Sunday, 4 November 2012

Ransom by Nicole Stuart

Book Title:  Ransom by Nicole Stuart

ISBN  9781465874030

Part of Series:  Integra Series:  Integra, Run!, Tsunami, Hydrocarbon, Lost!, Population, Meteor Impact, Recovery!, Virus


Author:  Nicole Stuart
Available at:  Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Apple, Kobo,  Diesel, Baker-Taylor

Price:  $2.99

Number of words (approximately):  53 321

Star Rating (of five):  4

Summary:  A young woman is the sole survivor of a plane crash in the jungle of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  She is captured by a gang of terrorists, but escapes, and in her walk to freedom, she must evade the men hunting her.


- When she recovered consciousness, it was dark.  Memory returned to her.  She recalled the conversation with the militia man.  Panic rising in her, she checked her body.  Her hands were tied together tightly behind her back, and her legs were tied together at the ankles.  There was a raging pain in her head, a smaller pain in her scalp where the blow had split the skin.  She checked her sensations further.  She could detect no pain, no sensation that would indicate that she had been raped or molested in any way.  She breathed a silent sigh of relief at this.  She extended the range of her sensors.  Next to her, she could sense the young woman she had seen.  She was sobbing almost silently, a monotonous, desperate sound that came from the depths of her being.  A short distance away, the men of the band were preparing a meal.  A small animal was roasting on a little fire that cast moving light and shadows on the trees, making a scene that came straight from Hell.  They were talking between themselves in a language that Marianne could not understand, laughing at times, a harsh, guttural, brutal sound that sent chills down her spine.  When the food was ready, they ate, chewing and talking at the same time, by the sound of it.  The meal took nearly an hour, by Marianne’s subjective timing.  When they had eaten enough, one man threw a bone to the young woman.  It had already been gnawed by the man, but there were a few shreds of meat and sinew still adhering to it.  The woman grabbed it with both hands, still tied together, and she gnawed at it desperately to gain some small amount of nourishment.  It was clear that she was starving.

After a further hour, the man walked over to where Marianne lay, his gait unsteady, the fresh stink on marijuana on his breath.  Marianne thought that he was the one who had captured her, although it was difficult to tell in the flickering light of the fire.  He saw that she had recovered consciousness, and hauled her to his feet.

“You will tell me the name of your husband, where we can telephone him!  Do you understand?”  The spittle splashed on her face.

Marianne hid her disgust.  “My husband will pay only if you do not harm me!  He does not want spoiled goods!”

The man laughed, then dropped her to the ground.  She fell heavily, her bindings preventing her from falling correctly.  “I will decide if I will spoil you!  There are many men who will pay me for your services!  There are many in Uganda who want white meat!”  He laughed again, a blood-curdling sound, and staggered back to the fire.  He said something to the other men, and they laughed uproariously.  One of the other men stood and walked over to Marianne, looking at her.  He prodded her with his foot, seeming to weigh up some options.  After standing there for a minute, he turned around and walked back to the fire, saying something that set the other men laughing again.  A whimper came from the young woman on the ground near Marianne.  She had obviously understood what the man had said. - 

Reviewer’s Comments:

Structure:  This book complies with the best standards for eBooks, and is easy to read.  The grammar, syntax and use of the language is good.

Content:  The story ranges through a meeting in Kinshasa, a plane crash in the jungle, capture and escape from terrorists and a walk to freedom.  Once Marianne is rescued, she sets about establishing a school to take care of the people whose lives have been devastated by terrorism, only to find that the terrorists have found her again.  She is forced to take violent action to remove the threat.

Reviewer’s Comments:  This is a story of a strong woman, one who comes into danger, and uses her wits and her abilities in a calm and logical way to save herself.  It is a story of a real woman hero, not the contrived Lara Cross type, but one who makes her own way, relying on herself, and not knuckling under to the popular stereotype of a woman who must rely on a man to save her.  The situations are realistic, the writing gripping, the outcomes satisfying.  It is recommended for all ages and all genders, for all who believe that anything is possible if you believe in yourself!

Karin B


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