Tag Archives: Ruthless

[REVIEW] Ruthless – Carolyn Lee Adams

Carolyn Lee Adams
Simon & Schuster Pulse (AU: 14th July 2015; US, UK, & CA: 12th July 2016)
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NOTE: You may want to skip the interlude between Chapters 5 and 6. Piglets, their mother, and a dog all killed. The violence is implied, but nonetheless hard to read.

Serial killer novels are tricky, especially when written from the POV of a potential victim. You know there has to be reason why this character is the protagonist, rather than any of the previous victims. You know there’s something different this time around – because Ruth Carver is ruthless.

This is uncomfortable, because it relies on the trope of “she’s not like other girls”, which compares girls instead of appreciating them on their own merits. I had a similar problem reading Cheryl Rainfield’s Stained, also from the POV of a serial killer’s captive, which implies that the previous victims “didn’t try hard enough” to save themselves.

In short, this is an awkward situation that I’m not sure any author can get right. But Carolyn Lee Adams does include the previous victims in a spiritual sense, having them work together with Ruth. She wasn’t around to save them, but they’ll do what they can to help her. After all, they’ve all been targets of Wolfman.

It’s so hard to write antagonists. If you write them as too obviously evil, they lack nuance. But if you give them back-story, it’s like humanising them. It’s kind of no-win in this aspect. Ruthless gives Wolfman a history and reasons why he kills, but there’s no excuse for murder. I particularly dislike the trope of “this person bullied me, so I’ll kill everyone who reminds me of them”. Is this how anti-bullying is taught in the US? “If you bully someone, they’ll bring a gun to school and shoot you”? Are we supposed to feel sorry for Wolfman? I don’t. But maybe if he’d received better mental healthcare, he may not have become a killer. Who knows?

Ruth Carver’s persistence in surviving takes her from Wolfman’s cabin to out and about in the Blue Ridge Mountains – hiking, hiding, and hunting. Nature is both a help and a hindrance, while the kindness of strangers can’t be counted on at all. A spooky, atmospheric read, Ruthless isn’t easily forgotten. At first, Ruth just wants help. But then she wants revenge.

Wolfman must be stopped before his misogyny kills again.

Recommended listening: Kings of Leon’s “Trunk” played in my head during the driving scenes.

Quote of interest: “You ever heard of trich? It’s not even a bacteria or a virus; it’s a protozoa. A little animal.”

5 New Covers (Adams, Griffin, Kane, Lindqvist, Preston)

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Now Available for US Pre-Order

Carolyn Lee Adams: RUTHLESS (paperback): 12th July 2016: Buy (US)
Jenna Black: SEALED WITH A CURSE: 10th October 2015: Buy (US)
Kady Cross: THE GIRL WITH THE WINDUP HEART (paperback): 26th July 2016: Buy (US)
Mira Grant: RISE: 21st June 2016: Buy (US)
Megan Hart: CLEARWATER: 1st November 2015: Buy (US)
Amanda Panitch: NEVER MISSING, NEVER FOUND: 28th June 2016: Buy (US)
Laura Ruby: BONE GAP (paperback): 28th June 2016: Buy (US)
Kristen Simmons: THE GLASS ARROW (paperback): 2nd August 2016: Buy (US)
Alexandra Sirowy: THE CREEPING (paperback): 2nd August 2016: Buy (US)
Alexandra Sirowy: THE TELLING: 2nd August 2016: Buy (US)

14th July 2015 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

Carolyn Lee Adams
Simon & Schuster Pulse (US, UK, CA, & AU: 14th July 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Ruth Carver has always competed like her life depends on it. Ambitious. Tough. Maybe even mean. It’s no wonder people call her Ruthless. When she wakes up with a concussion in the bed of a moving pickup trick, she realises she has been entered into a contest she can’t afford to lose. At a remote, rotting cabin deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ruth’s blindfold comes off and she comes face-to-face with her captor. A man who believes his mission is to punish bad girls like Ruth. A man who has done this six times before. The other girls were never heard from again, but Ruth won’t go down easy. She escapes into the wilderness, but her hunter is close at her heels. That’s when the real battle begins. That’s when Ruth must decide just how far she’ll go in order to survive. Back home, they called her Ruthless. They had no idea just how right they were.

Josephine Angelini
Rowan (Worldwalker, Novella)
Feiwel & Friends (US: 14th July 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (CA)

Rowan hadn’t seen Lillian in over a year – not since she broke his heart and killed his father in one fell swoop – so why would she pick today to just show up outside his favourite coffee shop, dressed in outlandish clothes and pretending she doesn’t recognise him. Is she turning to Tristan now in some pathetic effort to drive them apart? Why insist her name is Lily? And where is her Willstone? Her wild claims of being from a parallel world are just crazy and pathetic…right?

