You don’t have to get very far into Depravity in order to realize that this is a very Natalie Bennett book. It has her mix of total innocence and total chaos all wrapped up together in a pleasing package. This is dark and it does have MM, MFM, MMF sex in it. And I’d give it 5 scorching flames just for that part, let alone for the rest of the story.
Helena is sick. At least, that’s what her mother has told her all her life. That she’s sick and that nothing can fix her, no matter what. Her daddy has left her mother, and her mother says it’s all Helena’s fault. Helena likes to fix things that are broken. When Buddy breaks her mother, she breaks Buddy, and then she fixes them. She makes them smile at her and if she had a dog, they would be the perfect family. But it doesn’t work that way, so she calls her daddy to help deal with it. So he takes her home with him.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Declan and Ethan are getting their rocks off the way that they do. Mostly, that’s by killing someone while fucking them, and Declan fucking Ethan at the same time. They are partners in so many ways, including being lovers. And they like to kill together, in their playroom in the Dahlia. They have been looking for their perfect center, to help make their little family complete. Declan’s the lemon tier of cake, Ethan is the strawberry, and they need their vanilla tier. Then they meet Helena, and discover how perfect she is for them. Their biggest problem is going to be convincing her of that fact.
I like Helena as a character. I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere around her in real life, though. At the beginning of the book, she really has all the emotional knowledge and maturity of an infant. In fact, an infant may be more in touch with their emotions than Helena is. Of course, she’s been extremely isolated, to the point where for the majority of her life, she’s only been around her mother, father, and Buddy. And when one of those people spends all of their time telling you how sick you are and how broken you are and how no one will ever want you, you kinda end up not all that emotionally mature and you probably don’t think all that much of yourself, either.
Declan and Ethan are, of course, sick and depraved, but they know that and they willingly embrace it. And since Declan is an Andreou, ain’t no one gonna say nothin’ to them ’bout it, either. In fact, since the Andreous own the town, they could probably murder someone walking down the street and not have a problem. You know, that could be really interesting to see. I’ll have to go read all the other Andreou books to see if something like that happened. I have read the Mercy books, which are Morganna and Julian’s story, but I haven’t read the Obscene Duet, which is Mason and Katie, as of yet. I actually own them, I just need to find some spare time to read them. I used to joke that I would be 3 days dead before I finished my TBR, but these days, it’s going to be more like 3 years.
Anyway, this is darrrrk. There are glimmers of light, but it’s black light. Does that turn me off reading anything else that comes out of this world or about this trio? Oh fuck no. In fact, I’ll probably be right up on the front line in order to get it, because, well, I’m me.
One of the things that really struck me about this book, and it’s down here in the spoiler section instead of up there because it could be a spoiler, is the whole nature vs. nurture argument. Is Helena sick because her mother treated her as sick and abused her? Or Is Helena sick because she’s a sociopath or psychopath? Or is it a combination thereof? Unfortunately, I don’t think that we’re ever going to be able to know the answer to that, and I didn’t really see anything that showed one way or the other what Natalie thought. I mean, yeah, one of the guys at one point says that she isn’t a socio/psychopath, but really, can we trust them? And it’s kind of seriously unethical and immoral to run any kind of experiment in the real world to test out nature vs. nurture. (Not that I would or would even advocate it.) I think, at this point, it’s going to be up to us, as the readers to decide, unless Natalie comes right out and says.
I hated Molly from the very beginning, so I wasn’t all that surprised that she tried to do what she tried to do. I have to wonder how much she knew about anything that Heath might’ve done to Helena. She seemed way too interested in getting Helena in that basement, if you know what I mean.
OK, that’s all I’m going to say on this one. I could go on and on, but you have to go check out this story and tell me what you think. Happy reading!