Author: Sara Allyn
Released: August 29th 2018
Received: Review Request
Warnings: Kidnapping, Control concerns, Miscarriages
I received a copy of The Prisoner from Sara Allyn in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The Prisoner is a novel that will make you think. It’ll make you question things we’ve taken for granted, while also wondering about the ethics of others. It’s got a little bit of everything, romance, alien planets, drama, political schemes, strong characters…you name it and it’s here.
The novel follows a human woman named Maria. And while it’s quite a long story, Maria suddenly finds herself on a new planet, Olrona. Here she comes up against many challenges, while also being a bit of a challenge herself. Still, Maria is not the type of character to give up, meaning that she’ll make a home for herself in this world. But that doesn’t mean she’ll just go about following orders.
Warnings: The Prisoner covers a lot of heavy subjects. They’re all handled respectfully though. Subjects covered include kidnapping and Stockholm syndrome concerns, questions about owning/controlling people, rape, childbearing laws, and miscarriages.
The Prisoner is a lot of things, but I can promise you it’s nothing that you’d expect or assume it would be. I really enjoyed reading this novel, because nothing was predictable. Every time I thought I got a handle on it, that I knew what was going to happen next, something new was revealed that suddenly changed everything.
This novel was beautifully intelligent and really did make me think. There were so many openings for debate, from the way the Pegasean cultured worked to the ethicality of its laws, and everything in between. Sara Allyn wasn’t afraid to touch on heavy topics, nor was she afraid to speak out in the novel about any concerns readers may have had (such as directly addressing the concern of Stockholm syndrome).
The Prisoner also made me feel very strongly for the main character and some of the secondary characters. I ended up adoring Maria’s character and some of her human friends as well. I liked Orook well enough, but I’m looking forward to seeing more of his true character in the sequel. Sara Allyn did a brilliant job of getting me to invest in Maria’s wellbeing – I was very anxious about things by the time the novel finally wrapped up!
I loved the interactions between the multiple species represented. It was complex and sometimes seemed so strict and foreboding. Other times (and between other species) it felt natural and more companionable. It was an interesting balance – showing the same behaviors under duress versus by choice. It really highlighted a lot of what was going on.
I really enjoyed the Prisoner’s plot as well. I won’t go into that one too much, for obvious reasons. I will say that most of my surprise about this novel came from that direction, and I was very happy with the direction that it took. I honestly do believe that this addition made the novel the fascinating read that it was.
I’m looking forward to the sequel to The Prisoner – though one hasn’t been listed as of yet. The way that this novel concluded though, I can only assume that there’s more to Sara Allyn’s story. I can promise you that I’ll be keeping my eye open for any news about it!