fiendish: A Twisted Fairytale by Meka James
“Fiendish is a dark and twisted take on Beauty and The Beast. The story follows the relationship of Calida Alexander and Seth Jokobi. Seth is a man with a very dark nature, one that he hides well from the world. When he and Calida meet, she’s taken in by the ‘mask’ he wears and the two begin a relationship. As things progress his darker side starts to come through and his true nature is revealed. Calida is forced to deal with her conflicted emotions while lying to those around her in order to keep them safe.”
I shall be careful not to give away too much. If you do decide to read any of the ‘reviewed’ books I wouldn’t want to spoil the ending for you, or give away any other major plot twists, so I’ll try to be as vague as possible. However, these won’t be completely spoiler free so if that bugs you stop reading here.
What I thought:
Let me say this first: This isn’t a book you want your kids to read, neither is it something you should read if you don’t like reading about violence, because this gets violent. You have been warned.
Fiendish was recommended to me by a friend, and boy am I glad they did! It’s the début novel of author Meka James and a very good first one at that. As the blurb above reads it’s a dark and twisted story, following two people: Calida/Lee and Seth. They are both very different people and literally bump into each other by accident. Lee is a shy, reserved girl whereas Seth couldn’t be more her opposite. This is where the dark and twisted aspect comes in – Seth is a terrible person who enjoys torturing and murdering women in his basement behind his isolated house in the middle of nowhere (think along the lines of ‘where no one will you hear you scream – even if you did somehow manage to get out and run for miles’). I won’t go into what he does to his ‘pets’ now, because it’s not the main focus but you will see soon enough if you decide to give this a shot. But let me warn you again – it’s very detailed, so nothing for you if you can’t stomach reading about a bit of gore.
Now, as I said, they happen upon each other by accident. Lee gets flustered and Seth decides very quickly that he needs to possess her (yes, like an object). He starts to stalk her to learn her routine (lucky for Lee she doesn’t live alone, she lives with a friend (everyone should have a friend like her, by the way, she’s amazing)) and eventually decides to play with her a little before kidnapping her and slowly taking her teeth out one at a time. But, slowly, he begins to care about her in his own twisted way. He becomes very controlling of her life and every move, and makes sure she knows it when he doesn’t approve.
Throughout this book, Seth puts Lee through hell. He starts off playing it nice but before long he decides to punish her for the most undeserving things, such as answering another man’s harmless question. Like many people in abusive relationships Lee ignores her friend’s warnings but does eventually find the courage to leave him – a move which ‘inspires’ him to kill another poor woman and blame Lee for it (‘if you hadn’t left me I wouldn’t have killed her’). He threatens to hurt her friend if she ever tries to leave him again, and so Lee stays.
By about a third through the book I hated Seth’s guts. Naturally, the man is filthy rich, so Lee can’t just go to the police since any lawyer he could buy would easily win the case for him.
The book ended in the best way possible – in a way I didn’t expect. It was the ending I hoped for, I admit, but I didn’t believe that Lee could bring herself to do something as drastic as she did. But I’m glad that she did. And should you decide to give this a shot you will be glad that she did, too.
I don’t review books professionally, neither do I get paid for it. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Amazon listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.
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