Andrea Cremer
The Inventor’s Secret (The Inventor’s Secret, Book 1)
Penguin Speak (US & CA: 14th July 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

In this world, sixteen-year-old Charlotte and her fellow refugees have scraped out an existence on the edge of Britain’s industrial empire. Though they live by the skin of their teeth, they have their health (at least when they can find enough food and avoid the Imperial Labor Gatherers) and each other. When a new exile with no memory of his escape or even his own name seeks shelter in their camp he brings new dangers with him and secrets about the terrible future that awaits all those who have struggled has to live free of the bonds of the empire’s Machineworks.

Rinda Elliott
Raisonne Curse (The Brothers Bernaux, Book 1)
Samhain (US: 14th July 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

For the past five years, Elita Raisonne has been on the run from a curse that started with her grandmother, and gradually reached out evil tendrils to kill her mother and her aunts. Now, healing from another nasty accident, Elita can feel the curse coming for her like icy breath on the back of her neck. Her only hope: trek deep into Louisiana’s Atchafayala Basin and ask the mysterious Bernaux brothers for help. Pryor Bernaux takes one look at the black smudge clinging to Elita like a shroud, and recognises the work of a powerful hex worker. Together, all three Bernaux brothers could easily break it – if Mercer and Wyatt weren’t away. As the curse sinks deeper into Elita’s soul, Pryor realises time is running out for the beautiful redhead who makes him want things he and his brothers swore they’d never have. He has no choice but to help her. But the magical backlash is torture. And without his brothers’ help, it could even be deadly.

Mira Grant
Please Do Not Taunt the Octopus (Newsflesh, Novella)
Hachette Orbit (US: 14th July 2015)
Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

As Dr. Abbey knows, there are difficulties in running an underground virology lab in a post-Rising America. And unwanted guests must be dealt with.

Barbara Stewart
What We Knew
Macmillan St. Martin’s Griffin (US: 14th July 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

When Tracy and her best friend, Lisa, were kids, stories about a man – a creep who exposes himself to little girls – kept them out of the woods and in their own backyards. But Tracy and Lisa aren’t so little anymore, and the man in the woods is nothing but a stupid legend. Right? But someone is in the woods. Someone is watching. And he knows all their secrets, secrets they can’t tell anyone – not even each other. Lisa’s just being paranoid. At least that’s what Tracy thinks. But when a disturbing “gift” confirms her worst fears, it sets the girls on a dangerous journey that takes them beyond the edge of the woods. But reality is more terrifying than the most chilling myth, and what they find will test the bonds of friendship, loyalty, and love.

July 2015 Releases

Done with June 2015 Releases? Here are July 2015 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist. NOTE: The formatting of this post may look wrong in a feed reader, so go to my WordPress to see it properly.

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Now Available for US Pre-Order

Carolyn Lee Adams: RUTHLESS: 2nd June 2015: Buy (US)
Sharon Cameron: ROOK: 28th April 2015: Buy (US)
Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff: ILLUMINAE: 7th July 2015: Buy (US)
Michele Lang: THE WITCH OF BUDAPEST: 30th September 2014: Buy (US)
Demitria Lunetta: IN THE END (paperback): 23rd June 2015: Buy (US)
Anna Sheehan: NO LIFE BUT THIS: 18th December 2014: Buy (US)
Alexandra Sirowy: THE CREEPING: 18th August 2015: Buy (US)
Laurie Faria Stolarz: WELCOME TO THE DARK HOUSE (paperback): 23rd June 2015: Buy (US)
Carol Lynch Williams: SIGNED SKYE HARPER (paperback): 12th May 2015: Buy (US)
Brenna Yovanoff: FIENDISH (paperback): 11th August 2015: Buy (US)

8 New Covers (Adams, Alcott, Crewe, Hepinstall, Larbalestier, Monk, Reisz, Revis)

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6 New Deals (Adams, Alcott, Bodeen, Kaufman & Kristoff, Schumacher, von Ziegesar)

Carolyn Lee Adams‘s YA thriller Ruthless to Simon Pulse (World Rights) for publication in 2015. A teen must fight for survival as a serial killer stalks her through the wilderness.

Jessica Alcott’s I’ll Believe You When You’re Gone (2015) and an untitled YA novel to Crown (World Rights). Charlie, who thinks of herself as an ugly duckling, is bracing herself for another year of not fitting in at high school. Enter her charismatic English teacher, and the mutual crush that ensues, leading up to the fateful night of Charlie’s 18th birthday when boundaries are crossed.

S. A. Bodeen‘s two YA novels to Feiwel & Friends (World English). The Detour (2015) follows the kidnapping of a bestselling teenage author.

Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff‘s Illuminae YA trilogy to Knopf (North American rights). The story is told through a dossier of hacked documents – including emails, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, graphics, and more – for what’s billed as a found footage-style mashup of Battlestar Galactica and Ten Things I Hate About You. Publication will begin in 2015.

Anna Schumacher‘s End Times series to Razorbill (World Rights) in a 2-book deal. An oil boom town in Wyoming is plagued by mysterious phenomena. The God-fearing locals believe it to be signs of the Rapture, while a newcomer with a checkered past uncovers the unsettling truth.

Cecily Von Ziegesar’s untitled contemporary young adult project, about a troubled girl whose life is changed by the horse she meets at a therapeutic riding camp.