Horror, Reviews

Review: White Out – A.A. Dark

white-outWhite Out by A.A. Dark
Series: 24690 #2
Genre: splatter horror
Themes: revenge, (psychotic) love triangle

For the briefest moment, revenge was sweet. My husband was suffering before my very eyes, and Bram … he was alive.

But happiness didn’t last.

The man who claimed he wasn’t my savior held true to his word. Bram didn’t rush in and save me from the cruel fate of the White Room. No one did. Now I’m tortured with red light massacres and a hell I could have never imagined. Surviving will take everything I have, but I’m determined to get answers from the man who turned his back on me.

When I think it can’t get worse … it does. Slave 24690 is all but gone. The evil woman reborn is what nightmares are made of. Insanity beckons, but even my madness won’t derail the plans I’ve set in motion.

Masters will fall. Conspiracies will reign. But will I be strong enough to let go of the one thing that could ultimately destroy me?

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Heat: ★
Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer’s note: this book follows on directly from the climax of 24690. You must read that first.

I was the forgotten. The discarded. The pawn in a game bigger than myself.

Christ, that was a ride and a half. The climax of the 24690 duet, White Out takes more of a delve into the psychological breakdown of Everleigh and West from the horrific ending of the first instalment. If it is even possible, this became more complex, in some cases quite difficult to follow, but absolutely engrossing nonetheless. Whitlock is a nightmare setting, and the entire premise of this duet is nothing but original. If you’d asked me where I thought this would go when I first picked up this sequel, I would have been totally and utterly wrong.

In truth, we were living our own violent, little fairytale. Two monsters, loving each other the only way they knew how in such an environment.

Not only do we deal with the psychological defects and cruelty of the characters, but we also go further into physical depravity through the absolute bloodlust of the same characters. If you’re after some erotic content like the previous instalment, you’re going to be disappointed; this is unadulterated bloody, brutal chaos (but fortunately it prevents me from worrying about my own mental health when I enjoy them!). We deal with more of the same – skinning, cannibalism, blood and guts, and death. Lots and lots of death.

I have to say that, although I found Everleigh’s descent into madness, and her relationships with West, Bram and herself grimly fascinating, I struggled to like any of the characters within these pages in any way, shape or form. They were all vile, with no redeeming features to be found at all. This made it a little difficult to get emotionally invested in the story, and I would perhaps have liked a little more transparency as to their plans and motives; in places, I found myself lost and confused as to who was playing whom, and it felt as if some aspects were plucked out of thin air at the right time to allow the story to continue, when there could have been some more buildup (a particular dinner scene comes to mind).

“There is no hope when you’ve been cast this far into hell.”

I wonder also how many people live in Whitlock, and how many were in the white rooms. The red lights, blood and death seemed constant, as were some gory plot devices, feeling as if some decisions from Everleigh and West were purely for shock value, with very little reason behind them.

Regardless, this is a highly intense, satisfying (and, frankly, terrifying) conclusion – that couldn’t have ended a better way.