- File Size: 1200 KB
- Print Length: 260 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1542640946
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Live and Love the Fantasy Publications (February 14, 2017)
- Publication Date: February 14, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01NAYOAWV
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #898,550 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Your Memberships & Subscriptions
Cruel and Unusual: Episode Two in the Somewhere In-Between Series: (A Dystopian/Paranormal Romance Series) Kindle Edition
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
"I thoroughly recommend this book to all who love a sweet and intriguing story, and also to those that don't because it is that good." - Goodreads Reviewer
"A well written, meaningful and magical story that you can't help but be captured by." - Lady Living in Bookland
"Wow. C.E. Wilson has outdone herself with Cruel and Unusual." - Dana @ Goodreads
"It's a wonderful story of a different kind of heartache and pain." - Saira Mendoza @ Goodreads
From the Author
C.E. published her first book in 2012 entitled Oath of Servitude and hasn't looked back since. She now has over ten books published and plans to keep writing until her fingers and wrists put up a formal protest. Her favorite genres to tackle are Young and Clean New Adult and she's beginning to dabble with light horror.
When C.E. isn't writing or spending time with her family, she enjoys watching America's Next Top Model, reading shoujo manga and shopping for leggings. She enjoys autumn, all things pumpkin, 90s music, and coffee with way too much cream. She also believes that love is just beyond your comfort zone.
Connect with C.E. Wilson at:
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
While the setting is sparse and simple, there’s much going on inside Malcolm’s mind. This book tackles some dark psychological issues, and this setting works perfectly to illustrate the damage of isolation. Even though Malcolm is selfish, guilt-ridden, quick to anger, and blindly obsessed with his past girlfriend, you feel bad for him. Anyone left alone this long is bound to lose some of their humanity. Anyone who gets stuck in this experimental prison…that’s unlikely to end well.
Now, as for the “unusual” character of the story, I loved how I was never sure what Verity really was. You want her to be real for Malcolm’s sake, but at the same time his reactions to her show the effects of his situation and how his mind might be slipping. The dynamics there get weird, but also meaningful.
The title has many levels of meaning, and I noticed that more and more as I read. There’s the usual meaning of cruel and unusual punishment. There’s Malcolm who’s cruel and Verity who’s unusual. There’s the whole situation with Mauve. It all works together to make for a very complex, unique read which leaves you thinking that this world is really, really not right.
Her latest effort, Cruel and Unusual, is her second “Somewhere-in-Between” story, though it has no connection to the first, Untitled Beauty. I know that she’s a big fan, like me, of the classic TV show The Twilight Zone, and what she’s going for here is a collection of stories in worlds slightly off from our own where she can explore important themes and ideas about the human condition. That’s what good speculative fiction is supposed to do—use the speculation to address life as we know it.
Cruel and Unusual posits an America with a new method of incarceration. Certain prisoners can be left to fend for themselves in little caged-in areas on the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. Malcolm Davenport, the narrator of the story, is imprisoned there for his crime. I won’t reveal the crime, but suffice it to say that it is ultimately revealed in the story, and I appreciate the gray areas within it. He shares his island with Flynn, another prisoner. A trio of wardens—each with his/her unique temperament—arrives periodically to check on the prisoners and replenish supplies. They also provide some geopolitical background about the program, particularly whether the government approves of it and whether that or a rival government may be spying on it.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, a winged creature arrives in Malcolm’s cage. Not a bird or any other animal, but a foot-tall woman with bright blue eyes, bubblegum pink hair, and metal wings protruding from her back. She eventually introduces herself as Verity Nine, part of an experimental program of which she has very spotty memories. Is she a person who has been miniaturized and fitted with wings? Is she some sort of human-mechanical hybrid—a vessel for a former human’s soul? Or is she something else? Not gonna spoil that for you, because though her origin is interesting, her ensuing relationship with Malcolm is more intriguing.
And that’s where the message behind this book really kicks in and elevates the story to one of Wilson’s best.
Being so isolated about two years into his sentence, Malcolm is extremely lonely. To make matters worse, he’s pining over his former girlfriend Mauve. The isolation and loneliness is really getting to him. Meanwhile, since Verity may very well be a one-of-a-kind entity or creation, she’s experiencing her own kind of isolation. This story explores how the two of them—and therefore how people in general—have an innate need to be around other people; to forge relationships with other people. It also explores how people view and judge other people, whether by their looks (such as the case of Verity’s small size) or by their actions (such as the case of Malcolm’s imprisonment). The only way the two of them can get through their loneliness and their judgements of each other is to stop and listen. Isn’t that true of everyone? In order to understand one another, we need to listen and be able to accept differences.
Because this is a C.E. Wilson story, there’s going to be a thought-provoking open ending. In this book, she doesn’t disappoint. There’s satisfying ambiguity at the end, particularly in wondering what the future holds for the main characters and what actually went on between them throughout. I refuse to say more, but I found it to be her most satisfying ending among all of her works.
However, the discussions between Malcolm and Verity sometimes get repetitive. This issue isn’t new to Wilson’s books, and it isn’t as distracting as in some of her other books, but it’s the only quibble I have that holds me back from giving it five stars. Is that being cruel? I don’t know, but this well-crafted and unusual book surely deserves its FOUR AND A HALF STARS.
I really enjoy the author's unique story, the way she develops suspense, great character building, good crafting overall. The only thing I would say is the ending doesn't resolve. I know some stories intentionally leave you with questions, but this ending didn't seem to quite have that feel. Can't describe why, exactly. Felt like it almost needed an epilogue, or a little more resolve in some way, because even stories that don't "end" have some sort of resolve at the end. Because of that, I gave it only 4 stars.