I believe that my interest in this title was spurred by the use of “Lucretias” as the name of those who must be feared. A huge history fan, and particularly intrigued by Lucrezia Borgia and her dastardly deeds as she struggled for dominance and power in her world, I was curious about Margaret Windsor’s take on the story. Please read on for my review of the audio version of this YA Dystopian
The world that Cayla inhabits is very different from ours: governments have fallen and the rule of ‘law’ is in the hands of various crime families. The Lucretias are the family to which Cayla’s parents pay a tithe for protection, and around whom she should mind her p’s and q’s. Until that day when Jon Lucretia picks Cayla out of the crowd, and takes her away.
From here, in most of this genre, I expect a romance-type situation, but Windsor is not falling into that trap. There is no Stockholm syndrome here for our girl Cayla: she is learning and constantly weighing her options in her struggle to survive without losing herself. Told in her point of view, the history of the crime families coming to power is spotty: but the world-building is extensive, as pieces of her life, her memories and her choices come clear.
A bit slow to start, the story is not really jumping with action until a huge plot twist at the midpoint, and from there forward the action and tension build nicely with the increased pacing and growth in Cayla’s understanding of her situation and her ability to make choices that ensure her survival against horrible odds.
Cayla is engaging and intriguing, and the slow start of the story is mitigated by the narration, using the presentation to build the early bones of the story smoothly, keeping interest in what is next. With several diversions from the expected in this genre, Windsor has created a fresh and unique story in a world that is built with care, and while I would have liked more of the history that lead to the crime family takeovers, the information as provided was sufficient considering the perspective was presented from only Cayla’s point of view. A complete story in itself, this story is sure to bring more readers to this author.
Narration for this story is provided by Andrea Emmes with a voice perfectly suited to present Cayla: her ability to present the tension, confusion and emotions as the story progresses. Other characters have voices that are distinct, some a bit over-exaggerated in tone and tenor but overall the voices held their consistency. A few of the choices were, admittedly, laugh out loud funny, but those choices did not overly impact on the intention or direction of the characters. A solid performance with room for growth and development in styling choices, I’m curious to listen to more of her work as she progresses.
Stars Overall 4 Narration 3 Story 4
Author: Margaret Windsor
Genre: Teen Reads
Narrator: Andrea Emmes
Published by: Self-Published, Self-Produced
Published on: 8 September, 2015
Source: AudioBook Blast
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 22 minutes
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"The Lucretias always take what they want. And that includes me."
Cayla was told she had nothing to fear from the Lucretias-at least, not more than anyone else in the city. Her aunt and uncle paid their tithes on time, looked the other way when witnessing crimes, and never caused any trouble.
When the sirens blare at Cayla's school, she knows that someone has crossed the Lucretias, and the crime family is there to take their vengeance. Huddled with her classmates, she waits for the inevitable to pass.
Except when the Lucretias knock down the door to her own classroom, Jon Lucretia, heir to the dark dynasty, catches sight of Cayla-and decides to claim her as his own.
Taken as a prisoner into their opulent and guarded estate, Cayla must decide how to fight for her life, and her heart...
A copy of this title was provided via AudioBook Blast for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.